I guess this could be the equivalent of the junior high walk of shame. Today is my first day back to school. It’s only five weeks after all the other kids started school. I just got back to campus from the alternative school. I am so embarrassed. I bet all the kids have told my new teachers what I did last year and they probably think I am a loser. The principal told me I’m getting a fresh start. She said I get to decide how successful this year will be and no one is going to hold my past against me. I don’t believe her, but I told her I would try my best.
Not only is this my first day on campus it is also the Friday before Halloween. The kids are dressed in pajamas and the teachers are dressed in costumes. I guess they are all in the mood for fun. Well, not everybody is dressed up for Halloween. My science teacher, a curly head dude that looked like a science geek, met me at the door. He shook my hand and told me to pick up the handout on the table by the door. The paper told me to write the quote on the board and write ideas how I could use what the statement says in science and real life. Great. I hate writing. The quote doesn’t help either. It says, “Don’t be afraid to start over.” It looks like he tried to use a weird font with red chalk to make it look scary, but all it did was remind me I’m a screw up.
After science I cross the hall to go to my math class. My math teacher isn’t in costume either. She meets me at the door to shake my hand and introduced herself. She asked me to introduce myself and before I could get my name out good, Jody walked up telling her I used to get in trouble a lot last year. She stopped him and said, “Jody, remember on the first day of school when I gave all of you a chance to share about your experience at school last year. We agreed that for the rest of the year we would leave the negative thoughts about the past in the past. Now, do you have something positive to say about how to help Caleb get caught up?” Jody mumbled something about tutorials and the journal the teacher handed me. I didn’t hear what he said because I was looking around the room to see if the class was laughing at me. No one was laughing. “I’m going to like this teacher,” I thought as I sat down. I may even like school. I guess the principal was serious when she said I could have a fresh start.
According to Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D. in Making Hope Happen, hope pushes people to be ambitious and become successful. He goes on to say that it accounts for 14% of productivity in the workplace. I’m not sure if the principals at Caleb’s school read Making Hope Happen, but it seems they share similar a philosophy as Job. Job 14:7 says, “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.”
I love this, because it reminds us that our mistakes do not define our future.
We learn and grow from them.