The First Day of School 2020

Y'all, I've been writing first-day-of-school blogs for a long time. 

I almost didn't write one this year because nothing seems to matter, but then I watched Michelle Obama speak, and I felt something I haven't felt in such a long time, something these Obamas seem to be able to provide for us precisely when we need it. She gave me hope. 

So I'm here, on the night before the first day of school, the first day when I will see so many of my students and although this year feels so different from so many others, it still holds is hope. 

There is so much promise in a new school year, and I just want to do my students and this moment justice. My students and their families deserve schools that truly invest in them and their education. We can take this pandemic and make sure the education we provide is better. We can make certain our concern is more rooted in people and how they are doing and what they need and how we can help. We can amplify voices from our country's history and present who demand to be heard. We have so much work to do. 

My kids both have their first days of school tomorrow as well, and during this unique time, I will get to see them through it. So many of my other kids, my former students are wading through their first days and it isn't what any of us imagined. 

It will still be hot in Los Angeles. There will be people getting sick and dying. There are so many worrying about power, and access, and food, and housing, and exposure, and we will show up in these little boxes on networks that spread across the city in ways that keep us from being in closed spaces together.

We will say our names when they are called and be marked present. We will consider who we are and the stories we have to tell. We will breathe through the first-day uncertainties and have our first day of school.

Look for some light around the edges: a smile, a kind gesture, a promise. Keep your eyes open. It might be hard to find, but I'll be looking for them all day long. Hold them all up, small or grand. Lift up all the signs of  hope. 

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