December 29, 2017

December 29, 2017

We’re nearly halfway through the 2017-2018 school year, and so far, it appears it’s another “Year of the Pioneer.”  Many great things are happening across the

Jim Walter Superintendent Clare Schools

Jim Walter Superintendent Clare Schools

district:  physical plant resources are being planned for and updated; students are making their mark in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in a wide variety of extra-curricular forums; and our staff is preparing to transition our district from a local leader to difference-makers on a regional & state scale.

How, you ask?  We’re beginning the work of eliminating out-of-date practices in our learning environments and abandoning efforts to create the perfect environment for everyone.  We’re going to help our young people learn to cope & deal with the world they live in, to deal with consequences of our decisions, and to understand that although effort and sacrifice are necessary to succeed…they are not guarantees of success.

Our love for our kids tempts us (including me) to do all we can to make their childhood better than ours.  It tempts us to try to eliminate disappointment, struggle, and inconvenience.  We have been creating a society where some kids are never disappointed, never get less than an “A” grade, never really struggle, never fail, never take risks, and never have less than their neighbors.

Although my parents and my youth weren’t perfect, I was blessed to grow up in a different era and with a different kind of support network.  The environment I described above is an illusion.  It is taking great courage to be a parent now, and certainly to be an educator and buck the trend…to be demanding of our young people.  At the same time, we’re not out to “break” anyone either, but to prepare them to succeed under any conditions when they leave Pioneer Country.

Our goal is to prepare kids with big dreams, and a work ethic to match those dreams.  We’ll adjust to create resilient, independent young people who can out-work and out-think any problem, and we’ll do it by modeling the way in the halls of our Clare Public Schools.

Teaching and coaching here is a great metaphor for life:  we make ambitious plans, we prepare to succeed and we prepare for the unexpected, yet we’re often surprised or even fail and have to figure out how to recover and make meaning…all the while with a vision for helping each student succeed in the world beyond our halls.  That’s a big part of what continues to make Clare a great place to live and learn!

Happy New Year to Pioneers near and far.

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