The beginning of this school year has been an enjoyable blur of activity and learning for me as I settle into a new school and a new role. With that said, it was also great to have a chance to slow down and listen to Dr. Brokenleg speak about connection, resiliency and a growth mindset through the Circle of Courage. Dr. Brokenleg is striking for his eloquence marked by an easy paced speech and natural calm that inspires hopefulness. His words reminded me of the importance of slowing down and creating time to reflect on our development so we may serve our students and learning communities better. He asked us to always remember that we are educating human beings, who all have stories of their own, that come to school with them, and the need to have an awareness of these stories. As our lives get busier, there is sometimes a tension between the perception of what our “job” is and what is best for kids. Because of this he reminded us that we must be careful of an over-adherence to procedures at times because there is always an exception or a new lesson to be learned. He suggested a number of strategies to help us reaffirm our goals each day and over time so we do not lose our path in the noise of our day-to-day lives. We were also challenged to find ways to make connections through experiences because “words teach the mind, but experience empowers people.” In the end the hope he offered us with his words was a reaffirmation of the great work we are doing in PSD and a call to continue to grow and improve as we strive to foster belonging, mastery, independence and generosity in ourselves and our students.