A quick note to my 9th graders on the first day of class.

Welcome to 9th grade. I am excited to be working with you and to share in your high school journey.

My job as a 9th grade teacher is to help you prepare for the rest of your life. The good news is that you have plenty of time to shape yourself into the person you want to be. In addition, you are not alone in this journey. The relationships you build with your teachers, coaches, and advisors will be life changing. When your teachers give you feedback, stop and take it to heart. We believe in your infinite potential and are here to support you in your development as a learner, leader and citizen.

Grades are necessary and you need to make your peace with them. Grades don’t necessarily define you. You are the sum of all your parts and not just the part of how well you do school. Take the time to learn the skills and to immerse yourself in the process. You are still developing and you should try different things. Learn from your mistakes and do everything in your power to be better. Strive to be a life long learner and to be the best version of yourself.

To make the best of 9th grade, I would encourage you to consider working on the following skills:

  1. Stick with a difficult task. Set goals and don’t be afraid to walk towards discomfort. You won’t know what you are capable of unless you push yourself to take a risk.
  2. Develop strategies to bounce back from embarrassment. We all have our bad days and finding the mental strength to recover from failure are important life skills.
  3. Get comfortable asking for help. Your teachers and coaches are amazing resources who thrive on helping their students. Ask and you shall receive.
  4. Find what motivates you and develop your intrinsic drive. Be in the driver’s seat and don’t be afraid to chart your own course.

This is going to be a great year. You can count on me to be your biggest advocate and ally. Like your parents, I will support you and hold you accountable. We will work hard and have fun. I’m glad that we are going to share in this wonderful journey.

Best,

Mr. Raghunathan

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