Back to School Wishes for 2013

We started the second semester today and after a restful winter break it was good to be back. I really enjoy my job and my students. So, to start class today we wrote some of our wishes for the new year. My students wrote about superpowers, season tickets on Hawaiian Airlines, and dates with Justin Bieber.

I wrote along with them, as I always do, and during third period I wished an anonymous donor would make-over our school giving us a turf field, a new gym, and clean classrooms with working heat and air conditioning. I reread this and felt so sad. This was not a wish. These basics are things our school should have right now.

I also wished that Obama would say, "Forget all this testing. Let's make learning fun again." But I don't need Obama to do that. Despite the number of days we are required to spend taking district and state mandated tests (about three weeks) I know my students and I are having fun and we're learning.

There is so much talk about testing and achievement in our schools. There is even more talk about reform and how our schools have to change. I've been an educator for over 15 years and despite the bleak picture many paint of public education in the US, I know in classrooms and schools everywhere, despite all of the noise, teachers are teaching, students are learning, and it's going to be a good year.

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