A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

If you haven’t seen “Won’t you be my neighbor?“, do yourself a favor and rent it. It’s a compelling documentary on the life and impact of Fred Rogers. Even people who are only slightly familiar with the show will be entertained and inspired by it. One of the things that stuck with me about the film was the way Mr. Rogers used a medium that he really didn’t care much for and turned it into a force for good. That medium was television. He saw it as something that had great potential, but was wasted on violence, negativity, and commercialism. He used television to create a world for children that showed kindness, civility, and most importantly that they were special. One producer said that Mr. Rodgers did the exact opposite of what television shows do to be successful and came up with a gem.

Fred Rogers was a very unlikely celebrity. He didn’t dress fancy, mingle with television stars, or amass a fortune. In fact, his show was produced on a shoe string budget. His fame came from generations of children who grew into adults and remembered the man who brought joy into their homes through his television show. He also is credited with actually saving Public Television from being defunded  when he eloquently testified before congress about its true potential. His simple beliefs that children should be listened to, should be valued, and should feel loved made him a powerful force for good on television and in the real world.

As educators, we have access to powerful mediums of communication through social media. And just like television, it can be a tool for negativity, partisanship, and commercialism. My hope is that we follow Fred Rogers’ example and use it as a vehicle to spread positivity and to help students feel valued and loved. I’m sure that he had bad days and felt overwhelmed at times, but he always sang “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” even when things didn’t seem so beautiful. Probably because he knew someone needed to hear it. When I post on Social Media, I try to take a cue from Mr. Rogers and share that even on bad days, it’s still a beautiful day in the school. How will you use your influence and energy in the classroom and in the world?

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“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” – Fred Rogers

“The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” – Fred Rogers

“Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.” – Fred Rogers

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Mark French                                    Jodie Pierpoint

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  • Monday, October 8: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, Admin Meeting for IRIPs 2:30-4:30 PM, F&P Data due in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, October 9: Achievement Team (Medellin) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, October 10: School Improvement Committee 8:15 AM, Elementary Principals Meeting 11:30-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, October 11: CLT 7:50-8:50 AM, DATA DIVES (rotating subs)
  • Friday, October 12: Fire Drill 9:30 AM, Early Literacy Benchmark Data in Illuminate for K
  • Monday, October 15: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, October 16: Achievement Team 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, October 17: Students dismissed at 12:10, Conferences 1-4 & 5-8 PM
  • Thursday, October 18: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM, Conferences 1-4 & 5-8 PM (Lunch provided by Jimmy Johns)
  • Friday, October 26: PTA Monster Mash Dash 6:00-8:00 PM

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