Wednesday, August 19, 2020

1st Day of School: "Get them fed and get them home safe?"

The first day of school….


Every year, I always say, “If the kids get fed and get home, it has been a great 1st day.”  Well that phrase is out the window this year! Too many other things to worry about! Although I did hear someone tell a parent, “at least you won’t lose your kid, they are at home with you”.  It actually made the parent feel better.  Truth is, some things did not go well today and there were loud voices in our ears telling us so. Things like "your plan is too easy, too hard, or isn’t working."  But others were quietly appreciative and reaped the benefits of our hard work and the fact that kids were engaged in school and learning again. That is what is is all about!  I couldn't visit schools like I normally would, so I lurked on twitter and saw tons of teachers and students having fun!


Today marked  my 27th year as a public school educator and I feel like a new teacher all over again.  I started today wide-eyed and truly not knowing what is going to happen.  New job. New District.  I just didn’t know.  


But I do know this…The first day of school was AWESOME.  It always is! Every year, no matter where I have been working, we always, without fail, seem to say this was a great day! This time, it may be more appropriate to say, “that was the most unique first day ever!”.  Unique, challenging, different, innovative, busy…we will probably use lots of adjectives to describe school this year but we will have school and it will be AWESOME.  It has to be.  Our kids need it.  Our parents need it.  Our teachers need it.  The whole community needs it!


I saw this tweet today and I thought to myself, this kid gets it.  She sees firsthand how her dad is trying his best.  I hope most kids and spouses of teachers feel this way and see the struggle so many teachers are having trying to connect with students in new and even unorthodox ways.  These people should be applauded!  Talk about examples of life-long learning…they have had to reinvent how they do the job that many of them have done for years.  It is not easy, but the heart of a teachers won’t let them do anything else.


One thing that the 20-21 school year has in common with all the others…Anything is possible on the first day of school.  All our dreams and aspirations are alive and in front of us. The hope that springs eternal is that of a fresh start promised to everyone…teachers and students alike. This year may be different, but the opportunities for success remain. I often use the hashtag #BEBOLD with my tweets.  I started this a few years ago as I would send daily texts to my kids encouraging them to branch out and try new things.  It then became more of a personal challenge when they would ask me, “Are you bold?”  So it has become kind of a personal reminder. What will I do to push myself out of my comfort zone? Won't take much this year. 


I hope this year teachers and students will take advantage of the circumstances and be bold. They should try the craziest of ideas, or maybe that thing that has been burning in the back of their thoughts for so long they just can’t stand it anymore.  You have a safety net.  If it doesn’t work, blame it on the pandemic…but what if it does work?  What if that one idea or thought is the thing that makes all the difference.  You will never know if you don’t try.  This is Day 1…the perfect time to start. #BEBOLD