Something funny tends to happen on Facebook as soon as August rolls around. My dear teacher friends begin to share the inevitable back-to-school posts. The vast majority of these posts lament the end of summer and speak of the common dread that many feel as back-to-school commercials appear on t.v. and talk of returning to the classroom fills the air.
I often wonder what these posts might look like to the children who will soon be entering our classrooms. I know that most likely, our students will never view these posts, but perhaps their parents will. Perhaps those in this world who wish to paint teachers in a negative light will see these posts. Perhaps those in a position of power to determine how much control teachers should have over their own classrooms will see these posts. And I can’t help but wonder what they all will think.
These posts might give the impression that the only thing we feel in August, is a reluctance to return to our classrooms.
I think that these posts do not show the whole picture. Because, yes, I see these posts, but I also see other things. I see my school parking lot full of teachers’ cars a full week before the official start of the school year. I see teachers happily working in their classrooms in order to make sure that our students feel at home when they walk through our doors. I see teachers busy meeting with each other to eagerly discuss new plans for the year and to discuss ways in which we will better ourselves in order to do better for our students. I see classroom libraries filling up with new books that have been so carefully chosen in order to ensure that every child finds a book that is right for him or her in our classrooms. I see teachers who are also mothers and fathers bringing their own children to spend their last days of summer in their classrooms in order to be ready for the school year to begin. I see teachers who are excited.
So I hope that we let this excitement show. I hope that in addition to feeling sadness at the passing of summer, we remember that there is also joy to be felt at the start of a new school year. I hope that we share not just our wishes for summer to continue, but also our excitement for a fresh start with a brand new group of kids. I hope that while we share the funny posts about back-to-school commercials, we also remember to share our hopes and dreams for what this new school year will bring.
Because I hope that our students know that we are excited. And I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that we show them.