I have found lately that all of us have vivid dreams.
This morning, I woke up to myself wondering if I was teaching for another school district? In my dream, I took the metro downtown with a team of teachers. We got on bikes to ride to our inner city location, with a tote of learning materials. We quickly parked the bikes and then were ushered into this amazing teacher’s lounge. It was like we were the guest of honors at a fancy ball. There were fountains of juice, breakfast parfaits, eggs Benedict, fancy cream cheese spreads with bagels, while the principal came in to give us sincere wishes about making a difference in children’s lives. We were given supplies galore to use to help us teach effectively and then given a site map to find our location to teach our students. I quickly used the bathroom because us teachers never have more than a minute in the day to stop and catch our breaths.
The irony of this dream is I felt calm, cool, and collected. I wasn’t nervous about teaching in a new school, I wasn’t nervous about not knowing my students or families, I wasn’t even nervous that I had no idea what grade level I was teaching. I wasn’t nervous because I was physically present, I was physically going to have face to face interaction with my students, shake my family’s hands and tell them that their children will be safe and loved this year. . . I was physically going to open a door into a classroom that would provide the magic for learning.
I love the first day of school, I love the excitement of buying new school supplies, I love the first day jitters, I love that these 25 little humans have so much hope for our world.
So, how do I create that magic this year? I am teaching at a new school “Acacia Avenue- my home” I am teaching new students along with my own children, I think I am teaching 5th grade- not sure about enrollment, and I am teaching during a pandemic and social unrest in our country.
How do I create that safe and loving environment where my students felt empowered to take risks? Society, I ask you to bestow grace on all of us teachers. We are in the trenches, we are muddy, we are tired, we have been on the front lines for over five months, and we do not know when this “Covid war” is going to end. Trust that we do not want “the easy road to getout of work.” We want what is best for students, what is safe for families, and what is development ally appropriate for children from ages 5 to 18. . . Pray for us. We have an uphill fight this year, and we need the collective strength from our colleagues, our families, and our communities to believe in us.