Friday, August 22, 2014

New Paint, New Year


It’s a new year. We have new paint on the walls and the benches. We have new air units on the roofs and a few new teachers in the classrooms. We have renewed hopes, renewed goals, and a renewed sense of the desire to accomplish and make a difference. Right now is the time when all feels right, all the kids are behaving (more or less), and all is going like it should.

I love this time of year. I do go home tired every night, ready to fall asleep at 8:00. I do feel the pressure of making sure all is running smoothly. Every teacher feels this tiredness and this pressure the first week. But even with this, I love the feeling of optimism that comes with the first of the year. So far, all of the students (except one or two) are still on their best behavior. Every student has a clean slate, a second chance, a possibility of doing better. Every teacher has new strategies, renewed energy, and an up to date gradebook. The whole school looks to the day, and the next, with fresh eyes and fresh expectations.

What if we could maintain this all year? What if we could, even in November or even in April when PARCC testing consumes us, have this feeling that great things were about to happen? What if we could still have the mindset that positive things are on the way? I understand that Pollyanna expectations never did a thing, but positive expectations always have. My commitment to you, and more importantly to our students, is this--a positive attitude. I will not be blinded, nor do I desire to be duped, but I do desire to have high hopes, a positive outlook, and an optimistic leadership in spite of the negative that will pop up, in spite of the difficulties that will come, in spite of the setbacks that will cross our paths.

Join me, and let every day be a “New Paint” kind of day.

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