Words of Hope for Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Editor’s Note: this is a longer newsletter article than usual, but we think it’s worth taking the time to read through it.
The Wisdom of Teens by Sara Kunkel, Hope Middle School Teacher
As adults, we have all been asked the age-old question, “What do you do?” I consider it a bit of a social experiment to note what response I get when I proclaim, “I am a middle school teacher.” Without a doubt, the most common response is something like, “Oh boy, God bless you,” or “How do you do it?” or “I have a hard enough time with one teenager.” I proudly take the opportunity to share how AMAZING middle school students are, how much I love my job and how I feel fortunate to get to spend my day with these amazing human beings. Culturally, we sometimes discount the wisdom, the energy and the joy that our tweens and teens bring to our world. They have so much to offer when we take the time to listen.
In light of the current situation, I decided to ask students from 5th grade to 10th grade in West Seattle what wisdom they would share with future generations going through times of uncertainty and change, here is what they had to say….
- “It’s like swimming, if you don’t keep moving forward you’ll drown so don’t stop, don’t give up, it’ll be worth it in the end.” – 8th grader –
- “If you feel down and in the dumps, don’t hide it or keep it inside…talk to someone.” – 8th
- “You have to try pound cake.” – 8th grader –
- “Always have something to look forward to, trust in God and try to keep one constant even if it is tiny.” -8th grader –
- “God is watching over everyone, everything has a purpose and you are amazing just the way you are.” -6th grader-
- “In the big picture, maybe a few months of doing life really differently is a nice break from everything being the same.” -5thgrader-
- “It’s OK to not be doing very well. You will get through it.” -6th grader-
- “Every day feels different. You just have to get through it. Do little things that bring you joy. Stay close to friends. Remember your dreams, on the hardest days.” -10th grader-
- “Each morning, you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.” -8th grader-
- “Live in the moment. Don’t try to plan anything out. Live your life at that time. Try not to think about things that are out of your control.” -9th grader-
- “No matter how long you are in the pandemic or things aren’t going well, it will always get better.” -8th grader-
- “Go with the flow. When things happen, they happen.” -8th grader-
- “You need to be able to adapt and work with what you are given with a positive outlook. Acknowledge that things may be difficult and that is OK.” -9th grader-
- Talk to your friends every day, laugh, get fresh air and try to live for the moment.” -9th grader-
- “Don’t let fear win.” -7th grader-
- “Just do it now so you don’t have to do it later because all of your stuff will pile up.” -9th grader
Much of what we work on behind the scenes at Hope Lutheran School’s middle school is emotional and mental health. When students don’t feel supported emotionally, it is so much harder for them to invest in their academic life. Many parents have asked us how they can support their child. How profound to learn that what students have said they need is to be seen, to be cared for, to have companionship, and to be heard.
Here is what students had to say when asked what they need from the people who support them….
- “Mostly what I need is help and company. I want to know that people are there for me and I can talk to them whenever.” -8th grader-
- “A QFC gift card.” ☺-8th grader-
- “I feel alone. I just want to feel wanted, loved, accepted.” -8th grader-
- “I need people to make me laugh and to have smiles on their faces (even though I can’t see them because of masks). -8th grader –
- “Encouragement to stay motivated.” -8th grader-
- “Love, encouragement, recognition of hardship, support and understanding.” -8th grader-
- “Companionship.” -6th grader-
- “To remind me that they care.” -7th grader-
- “I need someone to ask how I am doing.” -7th grader-
- “I need love and guidance.” -9th grader-
- “Patience.” -7th grader-
- “Be present in my life. I need to have confidence that they are there for me.” -9th grader
I have so much hope when I listen to the wisdom of our future leaders. It is advice that all of us would do well to follow as we support them through this challenging time in their lives.
Calendar of Events – Click Here
Wed. 2/10: 8:40 AM Online Chapel led by Mrs. Neafcy, Kindergarten Teacher
Thurs. 2/11: Spirit Day
Fri. 2/12: No School – Start of Midwinter Break / ESC & Sand Dollar Open
Mon. – Fri. 2/15 – 2/19: School Closed for Midwinter Break / ESC and Sand Dollar Closed
Wed. 2/24: 8:40 AM Online Chapel led by Pastor Peter Mueller
School, Extended School Care & Sand Dollar Club Closures
School will be closed this Friday, February 12, however our ESC & Sand Dollar programs are open (ESC students need to pre-register). Then our School, School office and Extended School Care/Sand Dollar Club programs will be closed during our midwinter break, February 15 – 19, 2021. School and ESC programs will resume on Monday, February 22, 2021.
February 11 – Valentine’s Day Spirit Day
This Thursday, February 11, students may choose to dress up for a Valentine’s Day spirit day. Students can wear red/white/pink colors and/or Valentine’s Day apparel such as shirts with hearts. Students not dressing up should wear uniforms as usual. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Hope staff!
Inclement Weather Procedure
With possible snow and ice in the weather forecast later this week, we would like to remind you of Hope’s inclement weather and emergency procedures. Currently, we still have extra days built into our Hope school schedule and so if needed, we could take a snow day without switching to virtual learning or making the day up.
If we do not feel it is safe to travel to school because of inclement weather, we will notify families of late start/no school information by 6:30 AM via the following communication methods:
- Send out a School Messenger phone message
- Post information on our website homepage
- Notify local TV stations (channels 4, 5, and 7)
- Update our Facebook page
- Notify the West Seattle Blog
If we make a decision to dismiss students early from school due to an urgent matter such as an inclement or emergency weather event, we will notify families via the following communication methods:
- Send out a School Messenger message to all families’ phone numbers on record
- Send out an email to all school families via Vertical Response
- Post information on our website homepage (www.hopeseattle.org)
- Update our Facebook page
- Notify the West Seattle Blog (www.westseattleblog.com)
Staff will remain on campus until all students are picked up. Please call the office at (206) 935-8500 if you have any questions.
Mid-Winter Break Travel Update
As shared last Friday, we are following national and state regulations in keeping Hope School open. Students who are in-person must support these guidelines:
- Out of state travel: two week quarantine upon return home
- In-state travel: no quarantine needed as long as protocols are followed (masks, social distancing, limiting gatherings)
- Indoor gatherings: Maximum of 5 people from outside the household; limit 2 households
- Outdoor gatherings: Maximum of 15 people from outside the household; limit 2 households
- Indoor recreation: low and moderate sports are okay (no tournaments)
- Outdoor sports: low, moderate, and high risk sports are allowed (no tournaments)
If you have any additional questions, please give us a call at the school office (206) 935-8500 or email Kristen Okabayashi firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for all you are doing to help us remain safe, healthy, and open for in person learning.
Church Events – Click Here
Ash Wednesday Communion
Hope is offering an opportunity to have communion in your vehicle and share a time of prayer with some of our staff, members of our Board of Elders, and Pastor Peter. This drive-through communion and prayer event will take place on Ash Wednesday, February 17th from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Sign up for a 15-minute window of time in which to arrive in order to help us manage traffic flow. For more details and to sign up, click HERE. Gluten-free and grape juice available upon request.
WS Baseball Registration
West Seattle Baseball would like to invite students to join them for baseball this spring. Follow this link to register at http://www.westseattlebaseball.com/registration2021