This could be your year. The one you’ve been waiting for.
It could be the first year you have your own classroom. You’ve studied, observed, interviewed, waited, despaired with disappointment, interviewed some more, waited some more, worked another job that you didn’t plan for, interviewed some more, and now…this is YOUR year. You have been given the keys to your very own classroom. And it’s full of…stuff, and anticipation, and a little fear–okay a lot of fear, and things to do. And it’s overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. There will be many times this year that the misgivings, the stress, the paperwork, the management hiccups, and yes–maybe even your coworkers–it will all threaten to overcome the wonderful feeling of having your own classroom, of finally achieving your dream. When those times come, take a step back, get a deep breath (and maybe a candy bar…and a Coke), and remind yourself of your dream. This is what you’ve waited for! Find a mentor who will build you up and who will praise the teaching profession instead of tearing it down. Surround yourself with those teachers who will help you and remind you of why you are here. This is YOUR year!
It could be your year for retirement. You’ve gone back and forth, wondering if the time was quite right, and now you know without a doubt. This is YOUR year for retirement, and your reward is waiting for you. One of my dearest friends is retiring this year. I know without a doubt that she will use every minute of the day to continue teaching and making an impact on the lives of her students. While she is looking forward to resting with her family, she is not “done”. She still plans and anticipates and designs wonderful opportunities for the students who are blessed enough to have her. If you are planning on retiring, this will be a year of “lasts” for you. Your last time to greet new students and parents, your last time to do conferences, report cards, observations, and more. This can also be a year of “lasting”, too. Your year to leave lasting impressions, words of wisdom, and influence. Yes, even if you are retiring, this is YOUR year. Enjoy it!
Teachers, this could be the year that you go from being an average, good teacher to being a GREAT teacher– a leader in your grade level and in your school. This could be the year that others begin to migrate towards YOU, because they know that no question is too silly or lame for you to answer. This could be the year that parents begin to notice your kindness and caring for their children, because you put forth a little more effort and seem to go the extra mile for “your” kids. This could be the year that you step up and lead a collaboration, or a professional development, and others realize that you are serious about your profession. There will be days that your innovation and inspiration are threatened by the programs, the mandates, and the paperwork. But hold fast, and do whatever you can to keep yourself off of the road to complacency and complaining. Instead, focus on your kids. Know your students, study them, and plan according to their needs. Then…work your plan! 🙂 Make this YOUR year to rise to the top. You’ve got this!
And friend, this could be your year to have “The Class”. You know, the year where you go home at night and cry? And eat all the foods? And gain all the pounds? And break out in all the zits from stress? Yeah…it could be coming for you. This could be the year when all the stuff that has worked before Just. Doesn’t. Work. Anymore. At. All. I’ve been there. More than once. I’ve second-guessed myself at every turn. I’ve dreaded the field trips and Christmas parties and even just the regular days because of “The Class”. Yes, I have. There will be days that you will go and cry in the bathroom while your friend taps on the door and offers you tissues. And M&Ms. There will be days that you have really hard discussions with parents about behavior and emotions. There will be days that you beg your principal to “just come and see” what it’s like in your room, and then the principal finally comes and the kids are perfect. But y’all– there will be days when you look back and realize the impact you have had on “The Class” and some of those stinkers will look you in the eyes and tell you they love you and you will realize that this very hard year made you SUCH a better teacher. Yeah, this could be YOUR year. I’ll get the chocolate for you and push it through the crack in the door for you, okay?
Maybe you are feeling the burn-out that attacks so many educators, even now right before the start of school. Maybe you’re thinking I’m none of these things. I’m not new. I’m not retiring. I’m not great. And I’d sure better not get “that” class again. I’m due a nice, quiet, mundane year, right? It’s not going to be my year for anything.
Well, I can tell you right now that you will have reasons for this to be your year. On the first day of school, there will be 18-35 reasons staring back at you, waiting to see how you will impact their very lives.
This could be your year to be the person that teaches the first grade boy that he CAN read and learn.
This could be your year to be the light at the end of the tunnel that keeps the middle school girl from taking her own life.
This could be your year to be the roadmap that shows the high school boy a way out of the destructive cycle he is stuck in.
This could be your year to give her the first compliment she’s ever gotten.
This could be your year to give him the first pair of new shoes he’s ever received.
Teachers, this is your year. You don’t see how? The circumstances don’t seem to add up? Then, MAKE it your year. You have the power to change your outlook and your outcomes. You have the power to change lives!
This is it. This is YOUR year. Let’s do this.