Today, perhaps more than any day since I first stepped into a classroom nearly 30 years ago, I am grateful for what I do.
Today I will spend my day with children. I’ll teach reading and writing. I’ll pass out pencils and pick up papers. We’ll predict plot twists and discover new words.
And together we will do so much more. We’ll think together and listen to one another. We’ll share morning hugs and midday laughs. Today, like every day, there will be high fives, and hard questions, and long pauses, and a loud lunchroom. Today, like every day where I teach, we will look for moments to be kind and find ways to extend support and be inclusive.
Today is a new day, and we adults have an opportunity. An opportunity to lead with love, listen with compassion, and live honest and graceful lives. Today we can kiss our loved ones and extend our hands to strangers.
Today the sun rose. And it will rise again tomorrow. And each day will be what we make of it. We can choose conversation over shouting matches. We can find open paths rather than see closed doors. Today will be what we make of it.
Today I am grateful to teach and learn in a school where this year’s guiding word is “community.” Today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, I will help the children I teach and know learn to learn, learn to love, learn to listen, and learn that sharing stories, solving problems, and working together really does matter.
And today I will let Robert Fulgham’s words rest in the front of my brain: “And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”