When I was still teaching in the public school system, I always felt pure excitement for the start of a new school year. It’s more than the freshly cleaned room, sharpened pencils, and new texts that set my belly a flutter–it’s the streaming possibilities.
I had a little speech that I used to give at the start of every school year. Since I now have a fourth and fifth grader (the two grades I taught), I’m going to send my speech out to them, to parents, to other teachers, and to you…
My Start of the School Year Speech
“Kids, you are in for the best year of your life. You’ll learn stuff that will sink into your brains and get stuck there forever. You’ll not only achieve in my class, but you will fail. In my class, if you don’t fail you’ll never feel the true joy of victory. Don’t get nervous, if you work hard you won’t actually fail on your report card, because I’m here to help you, however I can!
You’ll fail in a way that is real, like creating an experiment that doesn’t work, or trying to build a bridge with toothpicks and it just might break. That’s okay. That’s real life. We’ll learn together.
Learning is not a race. You are all good at something, but you can’t be best at everything. You’ll use your multiple intelligences to sing, act, draw, and dance your way into achievement. You’ll learn what it means to create a quality piece of work, that’s something you are proud of. We all want to be proud of our work. Right?
In my class, you’ll laugh. You’ll laugh because there is learning in engagement and to be engaged means that you are present. We’ll laugh because we like each other, because we enjoy each other triumphs! We’ll laugh because if somebody farts, it’s no big deal. We’ll laugh because in my class we’ll be friends.
Kids, hold on for the best year of your life. We are going to have a blast!”