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A Promise...

     Here we go, the preparation is beginning. Educators are sitting in professional development classes, learning new strategies, and making plans.  We are connecting with our PLNs and participating in our favorite chats, all for the main goal of preparing ourselves to provide a meaningful, innovative educational experience for our students.
     Soon we will be given our student lists and we will pour over them to see who we will spend the next nine months with. For me, getting a student list handed to me is like getting a great new book!  I'm filled with excitement, anticipation, and anxiety.  Yes, anxiety at the idea that these children are coming to me filled with the same feelings; excitement, anticipation, and anxiety.  It is my job to put them at ease, think of their feelings and goals as I plan for them. As I turn each page, I digest the information, thoughts swirling as I take in the words.  I will plan for them...encourage them, support them, and for
some of them I will give them a fresh start... a new beginning.
     So here is where I begin.  I begin with a promise.  A promise to accept each child into my heart...
without making my mind up about them before I meet them.  I will promise not see them only for the labels on their files, the words that have been said, or the opinions that have been formed in the past. They are not just a name, not just a child with a disorder, with an academic struggle, or an academic gift.  They are a child, a person with feelings, who desperately wants to feel that I want them, that I'm happy to see them each day. I will make a promise to see them and listen to them, to learn about them,
and to hear their voice. I promise to be the difference.  

To my students...  
     When you succeed, I will celebrate with you and when you struggle I will reflect with you.  We will make a plan together and we will try again, and again, and again... never giving up.  I will set the example for you that failure equals opportunity.  
     I will set the stage for innovative learning, and will provide opportunities for you to lead.  You will become a lead learner and will understand that your learning is lead by your motivation.  You will learn to be the change that makes your life wonderful, and I promise to guide you through that journey.
     Together we will create a safe place where you can come to school and succeed. You will learn that I care about you and the goals you want to reach.  I will give you the encouragement and the tools you need to reach your goals.  I will treat you with respect because you deserve it... you are important, you are strong, you are able.
To my families...    
     I promise to make you a part of our journey.  I will talk with you and listen to you.  I will take the time to understand what your concerns are and what your goals are for your child.  We will work as a team to create a plan that will ensure your child's success this year and every year after.  Together we will make it through the highs and lows that come with any great journey.  I promise to remember that this is your child, for whom you want only the best.

     Our journey is about to begin. Our students will soon be entering the doors of our classrooms.  They are hoping for acceptance, for understanding, hoping for a safe place to come each day.  We are responsible for providing that for them.  We must look past everything and understand that they need us.  We have the opportunity to empower them to change their world for the better.  It starts by teaching them that they matter.  They are worthy.  They are loved.  They are strong.  They are ABLE!  It starts with a promise...



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