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Obligation or Opportunity?

HAPPY NEW YEAR! New beginnings are always exciting because while we reflect on the great moments and experiences of the past, we also look forward to new possibilities and opportunities in the year ahead. Sometimes we may need to tweak our habits or attitude a bit, and sometimes we just need to be open and listen to the voice of God, who will lead us on the right path.

Yesterday, in preparation for our upcoming accreditation in 2025, our school staff embraced this challenge by reviewing our Mission, Schoolwide Learning Expectations, and goals from our previous accreditation. We reflected on what was applicable and effective, and considered changes that might be made for improvement. We also began delving into all the aspects of our school program. Guided by the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools (NSBECS), we are in the process of evaluating where our program is strong, and where we can demonstrate growth in the areas of Catholic Identity, Faith Formation, Curriculum, Assessment, Support Programs, Technology, and Communication, to name a few. But rather than looking at this daunting task as an obligation, we instead choose to look at this through the lens of opportunity. Instead of thinking, "I have to…,” we approach this task thinking, "I get to.” We are open to change, and we listen to the voice of God to direct us.

This mindset shift is great for children as well. Approaching daily tasks with a positive attitude likely will portend a positive result. For example:

“I have to go to school tomorrow” becomes “I get to go to school tomorrow and see all my friends.”

“I have to do my homework” becomes “I get to solve these problems and it will stretch my mind.”

“I have to clean my room” becomes “I get to clean my room because I am part of this family and I want to help my mom and dad.”

The attitude of others is most definitely contagious, and positivity and joy was evident in every faculty/staff team yesterday. In this New Year, as we interact with friends, colleagues, and families, try to be the catalyst and see if you can spread the “I get to…” mindset to those around you.

In Mission, Kathy

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