Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
I can picture her standing in line, clutching her lunch pail with an oversized backpack draped behind her shoulders. I can even remember what my daughter was wearing that first day of kindergarten 33 years ago. More importantly, I distinctly remember how emotional I was, as I watched her walk into the school building and disappear from my sight! Even now I’m flooded with nostalgia and a little twinge of pain.
The first day of school! It’s such a milestone moment. Whether it’s your kindergartener’s first “first day” or your 8th grader’s last “first day” of school, handing your child over to a teacher is a widening-the-circle-of-trust moment, soaked with emotion.
This transfer of trust relationship humbles me because the childhood your son or daughter receives, is the one you give them. And there are no do-overs. You only get one shot at raising them and it goes by fast! Teddy bear parades and petting zoos quickly turn into homecoming games and proms.
So, when you choose Foothill Christian School for your child’s education, you are inviting us to join in your journey. Literally, to become part of your family for nine of their eighteen years before they head off to college (twelve if you count preschool). That’s three-fourths of their lives we will share together.
So, it’s easy to see why I say, “We’re in this together!”
The parent-teacher relationship is so special…some might say…sacred. Parents and teachers share common goals and similar aspirations for their kids. Let’s look at a few.
Parents sacrifice to send their children to a Christian school. They may pass on a new car, a special vacation or simply forego replacing the family room carpet because their child’s schooling takes precedence.
Teachers sacrifice financially, too. They accept a lower salary to teach at a Christian school because they believe in its mission and want to make a kingdom difference in the lives of their pupils.
Sometimes we have to do the hard things.
Parents know they are responsible to help their children learn to make good choices. These lessons are often learned by the mistakes children make. When disciplining me as a child, my parents often said, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” I think every parent understands that sentiment. And so does every teacher.
Teachers would prefer not to give consequences to students who disregard rules, but they know they must. This is never easy for a teacher. They take no delight in enforcing consequences, but when it’s necessary, they hope parents will support them.
It’s about the kids.
Parents want what’s best for their child. In an effort to give them opportunities to identify interests and develop talents, they let the kids try their hand at soccer or softball, music or art, ballet or karate. They have high hopes for academic success, individual growth and special accomplishments.
And so do teachers. Teachers have big dreams for their students as well. They live for the “Oh, I get it!” moments. They preach a growth mindset that instills an “I can do it” attitude. They live by the adage, “A child doesn’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care!”
So, next week as we will kick off a new school year, it’s a good time to remember, the vital importance of the parent-teacher relationship. Clearly, we’re in this…together!
– Mr. G
His name is Bo Gutzwiller. But to the students and families of Foothill Christian School, he is simply “Mr. G.”
Mr. G has been the superintendent of Foothill Christian School since 1987. As Superintendent, he has led FCS through six accreditation visits and championed program growth to include a junior high program from just two self-contained classrooms to one that instructs 145 students with classes in advanced placement math, Spanish and over 25 elective course offerings. His passion for excellence has been a driving force for significant expansion in the area of technology, athletics, library services, as well as the creation of an award-winning Fine Arts Department. When it comes to his passion for education and philosophy about learning, motivation is what makes all the difference: “I not only place high emphasis on nurturing and developing students’ minds, but also unleashing their inspired potential. The MQ—the motivational quotient– is as important as the IQ, because inspiration and motivation can sustain you in the end. It’s about one’s drive to work hard, to be deeply committed, and to engage passionately in those things that one believes and dearly loves.”