I’ve always loved that song by Springsteen and it’s how I feel about my birthplace of Chicago. Even though I grew up in northern Michigan and have lived here all of my adult life, I still feel like I’m coming home every time I visit Chicago. We left Illinois when I started school and went back every year for Christmas and to visit relatives. So it was no surprise that visiting Chicago was like a homecoming. It was a place where family gathered and reunions happened. I distinctly remember telling my grandparents that I would move back “home” when I was grown up and for a time I did consider returning after college. Now at 45 and with two daughters in high school, I’m comfortable with the idea of just visiting Chicago and living in Michigan. However, I still have a strong bond with the Windy City that will always remain.
One of the reasons I believe I have such a fierce pride in my hometown is the fact that I’m adopted. Growing up, I didn’t know anything about my birth parents, my heritage, or any of the other things that children often take for granted. But I did know one thing, I was from Chicago! It was the only thing that I could claim as my own from birth. Everyone has a birth place and mine happened to be in one of the most interesting places in the country (especially to a boy growing up in rural Michigan). I remember going on a field trip to Chicago and beaming with pride when I shared out that I was born there and had many relatives there. I have proudly worn my Cubs jersey through many a depressing baseball season, I had a poster of Walter Payton from the Bears on my wall, and looked at Michael Jordan as the player on “my” basketball team. It was that one piece of information about myself that helped give me an identity and it was one that I was proud to share.
As educators, we need to find what our students identify with and what they feel proud of. It might be easy to identify and it might take a whole school year of digging to find out. But if we take the time to get to know our students and what motivates them, then we will be one step closer to helping them be successful in school and in life. Maybe it’s their hometown, maybe it’s their family history, maybe it’s that they dream of becoming the first person in their family to graduate. Whatever a child identifies with, find it and help them celebrate it and reach their dreams!
“I adore Chicago. It is the pulse of America.” – Sarah Bernhardt
“It is wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.” – Dan Quayle
- Monday, June 4: Student of the Month Assembly (Kindness) 9:05 AM, PTA Board Meeting 2:30 PM
- Tuesday, June 5: MET/IEP (Benson) 8:15 AM, Library Talk in Gym K-2 1:30 / 3rd&4th 2:00 PM
- Wednesday, June 6: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
- Thursday, June 7: Building Based PD (Student Growth) 7:50-8:50 AM, Jon to ABC Negotiations 1:30 PM, Service Safety Squad Celebration in PM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
- Friday, June 8: Field Day!
- Monday, June 11: Celebrate Monday Assembly (Time Capsule Video), 4th Grade Celebration in the PM, Yearbooks go out
- Tuesday, June 12: Kindergarten Concert/Celebration 1:15 – 2:30 PM
- Thursday, June 14: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, All-School Assembly 10:00-11:00 (Jon will take all kids so teacher can pack), Students dismissed at 12:10 PM
- Friday, June 15: 4th Grade Clap Out at 11:30 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10 PM
- Monday, June 18: OPTIONAL report day, EOY Staff Party 5:30 PM