I tell you what – I try really hard not to allow myself to fall down certain rabbit holes on social media or to involve myself with particular side conversations in public gatherings – especially recently. There is so much debate, disagreement, uncertainty, frustration, and hatred swirling around regarding decisions being made by those around us and “above” us. I try to migrate toward positive circles and vibes, anyway, but as we embark on a brand-new school year today, one filled with mixed emotions and uncertainties, I feel it necessary to make one thing clear.
Regardless of your views on the pandemic… Regardless of your political opinion… Regardless of your thoughts on school policies… when your student walks through my classroom doors, you can bet that he/she/they will be met with kindness, respect, and acceptance from me. And you can be sure that I will spend the entirety of this year doing my best to cultivate a classroom culture of compassion that will be carried beyond the classroom.
As I look around my classroom today, I see a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, identities, and backgrounds. I know some students are so excited to be here and others were dreading the arrival of today. I know some are vaccinated and others are not. I know some are terrified about being called on while others are blurting before a question has even been asked. I know some are well rested while others were up till 3 am playing video games. I know some despise the fact that we have been asked to wear masks and others are nervous to be around so many other people given current conditions. I know some are carrying weight on their shoulders that I may never know about or understand.
Despite our differences, we will work to accept and appreciate one another. In fact, it is our differences that will make this year exciting, fun, and insightful. We will celebrate our uniqueness.
When your children enter my classroom, they become MY children. Rest assured, I will treat them as such. Love wins.