Back-to-School Special

Teachers know very well that shudder we experience when we see the first back-to-school display.

“Welcome Back Students!”

“School Supplies!”

Backpacks and pencils and rulers and all sorts of things students will break and lose and forget–things for the custodial staff to pull from the bottom of lockers next spring–all arranged in colorful displays, calling out to kids and their parents.

But what about us?

Wasn’t it just a couple of days ago when we left?

More importantly, what about that long list of ambitious goals we wrote, identifying all of the things we would accomplish this summer?

Run a half marathon?


Clean out the hall closet?


Ride the bike across the state?


What exactly do we have to show for the summer?

Then we look at the news only to have some overachiever rubbing our collective nose in the fact that other people do manage to set goals and meet them.

It’s okay.

It really is.

Let it go.  Forget about the closet and everything else.

Better yet, start a new list of all the things you will accomplish during this next school year.  Here’s a starting point:

  1. I will learn the name of each of my students by the end of the first week.
  2. I will learn something from each of my students.  They are all unique individuals with complicated backstories.  Rather than treat them as types, I will approach them with an open mind and a welcoming heart.
  3. I will use each day at school as an opportunity to move myself forward, learning from each moment and becoming a better teacher and a better human.

That’s a good list.  We can start there.

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