To my students…
Today we begin another chapter. Unlike how this normally sounds, we are not going to be reading an article or information in a book. Together, you and I, and the rest of your peers, get to begin a new chapter in this history of education. Unlike how we normally begin our exploration of a historical event, we are not going to read this chapter. And, I know that it is one of your favorite activities, so together, we are going to write this chapter.
I am excited for this new chapter.
It is going to challenge me to find new ways to engage you and make you think about the world and how you fit into it. It is going to challenge you take ownership for your learning. We are going to explore technology much more deeply, as it is going to be the way in which we communicate and which you communicate with one another. I know that for all of you, you connect regularly through text messages and social media apps, but for me, this is all new in how I will connect with you. This is a new way in which I can begin to relate to each of you, and a challenge I am ready to tackle.
I am also nervous.
First, I am not there to help you. I can not see that questionable look on your face when you are unsure about the information or skill we are working with. I can not approach you to ask a question or give you a hint. With this new way of learning, are you going to reach out to me? Are you going to feel comfortable sending me an email? Are you going to even know what you need for help? Please reach out to me, as I am here, waiting, to help in any way I can.
Second, I am afraid I am going to be unsuccessful in helping you learn. We spend time together during lunch and after school reviewing content, answering questions, and expanding our view of how we fit into this world. Are my lessons going to be challenging enough? Are they going to be too challenging? These first two weeks are going to be a lot of trial and error. I hope that you work with me to find the right balance for how to learn this way.
Third, I am concerned about you. Are you ok? Are you sticking to a schedule and routine? Are you eating and sleeping enough? Do you have a space that you can focus? Are you able to connect with others? We all spend a lot of time together in school. In the work week, I spend more time with you than I do with my own family. I care about you, and if there is anything you need, I’m still here.
We have spent the past six months together. I know that we can do this. You have demonstrated an unlimited potential for learning, and a resilience that I am envious of. I am ready to rise to this challenge and meet you at the end. I know that once this chapter has been written by us and closes, we will both look back together and be proud of the growth we have made and the learning that has taken place.