Richland School District hosted an event called “Every Child Derseves Someone to be Crazy about Them.” The keynote speaker, Principal Salome Thomas-El said students should be challenged to experience two things on daily basic: rigor and joy.
Principal El started working in education more than two decades ago. One motto he encouraged everyone to follow is “believe in children until they begin to believe in themselves.”
“It’s not something we do once a day. It’s not something we do once a week. It becomes a part of the fabric of the culture of our schools and our community, and I think that’s the most important issues that we make sure we’re supporting those young people until they are able to find ways to support themselves,” he said.
Principal El works in Wilmington, Delaware, but after his teaching experience in Center City Philadelphia, he said the key to educating students is being invested in each of their lives.
“Building resilient children is not about teaching them how to be successful. It’s about teaching them how to respond when they’re not successful. How many adults do we know who struggle when they don’t get the job or when things don’t go their way? Our young people need to they’re taught early on that if you can look up, you can get up,” El said.
He said he has his four Cs for those working in the schools. He told folks to Crazy about their kids, Curious about their lives outside of school, give Consistent guidance and rules to students, and create a Culture of love, support, and high expectations.
“When we have adults who care enough about children to not give up on them, when we have adults who say to a young person, ‘you can be me because I was once you,’ we’re on our way to sending every kid to Penn State instead of the State Penn,” he said.
Principal El hopes his four Cs will help students make a positive impact on their lives and their communities.