One week left of vacation as I write this from Chester, Massachusetts. One week until 25 students walk in through our door, eager to learn, not quite sure what to expect. One week until I put my money where my mouth is and live the things I preach.
It is easy for me to write about all the things I am going to do this year. It is even easy for me to tell others to do what I do, try what I try, believe what I believe. But when those students show up with all their wonder, with all their personality, with all their quirks, that’s when the real test begins. That’s when I have to live what I say. That’s when Common Core meets ELO’s meets learning plans meets IEP’s meets unique personalities. That’s when my expectations meet reality and I quickly realize that these kids are not quite where they will be by the end of 5th grade and that I need to go back to the beginning. That’s when I realize that even though I have thrown out punishment, thrown out rewards, thrown out grades, and limited homework for 3 years now, every year it still feels like I am starting over.
And yet, because I put my beliefs out there, because I tell my kids this is our classroom, because I believe in giving the classroom back to the students this year will be a challenge once again. A challenge I cannot wait to embrace. A challenge I cannot wait to tackle with my students.
What about your words? Will you stand behind them as the year starts? As the challenges come? As the pressure grows? Will you stay true to who you say you are or will you cave into easiness?Let’s face it, it is easy for us to say what we will do but hard for us to do. The real challenge is not saying it, the real challenge is doing it. Are you ready? I know I am.