It’s time again, teachers! Time to unlock those classroom doors and windows, let the fresh air in and the musty, dusty smell that has been stored in our classrooms over the hot summer out, and time to begin preparing for that day that is approaching quickly; the first day of the new school year!
What does your preparation look like? What does your physicality and your mindset consist of? What is your focus?
The challenge, fellow teachers, is our purpose. What is our purpose?
I challenge us to teach this year with the student in mind, rather than the content.
I challenge us to prepare our lessons, not with the what in mind, but the who.
I challenge us to grade our papers with the heart of a caregiver that is looking for ways to help our students learn, not to catch them on what they are doing wrong.
I challenge us to look into the heart of the student when we speak one on one with them, not to look at the student with our eyes glazed over with assumptions about their intent. Students that are frustrated or not understanding will put on a cloak of indifference. We must not assume they are checked out, but dig with our hearts into their fears and uplift them.
I challenge us to bring our best everyday. Our energy is a catalyst that lights the spark of learning. We cannot show up with a dull light. The children cannot see if the way is not lit with our bright light. It is possible for our students to look forward to coming to our classes. We make this so with our light.
I challenge us to seek knowledge continually, so that we can push our students toward greatness and their own seeking. Teaching used lesson plans that are not added to or updated every year does not honor our purpose.
I challenge us to keep our doors open. Students that need help may only seek it from us if we make ourselves readily available. We must give our students a vibe of love and openness to their needs so they feel comfortable to seek our help.
I challenge us to think out of our box and encourage our students to do the same. Teaching to our own strengths rather than teaching to our students strengths does not serve our kids. Go to where they are and teach there. This will teach our students to step out of their own comfort zones to explore places they’ve not before been.
Fellow teachers–our job is to teach the student. Everyday, before I greet my first student, I pledge to serve the student; every boy and every girl. I pledge to teach the content to them in a way they will hear it, not in the way I think they should hear it. I promise to enter my school with heart open, not shadowed by frustration, laziness, or assumptions. I will give of myself so that my students will give of themselves; not to me, but to their world.
Teachers, enjoy your school year! Our life purpose was directed toward this moment, and we are meant to be right here at this moment for what we have to give. We shall embrace the joy that is being gifted to us every day through our students! Happy School Year!