You Still Matter

This is a repeat of the first of the school year post from a year ago. I think it’s as important today as it was then so I’m doing a repost.  Actually, given the political situation in Ontario, it may even be more important.

I’ll just change the title a bit from “You Matter” to “You Still Matter”.


If there’s one motivational video that you need to watch or share with staff and others as a new school year begins, it’s Angela Maiers’ TED Talk “You Matter”.

For anyone to succeed, they need to know that people care and nothing says that more than explicitly or implicitly sending this powerful message.

School can be a daunting place and it’s easy to see the opposite message but everyone needs to be involved in sending the positive message loudly and clearly to students.  When they hear it, positive things can happen.

You send the message “You Matter” when:

Teachers – you learn everyone’s name and something special about each student within the first week;

Principals – you remember that you’re the principal teacher, learn the above, and work the timetable for the benefit of teachers and students so that everyone can succeed;

Support Staff – you understand that every student is an individual and supports need to be adjusted for each student;

Caretakers – you know that the physical environment needs to be in as good as possible condition.  Learning spaces in spotless condition, basketball nets replaced, windows cleaning all contribute to an environment conducive for learning;

Technicians – you make sure that all of the computers and other technology equipment are cleaned and outfitted with the latest software over the summer, tested, and ready for classroom application on the first day of school;

Bus Drivers – you ensure that the vehicle is clean and each student welcomed on board daily whether it’s a first ride or the start of the 12th year of rides;

Parents – you recognize that back to school is stressful and yet so important.  New clothes, lunchboxes, backpacks send the message that this is a new beginning and you’re in full support.  Become just as excited as your child for the beginning of the new school year and show it!

Yes, it does take a village to raise a child and results will appear when that child realizes that everyone is sending the message “You Matter”.  Thank you, Angela, for your so inspiring talk.

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