Friday, August 21, 2015

Every Kid's Hope for the 1st Day of School

Whether they are on track to the be valedictorian, or they had the worst year ever in school last year, every kid believes this on the first day of school.  If they know with certainty what they want to be, or they are rebelling against everything we want them them to be, every kid is thinking this on the first day of school. The question is this.

Will we recognize it?

On the first day of school every kid, every parent, every teacher and every administrator is anxious and excited.  The first day of school is the first paragraph of a new chapter.  It is the start of a new journey.  Last year was last year, and this year offers new opportunities.  On the first day of school every kid will walk in to your school with this hope.

This will be the Year that I find my Purpose in Life.

Think about it.  Before school started, you dreamed about what the new school year would be like.  Before you knew who your teachers were, you envisioned what they would do for you and your education.  My own children are changing schools this year, and while they are nervous, I hear them talk about how hopeful they are for their new school and their new year.  I hear their excitement about the possibilities that await.  Every kid is thinking the same thing, and those with a history of failure are praying that this year is going to different for them.  The question is this.  

Will we ignore it?

This is the Year that We will Ensure that They find their Purpose in Life

We don't teach content.  We teach kids, and our purpose for the first day of school is to keep the main thing the main thing.  We must ensure that we convey to our students that they are special and that they are going to learn and grow this year.  We must send the message that they can be anything that they want to be, so long as they are willing to work hard, commit to learning, and develop their tenacity. But words alone aren't enough. Kids must hear, see and feel that message through these traits that all of us must possess.
  • Our passion for learning, and how it will help them find their purpose.
  • Our passion for helping every student reach high levels of excellence.
  • Our high expectations for learning, and how we will help all students reach those expectations.
  • Our desire to know our students as individuals and people not names on a roster.
If we can commit to preaching our passion for learning on the first day of school and the days that follow, we will solidify their 1st day of school belief.  However if we fail to embrace kids on the first day of school, their belief that developed all summer long will die a little bit, and each day that follows where we fail to connect with them, it will die a little more until their belief transforms from one of hope to one of apathy.  

On the first day of school, kids will be excited, anxious, scared, apathetic, or angry about school.  These emotions are obvious to average eye, and we must recognize and respond to these behaviors.  But the one thing we must never forget is that every kid, no matter their outward emotion, has the same belief about the first day of school.  Every child is hoping and praying that this will be the year that you and I will look past their history or beyond their intellect and help them reach their ultimate goal, finding their true purpose to life.

Happy 1st Day of School


  1. Thank you for validating the get-to-know-you activities I just did Thursday and Friday, and the time I took and enthusiasm I put into how I'm providing narrative feedback instead of grades so that they know how they are doing, where they can improve and that they can rework and resubmit until they've met or exceeded goals - that we'll work together to help them each be the best they can be. I have a lot of hope for this year, too.

    1. Lisa, John speaks truth and I love that you saw BUILDING COMMUNITY as the priority for the first days of school....make the first day so great, they'd WANT to come back for day two...