I’m old. I don’t say that to bemoan my 49 years or my aging joints or my grey hairs. I value all of those things. I truly believe that every day is a gift, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to get old.
I also don’t really think 49 is old. I am active and energetic and engaged in amazing work and play so are all of friends. I’m (mostly) joking when I say I’m old!
But I am experienced in my job and in my district. I’ve been around for awhile. I need to be intentional about reminding myself of that because I still feel like the brand new teacher in the oldest secondary school in our district. I still feel like the one who needs friends and mentors to help look out for her…because I do.
But I also want to be intentional about being that friend and that mentor for others. I’ve had so many myself.
Our new teachers reported to work this week. There are a lot of them. Some are brand new to teaching. Some have many years of experience. Some are excited. Some are nervous. Most are probably both. We all feel that way as we start a new adventure.
I want to encourage you to look around as we start the new year. The newest people in our schools are the future. What are we doing to help them get off to a great start?
Our kinders will someday be our 5th graders. How are we building in them the knowledge and the confidence to be our future leaders?
Our JV players will someday be our varsity teams. What relationships are we building with them now so we can have influence and impact as they progress?
Our new teachers will be our veteran teachers, and our new administrators will be our district leaders. How are we mentoring them?
This is an important week. We have the opportunity to welcome new staff and to reconnect with old friends.
Spend some time as we start the new year with those people who befriened you and who mentored you when you were new. There is still so much to learn from them.
Seek out people who are new and befriend them and mentor them. They are the future. They need us, and we need them. Learn from them. New eyes. New ideas. New people make us better.
This work we do is hard, but it is made so much easier when someone takes us under their wings. Appreciate those wings, and spread your own.