So it's almost here. The 2015-2016 school year is right around the corner and our summers are coming to an end. While it's been so nice to rest, relax, and get caught up on several things around the house, I'm ready. Ready to see my students and hear about what they did this summer, ready to reconnect and collaborate with my co-workers, and ready to try new things in the classroom in order to give my students opportunities to experience meaningful learning.
That being said, I know the school year will also bring failure, frustration, and fear. Every year I worry that the innovative things that I do in my classroom will not work. What if I'm doing it wrong? What if students don't respond to my teaching style? What if parents aren't on board? What if my co-workers think that my teaching style is too "out there"? What if? That question seems to be something I focus on in every aspect of my life.
As I thought about these questions today and the beginning of the school year, I realized that my what if's could still be my focus. However, instead of focusing on the negatives, I will focus on the amazing possibilities that the new school year brings. What if I'm doing it right? What if my students not only respond but have the best year ever? What if parents appreciate and support our classroom? What if my co-workers are encouraged and inspired by the things that we do in my classroom?
If I am to model what I want for my students, I have to think this way. I want my students to ask themselves...what if I can change the world? What if my thoughts do matter? What if my voice can be heard? What if school can be a springboard toward the career of my dreams? I don't want them to be afraid of falling. I want them to see falling as part of the process, part of the journey.
So as we prepare for the school year, let's allow ourselves to ask what if. But let's use those what if's to allow ourselves to try new things in the classroom. Be brave, take risks, and find ways to make your classroom a place that students want to be. Let's make 2015-2016 a year that our students will remember for the rest of their lives!