My Time at West Middle School

To the staff of West Middle:

Words cannot express how blessed I have been these past five weeks to work with you all. I didn't know what to expect when I transitioned to switch month. HOWEVER, I realized quickly how important this time was for me as a future school leader. The quick transition into a new setting opened my eyes to another aspect of the job. And, I thank you all for being so supportive. You allowed me to become part of the West family. Teachers opened their classrooms to me. I was able to build relationships quickly with each of you and with the children.

The children… you have a school building full of students who, we all know, are here for different reasons. You have those who WANT to learn, those who NEED to learn, and those who WANT and NEED someone to give them attention and love and will do WHATEVER it takes to get that attention and love (even if it is in the most negative of ways). All the children at West are lucky to have you in their lives. Keep smiling, keep loving, and keep demanding the very best from them!

I would like to share one other item with you… a section of my reflection paper about my time here at West. I include it for you because I want you to know what I saw that very first day… what stood out to me… what I call your "hidden culture"…

...I was early to school that first morning, so I had time to evaluate my surroundings and reflect on what I perceived to be the culture of the school. Standing in the crossroads (the area I refer to where the cafeteria, classroom hallways, media center and office all converge) the first thing to catch my eye was the media center with its big windows showcasing all the books and computers as well as high tables and stools that held Kindles and several games of Checkers. Yes! This is the epitome of how I envision modern-day school media centers: bright and inviting and a place where students “want” to be and not “have” to be. Standing there I also noticed student artwork, the school’s vision and mission statements, PBIS signs, and painted murals that adorned other areas around that crossroads. But, it was the media center that kept distracting me. Was this area symbolic of the beliefs of West Middle?

You have created a culture at West that depicts a safe and inviting atmosphere. I sensed it that first day; that feeling never left.

It has been an honor to work along side you. I wish you all the best for the remainder of the year, and I thank you for all you do for children EVERY DAY!



Your Hidden Culture

West Middle