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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Welcome back students!

Hello! I hope this message finds you well, and I hope you enjoyed your summer break! I sure kept busy over the summer with several projects that were a lot of fun for me. Well, it's time to get back to work in the classroom for all of us. For me, that means a long-term substitute assignment as a special education aide at the high school level that I recently accepted.

While it's back to learning in the classroom, hopefully, you didn't stop learning over the summer. As I always explain to students, learning takes on an enormous variety of forms and situations. With that said, learning - and the opportunity to learn - never ends. You don't have to be in a classroom or school setting to learn, grow, and develop. And actually, I would contend, many of the greatest, most meaningful life and career lessons we'll ever learn take place outside of school. But school and the "real world" do certainly go hand-in-hand. While there are plenty of social commentators and political pundits out there ready to attack and instantly dismiss just about all avenues of formal education as being a complete waste of time and money and not having much to do with reality at all, it's clear, at least to me, that there are certainly deep strands connecting the two "worlds." You're not going to be very successful out there in much of anything if you can't read, write, reason, perform basic math functions, conduct research, and understand and subscribe to some sort of ethical and moral framework. Likewise, skills and experiences like networking, learning how to effectively communicate and collaborate with others to perform work or accomplish a goal, customer service, general business processes, mastering software programs and different types of equipment, building or repairing things, working with tools, salesmanship and marketing, computer programming and coding, entrepreneurship, etc., etc., can only come by constant exposure in real settings. You have to just get out there and do it, as they say, and that requires plenty of practice, mistakes, patience, fine-tuning, reflection - and drawing from the skills and experiences you're picking up in class.

Anyways, I think I may be getting off topic just a tad. This was supposed to be a simple "welcome back" post, not a philosophical debate about the merits and shortcomings of formal education, or the current state of the modern-day school system, or how the mind grows and develops. There will be plenty of future opportunities for "those" posts.

Here's to a successful 2019-2020 school year and to your continued growth as a leader! Wishing you all the best. Take advantage of this time that you have to learn all that you can. Don't squander this precious opportunity you have right now, like I did when I was in high school.

Mr. Robertson

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