MARK PORTERIE – Port Arthur ISD starts 2022 with much to enjoy – Port Arthur News
The Port Arthur Independent School District welcomes 2022 with enthusiasm, anticipation and a lot of hope. At this time of each year, New Year’s resolutions are being considered, and many positive expectations for the future surround us.
Over the past 21 and a half months, we have seen major changes across the world, our country, this state and here locally. Some changes weren’t that bad and some were quite confusing.
The strength that has been demonstrated within our school district has been quite incredible. Our employees have stepped up their efforts in all areas to meet the educational needs of the child as a whole and meet the challenges we continue to face.
After more than a year of being responsible for providing effective and engaging learning environments, our students have finally started to invest more in the lessons they are taught.
We finished our fall semester on December 17th and it was a victory for all of us. As we reflect on the first semester, we can appreciate what we have accomplished.
Were all of the decisions we made 100% correct? Absolutely not. However, I will say that all decisions were made with the highest intentions for the well-being of our employees and students.
We also have to warmly thank our parents who helped us in the transition from home to school. It was not easy for our parents to juggle work, home and virtual childrearing for an entire year, but they showed a sincere dedication to the education of their children.
With all the challenges that we have faced, the one thing that makes us optimistic about the future is when we experience the joy, triumphs and progress of children. The next time you’re around a kid or kids, just sit back and watch them when they’re not texting or playing a tech game.
Take note of how they interact with each other, the conversations they have, and how they now view life. Honestly, I have to admit that it takes me a while to digest some of the nuances that our young people are showing today.
Sometimes I tend to rethink the way I was brought up and the values that were set for me and my contemporaries some time ago. However, I try very hard to understand the differences of our young children compared to past years.
Young people today communicate primarily through electronic devices and they seem to cut short their concerns. They are quick to say – or say nothing – anything. Whereas in the past we have sat down and chatted about life face to face.
It also appears that there has been a deeper appreciation for history than what we are experiencing now. Many of our young people may not understand the importance of understanding the meaning of the American Revolution or how a city is different from a state.
I’ve seen this generation withstand challenges that I don’t know how I could have handled earlier. I admire the courage, humor and, above all, the honesty shown by our children. It is welcoming.
My hope for the new year is superimposed. I hope we can find a way to stop the spread of the coronavirus. I hope humanity finally finds a way to begin to respect others who are unlike them.
I hope that people will take the time to plan for their future and that those who have lost their jobs will be able to return to work. I really want parents to start dreaming of an independent life for their children who will one day venture into the world on their own.
I want them to want the same success for their children, our students, as we do.
I pray that violence in schools everywhere will stop, so that people can cross paths and smile without each other feeling assaulted. I want people to be able to compliment someone without it being interpreted as a negative encounter.
I hope students learn to appreciate the love of reading; I want them to be able to walk around their neighborhood and feel safe. I want adults to be able to redirect a child because they care about the future of our world, without parents interpreting the redirect as if you are abusing their child.
I want everyone to have a positive view of the state of our country.
All of the above is possible if we start by taking a deep breath; and as we slowly breathe out, we think about how our next action will affect the people around us. Then we smile, knowing that we are about to make a positive choice and move forward with love.
On behalf of the Port Arthur Independent School District Board of Directors, staff, students and yours truly, we wish everyone a safe and peaceful New Year.
Dr. Mark Porterie is Principal of Schools for the Independent School District of Port Arthur. He can be contacted at [email protected]