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 Nathan D. Quesnel
                                                               Superintendent of Schools


1110 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06108             Tel: (860) 622-5107          Fax: (860) 622-5119       www.easthartford.org

October 31, 2017

Dear Team,

Happy Halloween!  For those of us with children, tonight is that magical night where we seem to be OK with the concept of wandering around our neighborhoods, knocking on strangers doors, and asking for candy…It seems a little strange when you put it like thatJ.  Here’s to hoping my kids scarecrow face paint comes off before school in the morning!J

It’s been a great month of October and I continue to be very impressed at the work I see in our schools, classrooms and hallways.  I also really appreciate the dedication and patience I saw yesterday as we dealt with some very challenging weather in many of the towns you live in…I know your commute was tricky and greatly appreciate you being in school for our kids.  As always, we’ve taken a ton on this year and we’re making incredible progress!

With October behind us, and November ahead, we welcome another new phase of our school year that moves us beyond the bright “enthusiasm of the start” into the “reality of the daily grind.”  When I think about this transition, I find it incredibly important to remind myself why I love what I do and what parts of my daily routine bring inspiration and energy to my daily work.  When I think about this, pinning down what I love about my job is really easy—I love watching others employ their gifts, talents and energy to help kids succeed.  I love visiting a school where the principal’s energy is contagious and I love the electric snap of energy of a classroom where the teacher has the kids “in the palm of her hands.”  I love that full body laugh of a staff member as they connect to a shy teen and I love that gentle guidance our Kindergarten teachers use as they shepherd twisting lines back from recess.  I find that the more I am able to get into schools and classrooms to see this work, the lighter, more interesting and “doable” I find my job.  I find that connecting with my passion carries me through doldrums, monotony and challenge and so I ask, “What part of your job do you love?” “What part of your day to day excites, and inspires you?” “How can you pay more attention to this?” “How can you use this part of your job to carry you through the next month?”

The reality we know is not a reality of “gumdrops and rainbows,” but rather a reality of highs, lows and even long plateaus.  Our quality of life and mindset does not need to be dictated by the linear calendar of time, but rather, by how we choose to respond to our daily “24”.  Thanks for giving this idea consideration and for pausing a moment to reflect on how you connect your passion and your work—I hope this offers a needed boost as we continue to work hard to help our kids succeed! 

See you in the halls,

Nate

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