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Letter of the Week

Early last week, a parent called me out of the blue. He told me that he’d had the good fortune to spend some unhurried time with one of our teachers outside of school and he wanted to share his thoughts with me. “I completely missed it. I had no idea what our teachers went through during the pandemic. I was focused on my world, which was tough, so I never took a moment to think about what it was like for teachers.” In the kindest way possible, he went on to explain to me why it was so much more difficult for teachers than he had imagined: learning the intricacies of Zoom on the fly; meeting students for the first time and trying to get to know them virtually; not being able to trust a spontaneous sense of humor due to the delay on Zoom calls. And he went on to include being back at school with masks and how it hinders communication and depth of understanding. I have to say, he did his homework!

On Tuesday, at the All-School PA End-of-Year meeting held under the tent in the Upper School parking lot without masks, I briefly shared this story. Lots of heads were nodding in agreement and it got me thinking. Like many of you, whenever I meet a Veteran for the first time, I start the conversation by thanking them for their service. I feel it is important to acknowledge all that they have done to benefit our country. During these final weeks, I think we should borrow this tradition and thank our teachers for all they have done for our children through probably the craziest and most unpredictable time in all of our lives. And we should expand this beyond teachers to staff as well, because the teachers cannot do what they do without all the support they get from our staff.

Whenever you have the opportunity, thank a Brentwood teacher or staff member. At a performance, make sure to thank a teacher. At an affinity potluck, thank a teacher or staff member. At an athletic event, thank a coach. When you call the school, take a moment to thank the person on the other end of the line. As you come to campus, thank the staff you see. When you read the comments on your child’s report card at the end of the year, reach out and thank a teacher. 

In this spirit, I want to thank our PA Co-Chairs, Jill Olofson and Kelly Griffin, for the amazing flexibility and creativity they have exhibited in successfully leading the PA through all the twists and turns of dealing with the  COVID pandemic. You have inspired us all! Thank you.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Dr. Mike

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