"No written word, no spoken plea can teach our youth what they should be. Nor all the books on all the shelves, it’s what the teachers are themselves."
— Anonymous, quoted by John Wooden
Before I joined the Welsh Valley team as lead learner in 2013, I had some deeply rooted, firmly established beliefs about the role schools should play in fostering the development of our young people. Chief among these beliefs is the notion that the best way we can begin educating our youth is to inspire them through our own example. As author James Baldwin once wrote, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” As Baldwin suggests, teachers are always teaching, whether they have chalk—remember that?—in hand or whether they are simply walking the school’s corridors. Given this reality that as educators we are teaching merely by being, I take my responsibility to learn just as seriously as my responsibility to teach. How can we hope to engage adolescents in learning for learning’s sake if we lack an authentic passion for lifelong learning ourselves?
One of the most inspiring lessons I’ve learned during my tenure at Welsh Valley is that I am not alone in my commitment to creating powerful, enduring learning experiences for students. The faculty here at The Valley is comprised of some of the most caring and dedicated professionals I have ever met. As a faculty, we share a collective commitment to ensuring that all students experience a tremendous amount of academic, social, and emotional growth. We work hard to achieve this audacious goal by providing a nurturing environment for each student’s growth while engaged in our own continual growth as a faculty. We support one another in our efforts to meet the diverse needs that students present, challenge one another to be our best selves, and ultimately grow together as a collaborative team of professionals as a result. In the past few years we have learned valuable lessons from one another about social/emotional intelligence (Goleman), growth mindset (Dweck), and locus of control (Rotter). As a team, we hold one another accountable for not only teaching these valuable lessons, but modeling them through our everyday actions and reinforcing these attributes when students exemplify them on a consistent basis.
It is truly a pleasure to serve and be a part of this amazing community of learners. On behalf of our students, families, and staff I would like to thank you for visiting our school website. As you learn more about us, I hope that you are motivated to come learn alongside us.
Welcome to Welsh Valley Middle School!
Mr. Christopher Hall, Principal