A Word from Mr. Nunan
Wisdom of Our Teachers
On Monday, January 23, we had our traditional end-of-semester faculty meetings. At these meetings, with a particular focus on each grade level, our teachers gather for hours to discuss what is most important at Saint Joseph Prep—our students.
Below is what I learned about our students from listening to our teachers. I shared this with our scholars at our All-School Gathering on Tuesday morning. I hope that, as parents and guardians, you will continue this conversation with your scholars at home!
As a prelude to what I am going to share with you, I offer the following:• You may not agree with it… that’s okay; it’s true.
• You may not like it… that often happens when people who love us say things to us; it’s true.
• You may not believe it’s fair; it’s true.
1. Our only goal is your success. Let me say it another way. Our only desire is for you to succeed. Some people in your lives have other agendas, other motives; we have only one—your success.
2. Life in high school is challenging—academically and intellectually… and socially and relationally. You are dealing with a lot. We know that.
3. If you do not do your homework, you go to Head of School Study. If you are not in dress code, you go to Detention. These rules apply to everyone… all the time. This is not personal; it is not targeted; it is not cause for drama or debate, resistance or resentment. It is simply the way we do things so that you fulfill your responsibilities as a member of our SJP community.
4. You have the ability to succeed. Let me say again, you have the ability to succeed. At no point has one of us said, “He should not be here. She cannot do it.”
5. You influence each other; peer pressure, for good and for bad, is real. The behavior you exhibit, the example you set, the attitude you show—it rubs off on others. As independent as you believe you are, you are affected by others… and you affect others. This is not good or bad; it just is.
6. If you think you are too cool for school, you will be too late for college… and too behind for life. Remember what I said about this not being fair. Maybe it’s not fair that the path you are choosing today, at such a young age and with so much going on in your life, will have a tremendous influence on the path you will travel tomorrow. But it’s true.
7. Remove the distractions. Cut out the noise. Look at the Pats and Bill Belichick. The team is focused on winning. Each player is focused on helping the team. That’s it. Nothing else matters. Remove the clutter. Cut out the non-essentials. For the Pats, it’s social media and Super Bowl hype. For you… only you know… your cell phone, your video games, your tendency to procrastinate, your worries about social media… just figure it out.
8. The keys to success are effort and engagement, persistence and perseverance. If you put in the time, you will see the progress. Believe that. You have it in you. You can do this.
So… Start fresh today with that belief. Stay current with each and every assignment, each and every night. Make it a habit. Focus consistently in class; participate actively in discussion. Don’t leave it for someone else to take the lead; do it yourself. Like athletes who “leave everything on the field” and artists who “leave everything on the stage,” leave everything in the classroom. Put everything you have into your studies… we’ll be there every step of the way with you!