Every school year is a bit of a race. At the end of each year, we congratulate each other on a job well done, we hug it out, he wave to those we admire and respect, and to whom we’re thankful came for the game.
And then we leave the field, knowing that the game really isn’t over. It’s just practice for the next round.
Teachers use their summers to outline new curriculum or materials, or to revise previous work. They work to learn new materials, read about new practices, and often collaborate with other teachers in an effort to find a new spark or a new idea that will revolutionize their games.
Warm-ups start near the end of summer — the administrative staff as well as the custodial and clerical staff take the field and begin making preparations for incoming students and registration days. Paperwork and policies are reviewed, printed, an organized to make those events run smoothly.
Everyone comes to a huddle to organize the coming year in a way that betters upon what happened during the previous year. We sort out new rules and new expectations, and rid ourselves of those things we thought were fantastic, but just didn’t fit our kids. The entire faculty works to find ways to make school a safe and comfortable environment, that pushes us all to want to do better. Because the truth is, we all have something to prove: that we can better ourselves and others.
Rallying cries are heard through our cities as signs go up and emails and mailers are sent out calling spectators and participants to the field.
And then they come.
They come in droves. They come during the day and they come after work, they call at night and they enter information online in an effort to be part of us, to exist alongside us. Every single one of those kids and parents and siblings and grandparents is part of our team, and we’re there to help them practice for that long race that will excite and challenge them, and will test their every ability to complete.
We’re all at the starting blocks of something we know and which we’ve practiced, but those kids whose feet are at the ready need everything we have to offer in order to help them make it to that finish line as best they can.