real_talk_for_real_teachersFor many good teachers, the beginning of a new year can be depressing. It often seems that the new students are less prepared and surlier than those of the past. Many of us are tired of ineffective staff development sessions and the drudgery of spending too much time getting the students ready for a meaningless standardized test.

If you feel weary, imagine what a kid feels like walking into school these days. He is being taught that a series of worksheets or the regurgitation of some facts is supposed to demonstrate genuine scholarship.

Never forget that we teachers make the difference. No system or Common Core standard can look into a child’s eyes and recognize true understanding. A teacher does that. A teacher can look into a student’s eyes, read body language, offer a sympathetic ear to a kid having a bad day, or open a door that might change a life.

You, the teacher, have the power to do those things. You can be the turning point. Your skill and expertise are ready to be passed on, and the world will be a better place because of your wisdom, hard work, and dedication to the craft of teaching.

Students need us now more than ever. Let us all dedicate ourselves to having the best year we have ever had in the classroom. We can have a great year with our students not because of The System, but in spite of it.