Message from Heidi Cook: September 18, 2017

Hello Baldwin Families!

As a principal in a new school and at the start of a new school year, I’m thinking a lot about taking the time to really think about our “vision” for success and I wanted to share a few related thoughts with you. I’m thinking about a shared vision of our school, and of student success and improvement in the areas we need to grow. I’m always trying to clarify my own vision of safe, invested and engaged students and of a diverse and empowered staff at the Baldwin.  

At our opening faculty meetings, we took some time to think about our core values and how those inform our own vision of the year ahead, of our classrooms and of our school. We asked ourselves, “What kind of teacher, specialist, leader, etc. do I want to become and how do I get there from where I am now?” Since we are a Responsive Classroom School, teachers are also finding various ways in the classroom for students to start to develop a vision for the year ahead through conversations about hopes, dreams and goals.

Having a vision is a critically important first step in achieving our most challenging goals, yet it's a step that often isn't allowed ample time or is skipped over altogether in the urgency to get started and keep moving.

Please take some time to sit together as a family and talk, write or draw about your child's vision for the school year. Support them in developing a positive, hopeful vision. Even our youngest students can picture the successes they will work toward: making new friends, writing their own name, working together, learning to read with expression, to name just a few possibilities.

And for older students, understanding the vision they have can be instrumental and eye-opening for parents and teachers. Push older kids a bit to engage with you on the topic even if they are resistant. They really do need to imagine their vision of success and know that we will all work together to help them achieve it.

As you help your child develop a positive vision for the year, you might need to help them think through challenging elements or situations. Work to envision how your child will successfully navigate those challenges (with the help of caring adults in some cases).

These conversations are usually positive, and they may also uncover things that we should be aware of. Do reach out to your child's teacher to tell him/her about what your child needs.

I hope you have had a wonderful start to the year. I have!

With Love,