In a few days, our classrooms will be filled with lots of new bodies full of enthusiasm and apprehension. And as for us, regardless of how many years we've been teaching, we're all just as anxious and excited as the students.
Now I know the majority of us have already sat through endless days of in-service meetings which overwhelmed us with another new way to incorporate technology and the continuous stomping of state standards beating us down.
The truth is: We became teachers because we care about the future and we know that the future starts with these amazing young people we have the privilege of being with for nine months out of the year. Everything we do is in the best interest of "our kids." They enter as a rostered list of names on a paper, but they leave us as our kids.
As another new school year begins,
Here's a list of 20 things I want my students to know on the first day of school:
- I'm so happy you're here. I know It's tough to get out of bed so early every day; it's tough for me too. But I'm glad I get to spend this day with you.
- I may not even know your name yet, but I already care. And over the next 179 days together, I'll only come to care for you more. (So much so that it'll keep me up at night.)
- I didn't become a teacher to get rich and famous. I became a teacher because I want to help you succeed.
- I believe in you. You might doubt yourself a lot during this school year, but I know you can do this. I would never set you up to fail.
- You might fail at something. Failure doesn't mean the end of the road. Failure means there's room to grow. Failure means we try again.
- It's not always going to be easy. Sometimes it might be really, really difficult. Don't give up. I won't give up on you.
- I'm here to help you. There will be times you can't do it on your own. Let me help you.
- Ask big questions. Go ahead and ask if this will matter. I'll help you see how it will.
- We will only get 40 minutes of the next 179 days together. But your learning never ends. It doesn't end when you leave this classroom, this day, this school.
- Regardless of how many times you ask for a pencil, and even though I'll be annoyed that you've asked me every day, I'll always give in and give you a pencil. I don't want to be an excuse for why you're not doing your very best.
- You might get mad at me. I might get mad at you. Let's be quick to forgive one another.
- Sometimes, the world sucks. I mean, really sucks. I don't want any school day to ever be like that for you. That's why I'll wear my smile every day. It's for you.
- You are never alone. Don't think you ever have to stand alone because you don't. (Remember #2: I care.)
- I respect your ideas, opinions, and beliefs. They are what makes you YOU. And I'm so happy you're you.
- Be brave. Take risks.
- Life is tough. You are tougher.
- You are important.
- You are good enough.
- Thank you for letting me be a small part in of your life. It's a privilege.
- You are the very reason why I love my job so much!