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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The First Day Of School...

Lessons Learned

Students, Parents, or Teachers?


Who feels the greatest excitement on the first day of school? The most stress? The wildest hope? The deepest concerns? Is it the student who anticipates a new promise-filled learning adventure? Is it the parent who hopes beyond all hope that his or her child will be noticed, celebrated, encouraged, challenged, and cared for? Is it the teacher who has been preparing for just this class at just this time with every ounce of passion, skill, empathy, creativity, optimism, and energy he or she possesses? When I was a student, I believed that students felt the widest swing of emotions as they bravely faced that first day and then each day after that trying to do the very best they could despite their worlds often swirling in multi-directions around them. As a parent of young children, I was quite certain that parents had a corner on the plethora of feelings as they sometimes reluctantly sometimes exuberantly released their best joy, their sweetest hope, their most priceless treasure to the lockstep of standardized education. Then I became a teacher and understood that hope, promise, possibility and achieving potential ultimately reside in the heart of an excellent teacher. To know and to strengthen each student, to support and to embrace each family, to fill each day with wonder and adventure, to stir up a burning desire to discover, to inspire creativity that begets innovation, to laugh, to cry, to hold accountable, to believe in “yes you can,” these are the duties that an excellent teacher commits to pursue and accomplish with each new class with each new year. All involved in that first day of school, students, parents, and teachers, are inextricably intertwined, and all of their collective emotions palpably fill the hallways which themselves are lined with brilliantly colored bulletin boards welcoming all aboard. This is the first day of school; the first day of school  when everyone brings the best they have and are in hopes of becoming the best they can be.