Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What is Your Story?

Spring is such a wonderful time of the year! We begin to see the grass turn green, leaves budding on trees, and flowers in bloom. The smells in the air this time of year makes it refreshing to be outdoors. For me, there is nothing quite like the aroma that comes from the first time I smell fresh cut grass in the spring! Of the four seasons, spring is my favorite. After what we have experienced over the course of the last month, I think we are all looking forward to the promise of new life and fresh beginnings that come with this season. Indeed it seemed like we were experiencing the winter that would never end. And lets face it: after a long winter of being cooped up indoors we are all eager to head for the exit at the first possible moment! 

At the same time we are witnessing the new life that is blooming in the great outdoors, there is irony in the fact that for us, spring is also a signal that our time together is drawing to a close. In just a few short weeks, we will be ending the story that was the 2017-2018 school year. I remember how exciting this time was for me as a teacher, especially as I began to reflect on how far my students had come and the growth they had made. Perhaps as you enter this final stretch of the year you too will have the opportunity to reflect with pride in the progress the students under your tutelage have made. Indeed for many, there will be sadness as you say goodbye to the students you have shepherded through the trials and tribulations of this school year. And also, for many, there will be joy, as you say goodbye to the trials and tribulations of the school year!

This school year has given us cause for great celebrations. We have seen our student soar: in the classroom, on the stage, and at athletic competition. These accolades; these accomplishments haven't occurred by mere happenstance. When that goal was met, you were standing there quietly in the background beaming with pride. In the humbleness and grace with which you conduct the business of 'educating our youth' the credit was placed where it most certainly was due: with the student. The nobility with which you will fade into the memories of that achievement are most certainly laudable. But make no mistake: that feat would not have come to fruition without the guidance of our educators. Granted, not all our students' accomplishments have played out on the front page of the Hudson Herald. The fact is most of them occurred in the quiet [or at times chaotic] refuge of your classroom. They materialized in an environment devoid of public view. So who knew? You did. Your students did. And there parents did. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the students you serve.

With just three weeks remaining, I invite you to consider your story for the 2017-2018 school year. Think back on this journey we began together in August. When we began, I shared with you many positive and visible examples of those things we can hang our hats on. But what about those moments that are not so easily seen? What about those brief flashes of wonder that will hang with your students decades from now? What then, of your legacy? Indeed many of these moments are subtle and happen so quickly within the space of recess and lunch; that if we are not careful, we will miss them. So I'll ask you once again: what of your legacy? A month from now when you are packing up your classroom for the summer, what memories will you take with you from this school year? I promise, those memories will be the reminder and the motivation that first inspired you to choose a career in education.

So then on behalf of the students you serve, the parents who ask what at times may seem like endless questions, the community who has entrusted you with this most precious of resources, and the board and administrators that you don't always see eye to eye with: thank you. 

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