Monday, August 23, 2010

The first day of a new school year

Welcome Back!

Today, the first day of school, teachers throughout Dallas were excitedly greeting their new class of students for whom they have high expectations.  School staff and administrators enthusiastically welcomed students as well.  They too were prepared and eager to provide in and out-of-class support.

The first day of school starts a new year of classroom magic as teachers and students begin learning from each other and teaching one another.

Greg Henry Quinn's 365 Meditations for Teachers includes the following teacher reflections:

"There is something wonderful about seeing the students come back each fall.  It doesn't matter if you're teaching all ages or the same age.  When they come in, it is a new beginning, a fresh start.  It's a rebirth of the class for sure, but it is also a personal rebirth.  You get to try it again, to be better at it.  I get to do my favorite things all over again and do it fresh, with new faces in front of me.  And new minds that are going to go 'ah-ha'."          
                                                                                                        -- Mark Mattson

"If I had one piece of advice for first-year teachers, I'd tell them to give themselves credit for what they do right and to remember that inspiring in students an excitement about learning is no small thing."
                                                                                                        -- Julie Olin Schulz

"Every September is like Christmas, and every student, a surprise gift to open.
                                                                                                        -- Mary Vissilikou Bicouvaris
                                                                                                        1989 United States Teacher of the Year

The following prayer from an old schoolhouse is posted as it was presented.

           Teacher's Prayer
 I want to teach my students how
   To live this life on earth
To face its struggles and its strife
   And to improve their worth
Not just the lesson in a book
   Or how the rivers flow
But how to choose the proper path
   Wherever they may go
To understand eternal truth  And know
   The right from wrong
And gather all the beauty of a flower
   and a song  For if
I help the world to grow  In wisdom
   and in grace
Then I shall feel that I have won
   And I have filled my place
And so I ask Your guidance, God
  that I may do my part
For character and confidence
  And happiness of Heart.     

                                                       -- Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
                                                           St. Augustin, Florida:

Here's hoping that new and experienced Dallas ISD teachers had a good first day that set the mark for a good school year.

Thank you for the dedication, service and care you will give to our children of all ages, our schools and our communty.  Thank you for--together with your students-- creating excitement and raising and meeting expectations.

Cheers to Dallas ISD teachers, school staff and administrators as you begin a new school year!

Here's hoping that each of you, as well as your students, ended the first day of school with a smile.