The first week of any school year involves lots of energy. Energy from students excited and anxious about new people and experiences. Energy from faculty conscious of the important role educators play in the world. Energy from all of the people that make a school community possible for the teachers and students (e.g. parents, staff, administration).
All of this energy shows up the first week of a new school year looking for a “why.” Energy will not sustain itself for its own sake. Energy needs purpose and direction. Understanding why we are here doing what we do gives the energy of our first week a purpose and a direction. In the context of teaching and learning, teachers would do well to understand their individual “why” as well as the collective “why(s)” we bring to our students. How might we direct the energy of our students in the first week of school with a “why”? How might we find a way to engage students in sharing our “why(s)” while also developing and redeveloping their own?
We do not have to get the “why” just right this first week, but we stand a better chance of getting to a good one in the coming weeks if we share a “why” right away. What’s your “why”?