Monthly Key Value Letter

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         Mill Pond School

                                                    6 Olde Hickory Path

                                                Westborough, MA 01581
                                     Phone:  508-836-7780    Fax: 508-836-7788          


  Peter Guellnitz, Principal                                                                    Maura Kovaleski, Jeff Slomski, Assistant Principals

May 1, 2019

Dear Mill Pond staff and students,

Who do you think of when someone mentions the word courage? Do you think of a firefighter maybe? Men and women who risk their own safety to save others from fires certainly have courage. Do you think of police officers? They must have courage every day to face unknown situations in order to keep the rest of us safe. Maybe you think of people in the armed forces. Certainly the men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard show courage in the work they do every day.

But can someone who is just nine, ten, eleven, or twelve have courage? Absolutely! Courage is more than risking your safety to help others. Courage is “being brave in trying tasks that are new or difficult, and choosing to do what is right, fair or just.” These are two different types of courage and they both can apply to students at Mill Pond.

First, the idea of trying tasks that are new or difficult is something that your teachers ask you to do every day. When you attempt a new concept in math or start a new project in art, you must have the courage to try, even though your first attempts may be unsuccessful. It might be tempting to give up because it seems so hard. That’s when you have to summon up your courage and believe that if you try, if you keep at it, if you don’t give up, you will get it! Afterwards, what seemed scary at first is not so bad after all.

Remember earlier in the year when we talked about resilience: “Not giving up with whatever one has set out to do; persisting; bouncing back when you experience challenges”? Resilience goes hand in hand with courage. You must have courage to try something new, even if you’re not sure you can do it. You must have the courage to bounce back when you’re not successful at first. Using that courage will help you become more resilient, and the more times you practice courage and resilience, the easier they get!

The second situation when you might be asked to have courage at Mill Pond is when you’re faced with a difficult decision about doing what is right, fair, or just. Sometimes it may seem easier to do the wrong thing, especially if other people around you are doing the wrong thing. You may feel pressure from your friends or classmates to do something you know is unkind or inappropriate. It takes real courage in these situations to stand up, and sometimes stand alone, in saying that you won’t go along. What if friends at your lunch table are laughing at a classmate? Would you have the courage to say, “That’s not funny”?

The amazing side effect of courage is that it can be contagious. If you show courage to raise your hand and ask a question in class, you just might give someone else the courage to do the same. If you tell a friend that he/she shouldn’t make fun of someone else, you might give others the courage to do the same. No matter what, you will feel good about yourself knowing that you demonstrated courage in a challenging situation. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You CAN do it if you believe in yourself!

I’ve heard examples of Mill Pond students showing these kinds of courage from many staff members. I hope that you’re able to show your courage this month. Think of what a great month it will be!


Mr. Slomski