MENTOR TEXTS: WHAT ARE THEY? HOW TO USE THEM? WHERE TO FIND THEM?

Burning QuestionsTHIS IS A PART OF THE BURNING QUESTIONS BLOG SERIES. AT THE END OF EACH POST, YOU WILL FIND RESOURCE LINKS AND A LINK TO A ONE-PAGE PDF WITH THE INFORMATION IN THE BLOG — INCLUDING RESOURCES.

A few years ago, I planned this really great lesson. I modeled how to analyze a text by doing a read aloud/think aloud with Kate Chopin’s Désirée’s Baby. I don’t want to brag, but it was an awesome lesson. The students were rapt, they loved the story, and they wrote down everything as I marked up the text under the document camera.

It was a series of beautiful moments, until I asked students to repeat the process in another one of Kate Chopin’s short stories.

Many set there confused. Most annotated very surface observations about the text. I left that day confused.

What happened?

Well, many things happened (or didn’t happen), but one thing for sure, I hadn’t really understood the power in mentor texts and how to harness that power. I was just showing off how much I knew in a high-interest text rather than really teaching anything transferable for my students.

Ralph Fletcher describes mentor texts as:

“Mentor texts are any texts that you can learn from, and every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning you are, encounters and reads something that can lift and inform and infuse their own writing. I’d say anything that you can learn from – not by talking about but just looking at the actual writing itself, being used in really skillful, powerful way.”

And as Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth so beautifully wrote in their book Writers ARE Readers:

“Leading the student to understand what he did as a reader can become a lens that brings into focus what the writer had to do before a reader ever saw the page.”

What we teach in writing can be flipped to teach in reading.

While I had a great short story, it wasn’t really a mentor texts because I didn’t teach any skills. I didn’t select purposeful moments in the text to model the SKILL work. I didn’t show the STEPS so the students could replicate the skill in their own reading or writing.

There’s tons of great resources out there about using mentors. And that’s because of how incredibly powerful mentors are. Once I actually figured out that mentor texts weren’t a platform to show all I knew about a text but rather a platform to show students a way to lift their level of reading and writing craft by noticing and imitating skills, my lessons became more accessible and transferable.

The students felt empowered not intimidated.

Mentor texts can be found almost anywhere from published high-interest texts to student work to your mail. Mentor texts can be used to teach everything from reading skills to writing skills to grammar. Mentor texts can be used as an anchor texts in the lesson to text set for students to use on their own work to tools to be used during conferring.

Just remember to be intentional, focused, explicit, and purposeful.

RESOURCES

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Burning Question Issue 6

 

PROFESSIONAL TEXTS:

PODCAST & VIDEOS:

BLOGS:

MENTOR TEXTS LIST:

FOLLOW #MENTORTEXT & #MENTORTEXTS ON TWITTER & INSTAGRAM FOR MORE IDEAS!

 

 

 

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How do I know if my students are really reading?

Burning QuestionsTHIS IS A PART OF THE BURNING QUESTIONS BLOG SERIES. AT THE END OF EACH POST, YOU WILL FIND RESOURCE LINKS AND A LINK TO A ONE-PAGE PDF WITH THE INFORMATION IN THE BLOG — INCLUDING RESOURCES.

Kids are great fakers.  If I’m honest, I was a pretty good faker in school too.  I’ll never forget a teacher saying he was going to give us a super hard test on a book and if we didn’t read it, there was no way we would make an A.  All I could think was challenge accepted, dude.   

If I didn’t like a book, I knew ways to fake it to get the grade I wanted.  Students in my classes know the same tricks – and maybe a few more (and better) ones too. 

I’m a part of a professional group that recently asked the same question.  The answers surprised me – many were playing a game of “gotcha” with kids usually via some horrendous quiz.  

This brought back memories of another teacher who assigned a book – a book I loved and read every word!  His quiz included questions such as how long was the rope that the character bought.  I got the question wrong, and I had read the book.  The fact I remember that 20+ years later tells you the impact it had on me. 

So, if we know kids fake it at times and we know “gotcha” quizzes can punish students who actually read, what do we do? 

Here’s what the research and experts suggest isn’t effective: 

  • Reading Logs– While reading logs are okay for informal formative assessments or information for the reader, they should not be used as a grade.  DonalynMiller once said that reading logs only measured which parent had a pen on Friday morning.   
  • Jots– Again, jots are not bad.  Jots just should be about instruction, reading growth, and the reader. Assigning 15 jots of at least 3 sentences each does little to ensure reading; rather, it often has the unintended consequence of students worrying more about jots than reading and thinking about reading. 
  • Incentive-based Programs– Whether this is a purchased program or a “homegrown” created program, incentives can often lead to diminished reading in the long run.  There’s lots of research on this.  I suggest checking out Alfie Kohn’s Punished by Rewards (1995). 

So then what’s the answer?  Here’s some thoughts on where to start: 

  • Talk to students – Conferring is arguably one of the best ways to know if students are reading.  If we are using independent reading time in our class, during that time, we should be talking to kids about their reading!  Students should know we are a readersby the way we promote books, make recommendations, etc.  They don’t need to see us reading.  They need us talking to them about what they are reading! 
  • Get students talking to each other – While the teacher/student conference is incredibly important, it is equally important to have students talk to each other about their reading lives.  This can be done through book clubs or informal book talks or partner talks.  Students talking about books and their reading has so many positive implications, it really is a priority to implement it in every classroom.  But implemented well and with intention and purpose. 
  • Access and choice and time – Students have to have access to high interest books they want to read and the time to read them.  If we get students hooked in a book, they will read.  But we know that not every kid is going to be “hooked” by the same book.  Students need to have choice — and to have choice they have tohave access to lots of different, high interest books that are mirrors and windows for them.  Then, of course, it follows, if students have access to choose a high interest book, they will need to have time to read it.  What we spend time on in our classrooms reflects our values as educators.

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PROFESSIONAL BOOKS: 

BLOG POSTS: 

VIDEOS:

How Do I Help Reluctant Readers Find the Right Book?

Burning Questions This is a part of the Burning Questions blog series. At the end of each post, you will find resource links and a link to a one-page PDF with the information in the blog — including resources.

To answer this question, I feel like you first must ask two questions: What does “reluctant reader” mean? And what is a “right book”? 

I hesitate to use the term “reluctant” reader. Author Laurie Halse Anderson recently tweeted:

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Many times, a reluctant reader is one who is reluctant to read the books put in front of them but would read if she found the “right” book. Likewise, the “reluctant” read-er may be one who is struggling with reading and needs support without being made to feel like they are different and somehow not a part of the real reading community of the class. 

And sometimes “reluctant” really means resistant reader. Somewhere (or many wheres) these kids had negative experiences with reading and just don’t want to do it. 

No matter the reason, the answer is to find the “right” book. But what does “right” book mean? Again, that depends so much on the reader. There are no short an-swers; no 1-2-3 that will automatically give you the right title. You have to be pa-tient and persistent. And you have to be a reader. 

It’s hard to think of recommendations when you don’t read. However, that does not mean you must read every single book out there or even in your classroom library. Being a reader, I know about books and authors and genres in ways I wouldn’t know if I didn’t read. I draw on my personal reading life to help find the right book for kids. 

Even if you are a reader and your students have access to great books in your classroom, you will still have to help a kid who doesn’t have a reading life figure out how to find “right” books. This starts with a conversation. 

And I do mean, sitting down and talking one-on-one with a kid, asking questions and really listening to what he says and doesn’t say. Why don’t they read? When did they stop reading? What kind of stories do they like? What are they willing to try? 

From conversation, you should be able to recommend 3 to 4 books for the reader to check out, preview, decide which one he wants to try out. Give her permission to abandon the book after 10 or so pages and try another one. Maybe even read a few pages with him. If you can, get her hooked in a series, so she’ll know where to go for her next book. 

The goal is to have kids – all kids—fall in love with reading, so much so that they become lifelong readers. This may seem like a lofty goal for a “reluctant” reader who can’t seem to find the “right” book. 

We open the doors of the world for kids when we take the time, not to find a Lexile or reading level, but to find a book they just can’t put down. Or we close doors for a lifetime. 

We owe it to all our kids to be patient and persist in our pursuit to help all readers find the right book. And the next right book. 

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BQI4 Reluctant Readers

Professional Books:

Blog Posts:

PD Videos:

Student Book Lists

Resources to Use Now:

How do I start my class period so I can take attendance and not waste time?

Burning QuestionsThis is a part of the Burning Questions blog series. At the end of each post, you will find resource links and a link to a one-page PDF with the information in the blog — including resources.   

Let me start by confessing: I was the worst at remembering to take attendance. The attendance clerk at my school was amazing, and she often received her favorite candy as an apology from me.

Attendance IS important. Maybe more so today than ever. We need to know where students are (or aren’t) and in a timely manner for safety among other reasons. So I get it. I was the one who needed to change. I needed a routine.

But what might that look like? About 83 different ways (or at least that’s according to a quick Google search).

Truth: There are a ton of different cute, fun, interactive ways to start class.

Truth: Many of those ways do not reflect the values of my classroom.

I believe there should be a routine to the beginning of class – one that gets students engaged in reading, writing, or craft study immediately. After teaching the students the routine of beginning of class, I should have to say very little (if anything at all) at the beginning of class. This gives me a chance to take attendance immediately when the bell rings (or for forgetful teachers like me — have a student take attendance and let me know who is absent). This way in 60 seconds or less, I can get back to the students.

Here are some things to think about when deciding how to start class:

  • Does this reflect the values I’ve established for my class?
  • Does it minimize transition time?
  • Is it “real” meaningful work or is it busy work?
  • Is it something that can be a routine so that it adds structure to the class and gives students a sense of securty from the beginnig of class?
  • Is it sustainable and manageable for me?
  • Can students do it with minimum assistance from me?

One year, being the clever teacher I am, I decided to do something different each day of the week. For me, it was a disaster! Too many different things – neither I nor the students could keep up with it and I ended up abandoning it.

But I do think it can be helpful do one thing on Mondays and Fridays and something else on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays. Or do one thing during reading workshop and something different during writing workshop. Or a combination that works for you and your students.

There’s not one right answer to this question although there are some wrong ones. Often we don’t figure out the wrong ones until we’ve tried them. That’s okay, as long as we learn and change to maximize the time for learning for students.

Here are some ideas but you have to know yourself as a teacher, reflect on the practice (using the questions above), take a risk, and try one or a combination:

  • Independent reading (from Penny Kittle)
  • Article of the Week (from Kelly Gallagher)
  • Status of the Class (from Donalyn Miller)
  • Invitational Grammar Instruction (from Jeff Anderson)
  • Poem a Day (from Nancie Atwell)
  • Voice Lessons Craft Study (from Nancy Dean)
  • Reading Minute (from Kelly Gallagher)
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Burning Question Issue 3 PDF

RESOURCES:

Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week archive (hear him talk about it here – scroll down to video or read about it on pages 47-50 of Readicide)

Donalyn Miller’s Status of the Class (read about it on pages 34-36 of Reading in the Wild)

Nancie Atwell’s Poem a Day

Nancy Dean’s Voice Lessons (HS) or Discovering Voice (MS)

Kelly Gallagher’s Reading Minute (read about it on pages 44-45 of Reading Reasons)

Jeff Anderson’s Invitational Grammar Instruction (read more about it in his book Everyday Editing)

Independent Reading – You can read about it here or here or here or here but you should also most definitely read Penny Kittle’s Book Love and Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer

 

 

How do I make sure I have enough time to get everything done?

Burning QuestionsThis is a part of the Burning Questions blog series. At the end of each post, you will find resource links and a link to a one-page PDF with the information in the blog — including resources.   

Well, the short (and somewhat unsatisfying) answer to this question is you don’t.

One thing I do know is that every. single. second. counts when you are doing reading and writing workshop in a 45-60 minute period. To maximize those minutes, my first suggestion would be to spend time at the beginning of the year setting up rituals and routines.

Teaching students how to check out books from the classroom library, how to come to the meeting space, how to work in reading/writing partnerships, how to get help from other places than the teacher, how to work during work time, how to come to a small group conference, and so on is going to save you massive amounts of time across the school year. This also builds a sense of autonomy and independence in students.

Another suggestion is to monitor how much time we spend on transitions and each component. of workshop. How long does it take students to get in class and get started?  How long does it take to start instruction after a transition? How long is the teaching time (mini-lesson)? How much time is spent transitioning at the end of class?

When I started with the workshop model, one of the first things I realized was that I talked too much. Like way too much. I had a student time me every day, every period until I got good at keeping my lessons short and honoring student work time. You might be surprised when you truly analyze where time is going in your class and find that you actually do have places where you can gain more time.

Start each class period with a sense of urgency – that this lesson, this work, this writing, this text matters—will make a difference.

Looking across the school year, the fact is we only have 180 days with students. Well, that’s 180 days minus fire drills, field trips, state testing, library days, severe weather drills, and well, we can all continue this list.

One piece of advice I received from Mary Ehrenworth (my hero) was to pick an end date for each unit and stick with it. It was so freeing! Once I could decide this is where the unit is going to end, then I could set about the work of prioritizing lessons in that unit.

It didn’t matter what happened during that unit, I knew I only had X (even if X changed) number of days to teach the students what they needed to know most to grow the most in the standards we were studying. It kept me from stealing time from other important work by pushing the end date back and back.

And it helped me—and the kids too—keep that sense of urgency, because we knew the task at hand and the days available.

So once you have maximized every possible second in every single day across the year, then you prioritize within the unit what is it that your kids need the most right now so they can become better readers, writers, and thinkers. You teach, work, confer with purpose and urgency as much and as best as you can within the time you have for that unit.

It’s not easy work. It requires constant assessment of ourselves and our students. It’s keeping the end in mind. It’s staying purposeful, urgent, and mindful in our work every day. But it’s worth it — for our students.

Getting it All Done1

Professional Books:

Randy Bomer’s Time for Meaning:Crafting Literate Lives in Middle and High School

Samantha Bennett’s That Workshop Book

Lucy Calkins’ A Guide to the Writing Workshop

Lucy Calkins’ A Guide to  the Reading Workshop

Blog Posts:

Amy Rasmussen’s My Classes are Only 45 Minutes — How Do I Do Workshop?

Pernille Ripp’s How I Teach English in a 45 Minute Timeframe

Lanny Ball’s Fitting It All in: Solving Predictable Problems

Beth Moore’s Creative Scheduling in Middle School

PD Videos:

Lucy Calkins on Mini-Lessons

Lucy Calkins on Making the Most of Your Time

Ruth Ayers on Writing Workshop Beginning Procedures

How do I set up my room for a meeting space (without tearing down a wall)?

Burning QuestionsI haven’t posted in … well, it’s been a minute.  One of my goals is write again here.  I asked some colleagues what they thought were 6-12 grade ELA teachers “burning questions.”  And let me just say, I have the BEST colleagues.  They were so thoughtful in their responses — which helped me launch this new series for my blog.  

PS — At the end of each post,  you will find a link to a fancy one-page PDF (shout out to my incredible brother for designing it!) with the information in the blog — including resources.   

How do I set up my room for a meeting space (without tearing down a wall)?

I once taught a class of 32 high school students in a single-wide trailer. One morning, I literally found a student on the roof of the trailer.  And who could blame him?  We were packed!

At this point, I had yet discovered the power of the classroom meeting space.  But thinking about how cramped we were in that trailer brings great empathy for teachers trying to create meeting areas in less than ideal spaces.

I think the first thing we have to realize is the power of the meeting area.  I was a little late to this party.  As a high school teacher, I felt the meeting area to be way too elementary for me. Then, challenged by one of my mentors, I tried it.

I was wrong.

2016-02-09 12.39.00It wasn’t childish at all.  Most of my students loved it! It built a sense of community in a way that really can only be accomplished through this closeness of learning together.

Once you decide that a meeting space is a priority, you have to make it happen.

It took me many tries and student help to figure out how to really arrange the classroom in a way that worked.  I finally settled on a student-design of desks in groups of four forming a U-shape with the open area in the middle my meeting space.  You can see pictures here or here.

At this point in my career, I was lucky enough to have a nice space to do this.  Thinking back to my trailer days, I wonder what I would have done.

I know it would have taken a lot of thinking, moving, organizing, sweating, and prioritizing.

Here are some questions that might be helpful in thinking through this:

  1. What are my non-negotiables in the classroom? (Think: meeting area, classroom library, etc.)
  2. What is the teaching space vs teacher space vs working space ratio in my classroom?
  3. How does the way my space is organized reflect my teaching values?
  4. What do I have to keep and what can I get rid of?
  5. Can I make any space work for more than one thing?
  6. Is there awkward space I can repurpose – such as lockers, under the whiteboard, etc?
  7. If I’m limited on space, how can I set up the room to where it will be easy for students to move chairs, desks, etc for the mini-lesson and then back again? (This is totally a teachable routine.)

Last, I would leave you this suggestion.  Start at the beginning of the year with a meeting space.  Even if you are unsure about it, start at the beginning and do it with a positive attitude.

You just might be surprised.

Resources to Check Out

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Burning Question Issue 1 PDF

 

PROFESSIONAL BOOKS

Debbie Diller’s Spaces and Places

Ruth Ayres & Stacey Shubitz’s Day by Day

Nancie Atwell’s In the Middle

BLOG POSTS

Two Writing Teachers’ Why We Gather

ReadWriteInspire’s Inspired Design

The Daily Café’s 7 Steps to Classroom Design

PICTURES, VIDEOS, & IDEAS

HoCo’s MS & HS Classroom Areas

Michelle Wolf’s The Meeting Area in Workshop

ELA Coach Wall’s Workshop Meeting Area Board

Pernille Ripp’s My Classroom without Students

TOOLS TO GET STARTED/REDESIGN ROOM

Scholastic’s Classroom Set-Up Tool

Classrooms4Teachers’ Classroom Architect

Three Things Thursday (17 Aug)

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Our students have been back in school for two weeks now.  For many other places, they are just going back (or getting ready to go back).  The beginning of school is a time of reflection.  This week’s three things I read worth sharing helped me be more reflective of my practice.

1. Risk-taking in the Writer’s Notebook by Lanny Ball

This is a beautifully written blog on our responsibilities as teachers to take risks in our own writing so that students take risk in their writing.  She talks about how taking risks is where learning happens.

The point here is, if you are a writing workshop teacher, a writer’s notebook is likely a structure you harness in your classroom.  And you likely build language around the value of this tool because you believe it to be instrumental in supporting student writing improvement.  This year, consider being a stand and a model for experimenting and risk-taking in the notebook.

2. Ten Ways to Ditch the Reading Log by Heather Marshall

What I love most about this blog post is that she not only suggests alternative (and authentic) ways to see what kids are reading,  but she also posts pictures and videos of student work.  This is someone who is really doing the work and sharing it with us!

When I read a book that I really enjoy, I want to share it with others. I do not show them my reading log and say, “Hey you should read this, it’s really good.” I want them to read it too, so that we can talk about it.  So I had to ask myself, “Why exactly do I assign students to record pages, titles, summaries, and minutes of reading on a worksheet?” I want them to read, but how is this table with parent signatures making them want to read?

3. The Most Important Thing by John Spence

This is a short TEDTalk.  While he talks about finding success in college and in life, I think there are many implications for finding success as teachers.  We have to be aware and intentional in the choices we make in our professional life as well as our personal life.  And our choices should be focused on honing our craft so we can be the best teachers possible for our students.

The single most important things I’ve learned … you become what you focus on and you become like the people you spend time with.

Three Things Thursday

3things-thursdayHere are three things I read this week that moved me, challenged me, and encouraged me.  I hope they do the same for you.

 

1. Information Writing that is NOT the “Research Paper” by Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell

From the authors of Writing with Mentors comes a powerful post on writing and research and our students.  Not only is this post challenging, but they also provide a wealth of resources to help!

Not only do we limit our students’ understanding of research when we limit students’ information-writing experiences to the extensive, academic writing assignment described above; we completely dumb down their understanding of the complex, multifaceted world of information writing.

2.  The Importance of Doing Laundry:  Maintenance Matters by Kate Roberts

Thank you, Amy Fouse, for sending me this post.  I love the new and the innovative, but Kate is absolutely right.  We must celebrate the maintenance because that is where most of the real work is happening.

I would argue we do not spend enough time talking about and celebrating the labor of teachers – all the maintenance it takes to get great and innovative ideas up off of the ground and into the world. And we do not spend enough time helping each other to find sustainable ways to practice that maintenance and keep it going.

3.  Open Conferring Notes (Or:  How a Case of Mild Hypochondria Helped My Teaching) by Katy Wischow

I’ve had the honor of being in Katy’s class twice — once at a Teacher’s College Institute and once at Homegrown.  Reading this blog post makes me feel like I’m right back there with her.  Katy’s reflective (and humorous) voice gets to the heart of why we need conferring notes and why we should share them with students.

But what if we started to think of conference notes not as teacher tools, but as teacher-and-student tools? What if we changed the purpose and intention and power of conferring and conferring notes? What if, in fact, we thought of them not as a tool at all? What if we thought of conference notes as a structure or a routine, like gathering on the rug or keeping a writing notebook, something that creates time and space for something we value?

 

Three Things Thursday

3things-thursday

Here’s three things I read this week worth sharing.  Hope you are as challenged by them as I am.  Learning together, C

#1 The Work of Back to School by Chad Everett

So many wonderful things to say about this post.  I want to keep this post near me this year and continually ask the questions he poses, reminding us of the meaningful work that we do every day.  If you aren’t following Chad Everett on Twitter, you should.

Know this: your classroom does not have to look like it’s pulled from a Pinterest board to make you an effective teacher. You are enough. You don’t have to teach like a pirate, like a champion, or like your hair is on fire to be enough. You do have to commit to showing up for 180 days and doing the work—the work that is not always visible, the work you may never be recognized for doing, the work that is the foundation of all the other work.

#2  How to Deal with Student Grammar Errors by Jennifer Gonzalez 

This is forever the question of most ELA teachers.  I love Jennifer’s transparency, honesty, research, resources, and applicable tips.  This is the place to start for thinking through grammar instruction in our classrooms this year.

…here’s the most important thing any teacher of English language arts should take away from this post: Grammar taught in isolation, outside the context of meaningful writing, has been found to have no significant impact on the quality of student writing; in fact, excessive drills can have a detrimental impact on it.

#3 How Do You Know which Books to Purchase?  A Few Tips to Help Build A Better Classroom Library by Pernille Ripp

You don’t have to be around me long before I’ve probably suggested a post from Pernille Ripp’s blog.  I just love her!  In this post, she gives suggestions on how to make your classroom library a place where students want to go to check out books.  With limited (or no) budgets, we need to make smart choices about what books we are investing in.

4 years ago I realized that while our library was full, it was not great.  It was not something the students could use.  It was not something they wanted to use.  So I embarked on a journey to get better books in the hands of my students.  I found a better way to spend the precious money we have to get books for our libraries.  And it worked.  Slowly, our library has grown to now encompass more than 2,000 books.  Books that the students want to read.  Books that are worn out from use and not from age.

As we begin another school year, I wish . . .

Our teachers went back to work last Wednesday; students come back tomorrow. In the last two weeks, I’ve been asked numerous times, “Are you ready for school to start?” When I respond that I am excited, without fail, I get the shocked face.

People are never ready for that response.

And that got me thinking.

I’ve been in church my entire life, and I have had the honor to hear many missionaries who have come back to the States for a furlough of sorts – to rest and refresh, spend time with family, raise funds, and so on.

I can’t remember ever hearing anyone ask missionaries if they were ready to go back to their mission field.

Likely because any time they talked about their mission field, their faces radiated with enthusiasm and passion. They believed in their calling and their impact.

I’m sure they loved seeing family and friends, shopping at American stores, getting favorite foods they couldn’t get where they were. And rightly so.

Just like we, as educators, should enjoy our summers. It is a needed time of rest and refreshing. Some of us work additional jobs or travel and visit family. We get to have our morning coffee without carrying a stack of papers with us. Or have lunch at our favorite places and take longer than 30 minutes to eat.

And summer does always seem short. Many of us will go back without finishing all the projects we wanted to get done or visiting all the places we wanted to go or reading all the books we wanted to read.


But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be excited about our job, our calling. We are about to walk into classrooms filled with students – students we can directly impact. We matter. Our job matters. Our perception of our job matters. And how we portray our job to others matters.

So I wish for you the excitement of a new year filled with possibilities.

I wish for you the passion to make a difference in the lives of the students in your classroom.

I wish for you the overwhelming love of what you do every day.

I wish for you the compassion for the difficult times and the difficult people.

I wish for you the desire to continue to learn, to become better at your craft.

I wish for you the friendship of colleagues on this journey with you.

I wish for you the classroom that is full of risk-taking and writing and reading and talking.

I wish for you the vision that sees beyond today to the future of these students.

I wish for you the sense of urgency to know what you and how you teach matters.

I wish for you a school filled with great educators doing what is right for students.

I wish for you the best year yet.