T&L Advisor Guest post — Henry Thiele, Superintendent Community High School District 99 Downers Grove, IL: The calendar has now flipped to August and teachers are getting ready to return to school. As I reflect back on my early teaching career, I remember spending many hours planning amazing lessons, but not as much time thinking about the people I would meet. As I became a more veteran teacher, I realized that the time at the start of the school year was better spent getting to know my students and investing in building relationships. This school year, I challenge all of us to intentionally focus time on the learner. Push off some of the early time dedicated for content to connect with students. Research tells us that you will make that time back in effectiveness with the relationships you build. This strategy holds true for administrators as well, as the relationships we build at the start of the year will offer us insights into the student experience as the year progresses. Once the school year gets started, all educators should consider following the example of Karen Ritter, assistant principal at East Leyden High School, who followed a student through his day to see school from a student's perspective. My grandfather was famous for saying, "we show people what we value by where we spend our time." I think we can all demonstrate our values by spending more intentional time this year with students on our way to improving learning.