Yesterday, my students returned to their classroom after Winter Break full of their usual energy and enthusiasm. All felt as it should be. But in buildings where adults manage issues that ultimately impact the future of my students, other things were happening.
As we read the next chapter in Some Kind of Courage, adults discussed their future. In a conference room somewhere in Los Angeles, my union and my employer confronted each other, again. Perhaps they were talking over whether or not my students will have a nurse on hand when they suffer an asthma attack. Maybe they were discussing the merits of psychological social workers in schools where the majority come from households who qualify for subsidized meals. Possibly they were debating the merits of librarians and counselors in the high school my students will go to.
As my students and I analyzed a letter of an immigrant at Ellis Island in the 1800s, other people were making decisions that will impact their long and short term future.
When I worked with Leah on her blog post, I suspect our newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom was making his inaugural address. I wonder, does he plan on sending his adorable two-year-old son to a middle school with a class size that exceeds 44? How will this man I voted for the address the wealth gap in our state that mirrors the “…achievement gap in our schools and a readiness gap that holds back millions of our kids”? Will he step up for my students?
I have two more days with my students. To read the next chapter, write another article, develop a conjecture, do another experiment. It breaks my heart to acknowledge I probably will not be with them on Thursday. Perhaps this is what it takes to move the second largest public school district in the nation in a direction it needs to go.
Last night, with all of this running through my heart, I finally settled on a word for 2019. One to hold on to. One that will allow me to step forward in a direction that is true to my beliefs. A word that is positive and active. My one little (but powerful) word for 2019 is
Here’s to embracing all the challenges and opportunities, adults and children that 2019 presents.