Tomorrow we will welcome 10,400+ students back into the schools in my district. It is an amazing day and scary day all at the same time. It is amazing to once again see the students back in classes and walking the halls, it is amazing to once again see those light bulbs turn on and watch children make new friends with new classmates, it is amazing to see the new strategies and ideas that teachers will try to help students. But at the same time is also a scary time for students and teachers. For students this is scary time of new classes, new teachers, and new classmates. For some teachers this there first year of teaching and I remember back to my first year, and yeah, I was scared. Some teachers have decided to teach new classes, or adopt new grading practices, or decided to use new technology, all in all change can be scary. So as you are getting ready for your first day of school, what is exciting and what is scary?
As I think back on my career, I can’t believe that I am starting my 15th year in education. This has been the weirdest start of all years I have ever had. This past summer was the first summer that I have worked the entire summer. I remember thinking on Monday, “Holy Cow, teachers come back on Tuesday and kids are back on Thursday.” It has been a crazy summer and I don’t know where the time has gone. From all of the interviews to setting up new technology tools, the summer few by. I am excited about the new staff members that we have hired this year, over 45 teachers, our biggest group in recent years.
This year at our annual back to school staff meeting, we had the privilege of listening to two of our 2014 graduates about how their time in our schools, in our classrooms have affected them and prepared them for the future. Both students rocked the house and got standing ovations from the entire staff. But one of our students stole the show.
It makes my heart feel good to know that the hard work, extra time, planning and building relationships that teachers do really does have a positive affect on the students in our classroom. Through their comments, jokes and memories I was left wondering do all of the students have this type of attitude towards their time in our school. Yes it was wonderful to hear the positives and I do think a lot of other students do have the same feeling about school. But I would also be interested in hearing from the others, those quiet kids in the classroom or those kids that did not build relationships with an adult in the building. I would be interested to hear what we could do to make their experience as positive as the two students I listened. I loved listening to both of these students, and I love watching the video numerous times. I love that these students are prepared and successful in college, and both of these students will definitely be successful in their careers. But I still wonder what can I do to make sure that all students have that type of experience and be successful after they leave our halls.
So as we welcome the students back into our buildings tomorrow, I want to keep that idea fresh in my mind. What can I do, from my position, to help make sure that all students have a positive experience that prepares them for the future?