Richard A. Carranza, NYC Schools Chancellor
The summer is coming to a close, and a new school year is fast approaching. It’s an exciting time of year — a time to reconnect with friends and colleagues, set goals for what we want to accomplish, and refocus on our core values.
I’m ready to go.
As a student, I often had trouble sleeping the night before the first day of school, my mind racing with anticipation of what was to come in the year ahead — the people I would meet and the things I’d learn. I knew I’d have my twin brother, Reuben, by my side, but the rest was unknown and I couldn’t wait to get started.
As a teacher, administrator, and superintendent, I’ve often felt the same energy the night before the first day, overjoyed at the thought of eager students walking and running back into schools.
Now, as I start my first full year as Schools Chancellor and welcome 1.1 million students back to school here in New York City, I can’t stop thinking of a quote that captures our public schools and public school educators at their best. It’s from a six-year-old student, who said, “My teacher thought I was smarter than I was — so I was.”
Our students will deliver what’s expected of them. So let’s make this a year of high expectations.
Let’s make sure that for every child, coming back to school feels like coming home. They must feel safe, supported, and challenged. In each school building, let’s meet our students where they are, embracing and supporting them as a community of teachers and school staff.
Let’s empower families — no matter where they come from, or what language they speak at home. Their role in the success of our schools and communities is second to none, and we need to think about ways we can truly elevate their voice — it’s time to go beyond just parent-teacher conferences. We can’t do things to communities, and it is not enough to do things for communities. We must do things with communities.
And as administrators and central administrators, let’s support our teachers and principals on the ground and give them the tools to foster greatness in their students. In New York City, we’re raising the bar through an Equity and Excellence for All agenda that invests in teachers and their training — that tells our nearly 80,000 teachers that we think the world of them and gives them the resources to go make the magic happen.
For our students, our families, and our educators: let’s make 2018-19 a year of high expectations. Let’s make it year of collaboration and compassion, and truly listen to and support one another.
Together, we can be stronger; we can be better.
Wishing you all a wonderful start to the school year. #
Richard A. Carranza is chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.