The first day of school has finally arrived. So much to do, so many faces and names to learn, and a multitude of tasks to complete–all in the span of seven or so hours.
One thing for sure–there won’t be another first day of school for this year. This is it. This is your chance to show students they can ‘DO SOMETHING AMAZING.’
Take a chance. Be the risk taker. Teach in a way you’ve never taught before. Create the environment you’ve always dreamed of. And then ask yourself if you’ve created the kind of lessons that you can ‘sell tickets’ to. Would the students come? Would it be all they’ve dreamed of and hoped for? Would your classroom be the ‘Best Place They Are ALL Day’?
Judging by the kind of teachers we work with every day, day in and day out, the answer would be yes.
Then bring your best tools, put your game face on, and be ready. Your students are counting on it, and they are counting on YOU!
YOU BE THE DIFFERENCE!
Tomorrow marks the back-to-school convocation for White Oak ISD, featuring keynote speaker Angela Maiers.
Angela brings a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience to education through her 25 years of work as an educator and through her passionate pursuit of literacy and learning. Her experiences in public school and at the university level, coupled with instructional coaching, research, writing, and publishing have given her the opportunity to launch a global movement. The YOU MATTER Manifesto, Classroom Habitudes, and Mattering IS the Agenda – A Toolkit for Transformation, are just a few of the resources she has created to help school districts capitalize on their work with students.
You Matter from Choose 2Matter on Vimeo.
The YOU MATTER Manifesto is a call to action. Before we can convince anyone else that we matter, we must first convince ourselves. You are called upon to acknowledge and put to use the gifts that have been entrusted to you. Empower yourself and realize the importance of contributing to the world by living your genius.
Mattering is a process, not an event. It has no expiration date; it’s a new way of life. Knowing that we matter is essential to our existence. Consider this Manifesto an acknowledgement of your significance and that….YOU MATTER.
In Angela’s words, “people need to matter. They need to be noticed, valued, and honored. Significance is ever more important than success.”
August 18, 2015 Agenda
– Sign in begins at 7:45 am
– Breakfast will be provided
-Keynote begins at 8:30 am
Many of us have spent a great deal of time plotting and planning this summer. Plotting to find ways to provide our students with a ‘this century’ education. Plotting to find ways to better create student-centered classrooms, to write powerful and engaging lessons, to empower students with voice and choice, and to find a balance between relevant learning and real-life lessons.
The planning side calls for us to make decisions about timing and pacing, and to look at what we have time to teach and what we don’t. To ask ourselves if we can meet all of the required elements and simultaneously provide lessons that stretch our students’ imagination, creativity and curiosity. I sure hope so. In fact, I’m counting on it.
The planner and organizer in all of us also calls for us to find the best approach to actively engage our students in the learning process while we make the journey along beside them. Then it is up to us to follow through and put our plans into action. If we plan but do nothing to move those plans forward, then we’re back to square one and, ‘the best laid plans’ are of no value.
Either way, plotting and planning is challenging work. Every day that we have with students is a day of opportunity. Every minute with them counts and we should invest our time seriously because the difference we make in their educational experience and in their lives is what is at stake. Time is precious and everything we are called to do comes to us in one day installments—make the most of it.
As we prepare for the start of a new school year we must ask ourselves these questions:
- Are we excited about this new journey? Are we ready for the exploration and deep thinking that can impact ALL students if we let it?
- Are we open to our classrooms being more about students and less about us, the teacher?
- Is the learning process about what we can give our students or about what we can give each other?
- Are we prepared for the difference that we, as teachers, can make in the life of a student? And, can we handle it?
- Are we willing to make changes that positively impact students—even if the changes are outside of our comfort zone and cause us to spend more time crafting the experiences?
I hope the responses to the questions were an overwhelming and resounding yes.
You see my wish is for each of us to help students see their value and worth while they are in our care; to help each of them move forward as they pursue their hopes and dreams; and to do all we can do to prepare them for a future beyond what we can imagine.