As I begin a new year of teaching, I am going through the typical first week of school activities—arranging desks, choosing learning activities, writing lessons, meeting new students, learning their personalities, etc. This is my thirteenth first week of school and I can honestly say that I learn just as much as my students every year. I don’t mean I am learning the same math they are learning. Although, the state of Texas has pulled a few fast ones on me in the last couple of years. Every school year I learn that hope really can change things. I have learned that bringing hope into the math classroom transforms reluctant students and parents into fans of learning new math skills.
I have only taught at three school districts in my career and each has its own style of growing teachers. Each district bring a variety of learners from diverse cultures. The most common element of all three districts is their desire to see children learn and grow. All of them invest in training their teachers how to meet the needs of all learners. All of them encourage creativity. What I love most is they all have an unspoken non-negotiable—give the children hope. They cloak it with words like “do what’s best for kids”, “strive for excellence”, and “prepare them for the future”. What they really mean is give them hope. When educators bring hope to the table, students learn to strive for excellence, they look forward to the future, and they learn how to solve problems in creative ways. When we bring hope to the table, students who struggle to get along socially learn how to make friends, resolve conflict, and become advocates for themselves.
I am looking forward to the months ahead and the many opportunities I will have to bring hope to the table. To my friends working in the education field, enjoy this year and remember to always bring hope to the table.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you.