It's time to be professionally developed. It's time to prepare our rooms for the "big day". It's time to copy and staple and get ready for a new class. It's time to change out of shorts and flip flops and put on "real" clothes and shoes. It's time to wear make-up again and use a blow dryer. It's time for the early morning sounds of an alarm clock. As a teacher friend comically pointed out to us all on Facebook the other day, "It's time to make the donuts." If I haven't mentioned it before in previous posts, if you want a good laugh, hang around teachers. They are, without a doubt, the funniest people on earth.
Like many other teachers, I've already been to my classroom several times to get things ready. I've made some big changes in my classroom (pictures to come) that have me, dare I say it, excited to be back to school. In one day, teachers will gather to share conversations about summer adventures with a far-away look in their eyes as they relive their good times. We will be tanned and refreshed, something that will fade quickly in the first few hectic weeks of school. We will welcome new colleagues and miss the ones who will not return this school year.
With so much negativity around the teaching profession and education lately, this year I will continue my quest to see things in a positive light. And no matter what people say about what I do, I am proud to be a teacher.
I am proud to be a teacher. To spend roughly 1,250 hours a year with children. To teach them. To inspire them. To motivate them and encourage them. To nurse them and nurture them. To pull out their best parts and minimize their worst. To laugh with them and dry their tears. To watch them grow. To give and show respect. To listen and to laugh with them. To color and to play with them. To allow them to question and to think. To be patient. To protect them as if they were my own. To show them how important they are. To look for the good. To share in their accomplishments. To brag about them. To grow their love of reading. To compliment them and critique them. To enjoy their curiosity. To show them how to be nice to each other. To give them skills to make friends and be a friend. To demonstrate perseverance and integrity. To insist they give me their best. To let them dream and daydream. To show them we all make mistakes and let them make mistakes. To learn the value of, and appreciate differences. Above all, to model the importance of kindness and being a good person.
Because, in case you didn't know it, each and every day teachers arrive at school and turn into real live superheroes. Simply put, summer gives us the time we need to perfect and increase our powers. Really.
So, as we get ready to begin a new school year, full of promise and hope, I am reminded of a quote by Helen Keller:
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
As summer comes to its inevitable close, what do you say, teacher friends? Can you help to make this the best school year ever?
Because, I'm positive that together we can.