Responsibility - October

RESPONSIBILITY: October’s Key to Success
October, 2016

Dear Mill Pond students,

I hope that your school year is off to a good start. You’re in a new grade and you’re probably feeling much older (and maybe taller) than when you were last year. You 4th graders are in a new school; I hope you’re feeling like it’s your home already. So have you noticed the new privileges you may have at Mill Pond – using the great technology in the building, the chance to play new instruments, singing in a chorus, to name a few. If you’re in 5th or 6th grade, you’ve already earned the privilege of free seating in the cafeteria. With great power comes great responsibility.

You may have gained other privileges at home - possibly staying up later or getting to own things you couldn’t own before. But those great new opportunities don’t come for free - as they say, with privileges come responsibilities. Some people say it like Spiderman in this picture:

Stop for a minute to think what this means… means that you get to do more things as you get older but you’re also expected to do more for yourself. This is the way it is in life even when you’re an adult.

As you probably already know, RESPONSIBILITY is the key value for October! When you think about the word “responsibility”, what comes to mind? What does it mean to you? When I asked some 5th grade students what they thought it meant, they told me words like “chores” and “jobs”. That is definitely part of what responsibility means. Take a minute with your classmates and teacher to brainstorm - what are some responsibilities you have? I’m guessing that you have many more responsibilities than just what you’d call chores. Getting your homework done is certainly a responsibility you have.

Another question someone might ask is - why would I want to be considered a “responsible” person? People may have different answers so I can only answer that for myself. I want to be thought of as responsible so people know they can count on me to do what I say I’ll do. If I’m dependable and reliable, people will come to me for help and I may be given the chance to take on more responsibility. Having a reputation of being responsible is something to be proud of!!

To give you more information, I found this image related to responsibility:


Here’s what each of these quotes means:

Practice self-control. Think before you act and make decisions that are best for you and those around you - not just what you want in that moment. Do you really need 40 mini marshmallows in that hot chocolate :)

Be accountable for your choices. When your choices don’t turn out so great (it happens to all of us), take responsibility by admitting your mistakes. Don’t blame it on someone else like the chicken in this comic:

"You've got a problem with avoiding personal accountability." "Ya, and whose fault is that?"

Finish what you begin. Don’t stop working on a project, assignment, or chore when it gets difficult. As they say - “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Do your best and keep trying. This applies to every one of us every day at Mill Pond - especially during that mile run in PE class! I’m always impressed to see the improvements students make between their fall run and their spring run!   

The one idea to add to that list is the idea in our Mill Pond Touchstone – “We are responsible stewards of our natural world.” All that you do to reduce, reuse, recycle, and to treat our natural environment with care are other terrific examples of being responsible!

Before I finish this letter, I thought you might enjoy one more funny picture about what responsibility doesn’t look like.

Sure glad the hole isn't at our end.

I’m sure you can think of a more responsible choice those two guys could be making.

Seriously, I hope this is a great month for each of you. Before you know it, we’ll be getting ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving. We’ll be well into our school year, and you won’t be a new 4th, 5th, or 6th grader any more. You’ll be more than ready to show everyone how responsible you can be!

Sincerely (and responsibly),


Mr. Slomski