Reflecting on the past
Years ago in my coaching and teaching life, we would talk to our students and athletes about the importance of their school years and how they would some day reflect on their past and remember the influence their school and sport had on their life. We were young teachers, and when we spoke those words we anticipated that they would come true for our students.
I was reminded of those thoughts prior to the Tiger football team’s last home game against Caldwell at the Hall of Honor induction ceremony. Every speaker that night spoke about how the Rockdale community helped raise them during their school years. It was a good feeling to know that parents and community folks were so involved in the lives of their students that this feeling was still remembered and espoused on that very night.
This was not the only time I have heard theses types of comments from former Rockdale students and athletes. I have heard similar comments from inductees of the three previous Hall of Honor ceremonies. The idea that “it takes a village to raise a child” seems to resonate with these former students.
This thought still holds true today. Our students need to be a part of those special relationships between a parent and their child, a community and their children, a teacher and their students, and a coach and their athletes. Students need something to hold on to—to identify with as an important part of their life.
Even though we talk about the importance of developing relationships in our district each and every year, we have taken a more focused approach this year to listen to our students and make sure that we hear their needs, provide structure for their life at school, and to design work that is meaningful. These things don’t happen overnight, just like the Hall of Honor inductees spoke about; it took years to make some of the important events in their life to come to fruition.
We encourage you our parents and community to continue to work with our youth in neighborhood, church and school activities. Our district wants to be partners with parents and the public working together in the lives of our students so we can continue to have a Rockdale that people are proud to reflect upon.
Later this year, we will survey students and parents with a variety of surveys to gather information so we improve on developing relationships with all of our stakeholders and so we can understand from our learners how they learn best.
Decades from now, we want our students to be able to say “the Rockdale community helped raise me and nurture me to become the successful person I am.” Together, we can fulfill the old African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.”