Dear Teacher Friends,
The school year is upon us.
New faces to see everyday, new stories to learn, new lives to guide.
As your journey onward, I hope you remember.
I hope you remember that the students who come into your classroom will need you.
They'll need you to help guide them on their road to academic success. They'll need you to help them navigate the ups and downs of the school social climate. They'll need you to stand for their best interests - no matter what.
They'll need you.
I hope you find yourself in a schools situation where the administration values you. (And I'm talking about the school administration, here.)
I hope you find yourself with a principal who trusts you to do your job, one who has your back.
I hope you find yourself appreciated by the parents whose children you guide.
I hope you love going to work each and every day - and realize that while you might have an under appreciated job, it's by far one of the most important ones in the world right now.
I hope you find yourself in such a school climate. But if you don't, I hope you know that I see you. I hear you. I know.
I know it's not about summers off.
I know the work doesn't stop when you leave the school.
I know you take the papers home to grade, along with the stories of your students.
I know you worry about them as if they were your own children.
I know that you always strive to bring the best out in them, and ask them to rise to the challenges your set forth for them, not because you're a tyrant, not because you're mean, but because you want them to be better.
It is your job to make them better - and that means letting them know when they have to improve. It means letting them know what's wrong or right, true or false.
I know that you went into this profession because you care. Because you wanted to make a difference. Because you wanted to be a leader and an inspiration and someone who mattered.
And you need to know that you matter to the kids who come into your class. Some of them may soak in your knowledge, and some may resist.
But know that if just one kid goes home at the end of the day, smiling because of something you said, energized because of something you taught - well, that's a success.
Remind yourself that you cannot do it all. Just take it one lesson plan at a time. It's in your bones to be able to change and roll with whatever the day is thrown at you - that's your superpower. That's your magic. Channel it.
Remind yourself that you do not teach for the politicians, the corporations, or even the parents. You teach for the kids. You are there to guide them, to help them, to get them to think on their own - not regurgitate what they hear from others.
And that, my friends is a beautiful thing.
I hope you all have a wonderful school year. If I could buy you all bouquets of sharpened pencils I would. If I could visit your classrooms I would. If I could share lunch duties and hall duties and grading papers – I would.
But I'll listen. And I'll meet you for coffee. And I'll be here, cheering you on.