Tomorrow is the first day of school, and I am ready. I have had my teacher dream- the one where I am teaching something I don’t know anything about in front of the woman who first hired me and I can’t find my lesson plan or my computer. I have this dream every year, and frankly it’s appearance is reassuring. It means the school year is about to start. We’ve had loads of meetings including an inservice with Roxanne Higgins of Independent School Management who is helping to guide the process by which we will completely rethink our schedule. My American Studies team has created our American Studies syllabus, planned our first few lessons, and I’ve finished rewriting the ESL History class I am going to teach this year. The blogs are made; the room is ready, and now all we need is for the kids to arrive.
I love this time of year. It is full of expectations, hopes and dreams. Before the first grades, or missed assignments, or over scheduled teachers and students, we have this one moment where everyone is like a new pencil that has never written any wrong answer and has the potential for brilliance. It is the moment where we are all perfect and without error. After tomorrow that will change, and while I am confident that we have the talent, preparation, and skill to meet whatever challenges greet us in our classrooms, hallways and faculty lounges, we will not be perfect .That is at it should be because all those challenge are what make our job and the experience of school completely wonderful. But tonight while we are till perfect, I wanted to get a few things down about my hopes and dreams for this year. So here they are:
I hope that my students learn what it means to be educated and engaged citizens.
I hope we all practice empathy daily.
I hope we all remember to be grateful for the opportunities we have and recognize just how lucky we are to be involved in this sacred experience called school when so many lack so much in the way of education.
I hope we take risks, try new things, and greet failure with the knowledge that it is both necessary and useful to the process of learning.
I hope that all of my students know just how important they are to me and my colleagues, and I hope we become important to them in some small way.
I dream that every child in every school no matter how challenging they might be will be known and loved by a teacher.
I dream that all of our mistakes and missteps will take us in new and better directions in the future and that they serve as positive learning experiences.
I dream of a year when every student makes the kind of progress we know they can make even when they don’t believe in themselves and their abilities to meet our expectations.
I dream that they all come to believe in themselves just as much as we do.
I dream that we will all, as my wonderful colleague Bob Clark put it in his opening Chapel remarks, be of service to our students, our colleagues and our communities.
I dream that we will make a difference, and I am pretty sure that this dream will come true because, to quote Rita Pierson, “we are educators and we were born to do this.”
So happy new year, let us all be the change we wish to see in our worlds and make sure we give our students everything they deserve which is of course nothing less then our very best.