Reading the students is a daily effort of educators everywhere. We read the children by greeting them with care, looking into their eyes, watching their body language, hearing their words, and observing how they get along with others. During the first day of school, I noticed a lot about my students when reading them. I learned that the children were generally happy to be at school, excited to see old friends, eager to play at recess, and for the most part, comfortable asking questions. I also noticed that there were varying degrees of awareness with regard to looking around, understanding directions, and engaging in the first day activities, activities mostly focused on the the team theme: We all belong here.
Today, day two, we'll continue the focus on belonging with the addition of activities that begin to put students in leadership roles with regard to leading their own learning and the learning of our grade five learning community. I'll continue to read the children and when puzzled, I'll ask, Can I help you? Do you need anything? How is the year going so far for you? I asked those questions a lot yesterday, and I learned a lot about what was important to children.
It is such a privilege to get to know a large number of new students and colleagues at the start of the school year. I know that these people will both enrich and positively challenge my year ahead. I'll change for the better because of their influence on me, and I hope that my influence on them will also result in positive change and growth. This is one of the great strengths and promise of the teaching profession, a profession that has the potential to positively impact people and their lives day after day.