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“Be Yourself; Everyone Else is Already Taken.” -Oscar Wilde

To kickstart our school year, I asked the Middle Division Team to help me bring alive the book, Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles. I chose this book because of its central theme, be comfortable and proud of who you are. This is the first message I wanted our children to hear from me, their new Middle Division Head.

The beginning of every new school year presents a lot of anxiety and I wanted to create an engaging, entertaining first morning meeting that helped break the ice and connect with the children’s hearts and minds. My goal was for the students to hear loud and clear from their new Middle Division Head and Faculty & Staff that our school is a safe place to be yourself.

From the first day of a brand new school year, we expect our students to take risks, be courageous, and lean into discomfort. I thought that seeing the adults on stage modeling risk taking, showing courage by stepping outside of their comfort zones, and having fun, signaled to students that we are all in this together.

The students highly enjoyed the read aloud and watching their teachers in character! At the end of the performance, we captured the theme by sharing the following quote by Oscar Wilde, “Be Yourself; Everyone Else is Already Taken.” In order to help remind students of this powerful message throughout the school year, we wrote the quote on bulletin board paper and asked all Middle Division students and adults to show their mark by adding their fingerprint to the paper. The quote along with a picture of Edward the Emu is hanging on the bulletin board outside of my office to remind everyone that we are all unique individuals and we celebrate all of our differences. It is my desire to help students feel confident that they can achieve their goals, have a sense of belonging and high self esteem, in order to meet their fullest potential. At the end of the book, Edward the Emu discovers that “being an emu may be the best thing after all”, at Park we want our students to look forward to coming to school knowing that “being themselves is the best thing after all.”

To view a portion of our performance click HERE!

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