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Hello all!

I'm so happy for us to begin the year. I would like to start by sharing with you a few principles I will use to guide our classroom as a community. Please discuss these items with your child. The sooner we can help your students to recognize these things, the better. We will practice them all year.

People rarely say they wish they were meaner to someone but often wish they were nicer. It is an easy mistake to avoid. Just be nice to begin with, it is easy!

A bad day, a bad week, a bad year. They all have something in common, it is never because of one bad decision. It is a series of decisions that could have been interrupted by one good decision. It is never too late to make the right choice. In fact, I look for this all the time and reward making good decisions. The real reward, of course, is knowing that you had the power to make things better, and you did!

If you do something wrong, save everyone the trouble and admit it. A “sorry I goofed” (without long back story explaining how it wasn't really your fault because of this and that) along with a plan to avoid that mistake in the future works wonders.

Do good things because they are good. Lots of people will try to do nice things and then get mad when they don't get what they expected in return. This is self centered and not good.

Putting good into the world is an amazing thing. Your one act is a pebble that creates ripples of good in the pond of the universe. How great is that?

Most importantly, be the main character in your own story. Don't let others write your story for you. You can't control what other people do. You absolutely can control what you do next. Stop and think. “Should I give other people that much control over what I do?” No. You are responsible for your own actions.

We only have two class rules. Be kind and work hard. You don't have to like everyone equally but you should be kind to everyone. I will not let students be rude to each other. You don't have to know everything, no one does. Being frustrated happens sometimes, it is a feeling that can help you to want to do better. Giving up is not good. The first step to being good at anything is being bad at it. That is totally okay and what learning is. That's why we have school!

Thank you for discussing these things with your student. During the discussion, if you could provide personal examples of when these things were true for you, it might have more meaning. I am so excited for everyone to have a rewarding and productive year!

Thank you,
Mr. Benefiel

“You've made this day a special day, by just your being you. There's no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.”

-- Mr. Rogers