Last week we made history! Welcoming students back to the building last Monday was perhaps the best day of my career. It was exciting and it was hectic, it was energizing and it was exhausting. Many of you told me about your first day jitters and I was right there with you, but in the end the energy our students brought to the building was incredible and it helped us all overcome that nervousness!!
As we head into week two, we welcome back our 7th grade students and prepare for parent-teacher conferences. Before we jump ahead to this week though, I think it’s the perfect time to step back and take a breath. What we just did last week was incredible. We welcomed almost 1000 students back to the building for the first time in over a year, think about that for a second…it’s wild!
I want to encourage you to stop and just think about last week. Think about all of the happiness and positivity that our students brought back to the building with them. I watched kindergarteners skip down the hallway and listened as sixth graders laughed with friends they hadn’t seen in person in almost a year. I watched light bulbs go on over kids’ heads as they learned new concepts in Math and listened as students used evidence to defend their argument in Social Studies. I watched as a finger patiently followed along with the text during a read aloud and I gave our more air-high-fives than I can count. And while I’ve seen and done all of these things countless times before (except the “air” part of the high-fives), each moment like this was extra special this past week…it was, easily, the best “first week” ever!!
So, before week two begins, take a moment to step back, breath, and appreciate all of the history we just made. Focus on those moments that you couldn’t get in the remote setting and appreciate them for a few minutes. (If you’re a 7th or 8th grade teacher, take notice of all those special moments as they happen for the first time over the coming weeks!!)
Then, once you’re done reflecting on those special moments, congratulate yourself. You did it. It was your hard work, perseverance, and dedication to your students that made all of those moments special. Your efforts made the return to in-person learning possible and exciting. Your dedication to your students and the relationships that you built remotely are what made last week such an overwhelming success for the whole community!! Thank you and congratulations!!!