Each morning I stand at the school gate and welcome students to school. It is such a great way to start the day. A simple 'Good morning' to each and every student who passes me. The rewards are huge. I almost always receive a 'Good morning' or 'Hej!' in return and almost every student gives me a smile too. Sometimes I even get a cheery wave or a Covid-safe high-5! The daily meet and greet is a super way to connect with the students, show we care for their welfare and safety and also pick up on any issues that may be concerning them or their parents and carers who may be dropping them off at school too.
Starting the day outside has also given me the opportunity to notice the ever-lightening days. Long gone are the mornings of standing outside in the dark of night. Now the sky is a bright, light blue and the sun is already shining over the school roof. Spring, or at least vårvinter, is nearly here.
On Monday mornings, all students start the day with 30 minutes mentor time. This is a really important way for the mentors to check-in with their students to develop and strengthen relationships, provide important messages for the week ahead and support the students with setting or reviewing academic goals. Our student care team (SCT) have also been collaborating with all mentors on the theme of sisu superpowers. I have spoken about sisu before and we are working hard to develop a school culture of grit over challenge and adversity. Recently, there has been a focus on the special nature of autism and ADHD and how people can find their own unique strengths by overcoming challenges that these diagnoses present. I am so proud of the open, inclusive and supportive mindset that we are building amongst all of our students and staff at IES Östersund.