Principal's Corner: November 13, 2017

As things get settled and we move beyond the opening phase of school, it’s often the time of year when we hear from parents about the things that aren’t working well for their child. As we all know, children are growing, changing, individual, and unique human beings. It’s expected that we will need to incorporate ideas and feedback and work flexibly to meet the needs of students in the context of the new school year.
At Baldwin we ask you to begin addressing concerns you have by talking directly and openly with your child’s teacher(s). Please talk with teachers about the questions, suggestions, and ideas you have that will help us meet your child’s learning needs. The teachers in our community are interested in the same thing you are: healthy, thriving, learning students. Please remember this as you work with teachers to support your child(ren).

Of course, there are times when, together, a parent/teacher team can’t seem to develop an agreed-upon plan to meet the needs of a student. It happens! In those cases, you’ll need support from administration, and we are ready to provide that support if needed.

In some communities, it is common practice to go to administration first when there is a concern about instruction in the classroom. I believe this approach can breed mistrust and a culture of worry that doesn’t allow teachers and students to thrive. As a healthy, vibrant community that engages in critical conversations, I’d like to see our Baldwin families approach the teacher first as instructional issues arise, and reach out for further assistance as needed after a conversation with the teacher.*

If we are to build the very strongest and most successful school community possible, we must have trust. We must trust that parents understand that we are working hard and doing our best. We must trust that when we approach a teacher with a concern that we will be heard with an open mind. We must seek together to find the best possible solutions that are in the best interest of our students, and check in with ourselves to make sure our action steps in solving a problem are driven solely by the best possible ways we can meet student needs.

By talking with each other, seeking to understand, and working together we will continue to create a school culture of trust, peace and safety--all critical components to meeting the vision we share of student success.



* Please note that in extreme situations (safety issues, for example) we recognize that notifying administration immediately is certainly appropriate.