It is kind of a dreary day as I write this, at the end of what has been a summer with some dreary happenings in our community. Sometimes these drizzly skies can really exacerbate negative feelings of sadness, fear, and dread. The symbolism is not lost on me as I sit here and think over the losses that our rural community has experienced again this summer.
Welcome Back, Students!
However, neither is the sun peeking through the clouds lost on me. Though the rain can stand for sadness and loss, it can also represent hope: hope for sustenance, hope for renewal, hope for a fresh start. If nothing else, it settles the dust and makes everything smell good!
A new school year always brings mixed feelings for me. Though I love school, it is difficult to give up the freedom of the summer. However, the exciting potential of a fresh start and the hope for a great year overcomes the dread. Today, I have a long list of hopes for the school year.
For our learners, I hope that our school is a safe place to come, a place where they know they are wanted and valued. I hope that our school is a place where they are recognized for the individuals they are, and a place where their talents and accomplishments are celebrated. I also hope that school is a place where they feel safe to make mistakes—and that those mistakes are also celebrated for the learning opportunities they are.
For our teachers, I have many of the same hopes. I hope that school is a safe place to come where they feel inspired and supported to facilitate the great learning that needs to happen in our kids. I hope that our teachers are appreciated and venerated as the professionals they are. I hope they feel encouraged in mistakes, cheered in growth, and celebrated in accomplishments.
For our district, I hope that we are a beacon of what school should be. I hope that we truly do meet individual learners where they are in their learning. I hope that we facilitate great growth by incorporating learner interests into the learning as well as introducing new topics that may ignite a new passion. I hope that the education students receive in our district truly reflects the values of our community. I hope we can capitalize on the expertise of our community members in order to influence learners.
Obviously, simply hoping for something does not make it happen. I have been so proud to watch our teachers as they have been working hard over the summer turning their hopes for the school year into realities. They have been in and out of the building since the first week of June working together and independently on new lessons, arranging their classrooms, and creating new assessments. They gained new teaching strategies as most of the teachers attended a national conference, and four of our teachers even presented at that national conference. It is exciting that our little district has so much to offer other districts in terms of learning and innovation.
Overall, I hope that all of our stakeholders find our school and the people in it to provide that peek of sunshine and hope in the dreary times.