Monday, August 15, 2016

What if we treated every day like the first day of school?

Although the students in our district are not officially starting for two more weeks, today was my "first day of school" as I, along with several of my colleagues, begin to work with the new teachers to our district.  And although I do not formally teach students I still found myself struggling to fall asleep last night and rising early this morning in anticipation and excitement.

A few hours ago, a group of diverse, excited, nervous, and anxious new colleagues walked through the door ready to begin their learning journey here. Most of them have taught before. Some of them are brand new to the profession. Some of them will be here next year. Some of them will be elsewhere in new opportunities. 

The first day with new teachers is a whirlwind. The first week with new teachers in our "academy" can be intense. But it also creates an opportunity to forge new relationships and establish our own little culture of support that leads into a job-embedded instructional coaching model. As a teacher myself, I am grateful that we have the opportunity to lead and learn alongside these new colleagues. 

I can't help but find myself wondering around the following questions. 
  • How will our community develop?
  • How will they fit into the community of their school?
  • How will they fit into the community of our district?
  • How will they grow as teachers and leaders?
  • How will they grow as learners?
  • How will they change our community and culture for the better?

In two weeks, our students will walk into their classrooms and into the communities they create. I have no doubt that these teachers will share my nervous excitement.  I hope that between the significant worries over rules and procedures and routines,   that they too will be wondering about community and learning. 

The first days of school are always an exciting time, full of hope and promise. Students are eager to learn, teachers are eager to teach. Everyone is excited for the new opportunities and challenges ahead of them. Optimism and joy seep out of classrooms into the hallways and beyond. The best teachers are the ones who make those feelings last through the holiday season and far past the  testing season.  

What if we treated every day like the first day of school? 


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