It’s been a few weeks since I updated my blog and had it on my to-do list, but I couldn’t quite get the recording together that I had planned. I’m looking forward to a full 4-day week at school with our incredible students. I love WSSB and feel so lucky to be principal. In this post, I’m sharing a message I sent WSSB’s on-campus staff (residential, education, health center) on February 19th.
On Campus Team,
There is nothing I can say that will make the impact of last week’s school shooting in Florida any less tragic or any event to highlight this week that will seem more important than the innocent students’ lives lost. The value of grades, a science lab, cooking lesson, or math class doesn’t even come close to the same galaxy for comparison.
We have an obligation to keep our students safe. I will do everything in my power to continue to strengthen our systems and climate to ensure that we have the best place for our students to learn and grow. It is vital that we embrace our shared commitment to student needs, each other, and the belief that we are one team.
I’m asking for your courage to keep us strong for our students. Remember your craft and why you show up each day. It’s for our students. It’s your bright light that shines on others that makes a positive impact in our school. Our students show up for the opportunity we create together for them. That is our responsibility. You matter so much to our students. I cannot thank you enough.
Transcript of audio:
The WSSB Principal’s Blog. Dare to be better.
Sean McCormick: Welcome, welcome. Thank you for joining me on this audio blogcast. I am really excited to share with you some different voices in this episode regarding “What is one word you would use to describe 2018 for you.” So, I went around and started asking students on the day we got back from winter break, instead of asking their resolution, I wanted to know one word that will represent 2018 for them. And, they started giving me some really great answers. So, I hit the record button on my phone, of course with consent. About halfway through, some students started asking, “what are staff saying?” So, I made it my mission to get as many staff as possible to contribute their one word. I was unable to get everybody, but I think the ones that I got and am able to share with you today are going to be pretty awesome. So, I’m really glad you’re joining me on this and I hope that your one word is one that sticks with you for 2018. Well, I hope you enjoy.
Student and staff stating:
“My One Word for 2018 is…”
Thank you for listening and thank you for all those that contributed. I promise to do my best to capture those people that I missed with their one word, with a new question, a new topic, for next time. Until then, this is your Principal, Sean McCormick. Sayonara.
It’s 2018 and I’m embarking on a new adventure. It’s reawakening my blog with the addition of an audio file. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Below is the transcript of the recording.
Hi, this is Sean McCormick, principal at WSSB and you are listening to my audio blogcast for the week of January 3rd, 2018. Yes, it’s the middle of the week, but for us it’s a short week for us. Happy New Year everybody. So, hope and optimism is something I’ll be talking to you about in this blogcast. And, this is something that I really value and think it’s one of the core elements how we grow, look ahead, learn, and so forth.
There’s a lot to love about the New Year. Even if the school year doesn’t line up with the calendar, it provides an excellent opportunity to return to learning with a bit more fire in your step. For me, it’s invigorating to be more courageous with each day, take risks with new challenges, and allow my heart to lead the way. It feels good to have a chance to start over, even when you’re still getting older. It’s kind of like finding a favorite record (or song) that you haven’t heard in long while, or putting on a favorite t-shirt that was stuffed in the back of the dresser drawer.
Having something in your heart that you can look forward to and lean into each day is called hope. It’s not always easy to be hopeful in every situation, but the choice to be optimistic is always available. Optimism is like M&M sized moments of hope. The more you have, the more you can share. I hope you choose optimism in your day and share those moments with your friends, family, teachers, and people in your life. It’s a new year for new challenges and choices.
Will you choose optimism? Thanks for listening (reading) and happy New Year!
Dare to live your dreams is the first line in the poem “Dream” by Robert Smithdas. Recently, Smithdas was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the American Printing House (APH) for the Blind’s annual meeting a couple of week ago. He wasn’t honored for his poetry, although he was National Poet of the Year in 1960, nor was he honored for overcoming obstacles as someone who is deafblind. Smithdas was recognized for his profound impact on the lives of others, including his work improving the lives and opportunities for those that are deafblind. His kindness and compassion encouraged individuals to live their dreams.
While attending APH’s annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky I was surrounded by individuals that inspire me to live my dreams. This type of inspiration is contagious. Each moment spent with the creative leaders in our field lifted my confidence and inspired me to always do my best every day.
I dare to live my dreams as a principal, a father, a son, a husband, and friend. I dare you to live your dreams.
WSSB PRIDE Perseverance Respect Integrity Diversity Empowerment
There are few things more exciting than a brand new school year. I remember walking through the doors on first day of 9th grade and feeling how overwhelming it was. Everything was new: new school, new teachers, and a lot of kids that might be my new friends. After the first 15 minutes of the school day I quickly realized that this year was something that a new haircut and back to school clothes did not prepare me for.
As students, families, and staff ease into this school year, it’s important to recognize that it is okay to be overwhelmed by the amount of “new.” This is where learning occurs, too. Every struggle and challenge is where resilience learning happens most. Resilience is the ability to overcome difficulties, bounce back, and an opportunity to grow stronger. It is not a trait that some has or does not have, but a process that requires support. A positive belief that resilience is within every individual will help foster greater success for all.
Our community of learners can be strengthened through:
Providing a range of opportunities to participate and contribute
I feel lucky to be a part of such a great community of learners, and I hope you are as well.