Monday, after I had my “You Matter” Damascene moment, I told my principal about my impression of it and the reaction of the students. After discussing it and reading about it, she decided that we would attempt to implement it school-wide. This afternoon, I introduced it to the faculty during our meeting. We watched about 20 minutes of a video with Angela Maiers and her explaining it. I told them about my experience with it on Monday and how each day has gone since then. Each teacher has a group we attempt to mentor. Prior to this year, it’s always been somewhat weak in results. But we talked about how “You Matter” could impact those mentor groups. We also talked about how “You Matter” and “You have something to contribute to the world” can impact our Friday service projects that we are picking up from last year. Instead of making them service projects that students must do to get out of our program, we talked about how we can use those service projects to show students have something positive to contribute to the community. It was a very positive meeting. The last thing mentioned was changing our school motto. Every morning students say the pledge of allegiance in a school assembly (it’s only 20-40 students, so don’t imagine a huge gym doing this!) and then they repeat the school motto: “I am a very important person! Today I will strive to do my personal best because I AM THE FUTURE! Failure is not an option, excuses not accepted. Excellence is our goal!”
I think our new motto will encompass something about “I matter,” “I have something to contribute and the world needs my contribution,” “I am not a mistake or accident,” “I have a purpose.” I think those better affirm what we want our students to believe about themselves. Not that the other one didn’t, it just seemed a bit too…martial. When I read it, it sounds like something you would hear at more at Army basic training or something than at a school.
So I’m excited for Monday. Excited for what the principal will say and do.
Oh! And the same student who said this (“You Matter!”) needs to be said to the whole student body, repeated that request today. She also…hey, listen to this!…she also wrote a note to the school secretary telling her what an awesome person she is and how much she loves her and how she’s always there for her.
It. Brightened. Her. Day. Up. BIG. TIME! The secretary had a huge smile on her face and pinned the note up on her bulletin board. I was very happy for her. :)