The words seem to fall off the pages as I scroll through their answers. The beginning seeds to what will become the kids that we will get to teach. They speak of hope, of dreams, and wishes. They speak of failures in the past, of words beyond their control, and actions they wish they could have protected their child from. Some merely say they hope for a good year, while others ask us to please love their child, that they could really use someone more who cares.
We take these children for granted. We take their dreams for granted. Their hopes. Their wishes. We have them speak but then do not always listen. We hurry so much at times in our urge to get to everything that we forget that we are not here to teach content, but here to teach children.
Yet the parents. The guardians. The ones that sit at home. They tell us to please remember. To please not forget, that that child we spoke of today in our meetings, that the child we mentioned to our families, that the child that kept us up thinking late last night, that child belongs to someone. That at one point that child was so loved that the world seemed to stop for a moment and everything else fell away. Even if life has changed by now.
So as we get ready for another year, please remember that we do not teach products. We do not teach neat little boxes that will follow our every direction. That we do not teach robots who will comply with our every whim. We teach human beings, with all of their laughter, with all of their joy, but also with all of their anger, their confusion, their restlessness, and their dreams of something better. Please don’t forget that.
Because from one parent to another. From one teacher to another. Sending your child to school and hoping that someone else will get them is one of the hardest things to do. It’s one of the biggest leaps we take. We hope with every inch of us that on that first day of school our child will come home with a smile on their face and not just talk about all of the great things they did but about how much they love their teacher. How much they cannot wait to go back.
We hold the power to the future, we cannot forget that. Even on our toughest day that child is someone else’s. That child has dreams. And that child needs us to love them. Even when they don’t love themselves.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. The 2nd edition and actual book-book (not just e-book!) comes out September 22nd from Routledge.