“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” First lady Eleanor Roosevelt said that, and I find the words appropriate as we enter the first week of school. Education is about facing fears, and taking risks, and I think that’s why when our children arrive that first morning, all of us are filled with a nervous energy. Children face a new year with new faces and new learning, and we as educators do the same.
We live in a community of growing need, but also of growing possibilities – the greatest of which is public education. What we as a people hope to do, to learn, to become…that path continues Monday morning as children board busses and walk into our schools. It’s our own “New Year’s Day” in August (without the celebration the night before). Any good NYD has a few resolutions, but I’d argue some of us are challenged to maintain our January resolutions for the duration of the year. Our August resolutions? That’s a different story, because our August resolutions call us to school and to the growth of the children entrusted to our care. That’s why we never break them, year after year.
Those of us who work in education know it is an honorable and powerful profession. It must be approached with respect, integrity, curiosity, and at times a sense of humor. As we begin this year, I’m proud to be an educator among professional and committed peers. The work we do each and every day matters to our children, and to this community – and it is meaningful to us. Thank you for investing your talents in this profession, and thank you for working with other people’s children. You matter, and your efforts are significant and long-lasting.
This year will bring challenges we cannot see nor predict. We are well aware of the proverb that states, “Beginning is easy – continuing hard.” We begin with the resolve to look our fears in the face and do the things we think we cannot do.
Christopher Lloyd, NBCT