Hello parents, and greetings to you from the UAS Middle School!!! WOOHOO!!
It is unimaginable to think that we have reached the end of quarter #3, but in fact, Thursday, March 23 is the final day of this term. Time surely does fly when you are having fun!!! With the much anticipated, and long awaited spring break starting on Friday, I thought it worthy to use this space to stop and reflect about my previous experiences during spring break when my own children were in school.
I am extremely blessed and proud to be the father of two amazing children. Though they are both adults now, I truly enjoyed my years as a parent when my kids were in Middle School. As a result of that experience, I want to share some suggestions to help you and your middle schooler enjoy a more fruitful and enjoyable spring break. Especially considering your child will not have the same routines from March 24 through April 8, I feel these points are timely for you and your family. I hope you appreciate these tips and you and your middle schooler have lots of fun and quality family time during the upcoming break.
One of my fondest memories of when my children (who are now 33 and 30) were pre-teens was reading books aloud together. For example, as a family, we read the entire Harry Potter series aloud to each other over a 4-week period of time! It was simply magical – and I’m not talking about Hogwarts and Harry Potter! The time we spent together, and the conversations we had regarding this captivating story were absolutely priceless. It was some of the finest time I spent with my children during the summer of 1997.
Let’s face it, technology is here to stay. And make no mistake about it, social media has certainly changed the way our kids communicate with each other, and how we as adults communicate with each other and with our kids. That said, I believe a significant practice you and your child should experience during this break is to shut off your technology for periods of time, and ask your child to do the same. Once upon a time, we didn’t have mobile phones or IPads that now make communication fast and efficient. But just because our communication is faster and presumably more efficient, it doesn’t mean it is personable or friendly. When I was a kid, we communicated the old fashioned way: we talked to each other. Perhaps this spring break could be a great time to stop using technology – if even for a small amount of time each day – listen to your child, and talk with them about what’s happening in their life. What do you really know about the life of your middle school student? Perhaps some face to face time will be the recipe to learn what’s new with the pre-teen that lives under your roof.
One of the fondest memories I have of my childhood was gathering together for dinner nearly every night as a family. This “old fashioned” tradition was where the foundation of my personal values were first formed. In this day and age, with the busy schedules we all keep – parents and kids alike – it is very difficult for everyone to sit at the same table and share stories about their day/life. I strongly urge you to make some time during this spring break to have dinner together with your family – multiple times if possible. Whether you choose to eat at a restaurant, or at home, may I suggest the phones are switched off during the time you are eating. I assure you the break from technology will be good for you and your whole family, and the golden opportunity for your family to meaningfully communicate will be irreplaceable.
As I look back on the years my children were growing up, I still believe the best gift I gave both my son and daughter was the gift of time. The truth is, you can ever replace these impressionable years your children are currently experiencing. My wish for you during this years spring break, is that you manage to re-connect with your child/children, and rejoice/celebrate their gifts and talents. Your child is unique in this world, and I am lucky to be their principal. I am confident you feel even luckier to be their parent. The time you spend with them will undoubtedly be time you and they both cherish for the rest of your life. May you be able to make the most of the opportunity. Good luck!
If you do something fun with your child during the break, or you have a grand adventure together, please feel free to share your experiences. I would love to hear your stories!
Important Dates and Activities:
March 23: Last day of quarter #3
March 24 – April 8: Spring Break
April 9: Day 1 of quarter #4
April 13: Principal Coffee: Topic will focus on Week Without Walls student presentations and the significance of experiential learning
April 16: NO school for students and staff – School Holiday
Until our paths cross again, please take good care, and please remember, Middle School students matter!! May peace be upon you.