Happy Thanksgiving

Dear families,

Thanksgiving break is just around the corner and to be honest, I can’t think of a better time for us to reflect on the good in our lives.

The following is the Online Etymology Dictionary’s derivation of  Thanksgiving:

1530s, “the giving of thanks,” from thanks (n.) + present participle of give (v.). In the specific sense of “public celebration acknowledging divine favors” thanksgiving dates from 1630s (the first one in America was held October 1621 by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in appreciation of assistance from members of the Massasoit tribe and celebration of the first harvest); though Thanksgiving Day itself is not attested until 1670s.

So that may be the origin of the phrase, but here’s the thing…gratitude has a place in every culture, in every time period since the first society, so it isn’t the origin of the concept. Can you imagine the first tribe? People looking at each other, figuring out a way to communicate, and somehow expressing, “It’s just good that you are here.”

And it’s really good that YOU are here. You, your work, your caring, your dedication, and your energy make our school a fantastic place to learn for all of us. We’re glad that your family chose our school and we hope that your child thrives and grows in their time with us.  

“I see you.” This is an interesting phrase that has popped up on social media and in the news over the last few weeks. But as I consider the phrase, I am deeply touched by the power of it. We all, in some way or another, want to be seen as valuable for who we are as a human being with a place in this world.

I strive to see all of our students for who they are, to see their strengths, to see their possibilities. I also seek to understand their shortcomings and support them and help them find their voice. Our staff and faculty do this every day and they do it much better than I. We are truly fortunate to have them in our lives and in the lives of our children.

Sometimes, I fall short. There have been days this year, when I found myself so busy with the work of “running the school” that I missed a chance to listen to a student, a parent, a staff member, a teacher. If that person was you, I’m truly sorry I missed that opportunity.

Everyone has a story. I will continue to do my best to listen to them intently and because I don’t have enough time in the day to hear everyone’s story, I need your help. Please help me to be sure that every child and adult is heard on our campus and in our small community, that every adult and child is seen.

Over the years, I have shared Dave Isay’s StoryCorps. Dave asserts that “Asking questions and listening intently to the stories that emerge is one of the most powerful forces in the world.”

Thank you in advance for your support in this effort. As we move into this wonderful week of celebration and giving thanks, enjoy your time with your family and friends. Laugh, dance, sing, run, explore, play, eat, share your stories, and make new ones.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rick

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