Happy first day of school to our many friends who return to the classroom (or their leadership post) this morning!

On my way in to work, I couldn’t help but smile at the streams of bobbing heads and backpacks making their way down the street. Fresh first-day-of-school outfits, new pencils and notebooks and binders, eagerness and excitement. Ahh, the first day! Although we are likely feeling a little overwhelmed and underprepared at the sight of a new year dawning, we can also step back and be grateful that our profession gives us a clean start every 12 months. What other job builds routinely offers the chance to reflect on our experiences, refine our approach, and regain our strength (let’s face it, summer is not exactly vacation time) in order to begin anew as our better selves?

As kids take their seats for the first time today, take advantage of the hope and uncertainty that August brings. What is this class all about? Will this teacher like me? Will he be fair? Will she help me to belong? What will we learn? Will I like it here?

Answer their questions in your body language and tone, in your passion for what you teach, and in the words you use to paint a picture of the year for your students. This is the day to set a compelling vision for what school can and should be, for your students and yourself. Don’t hold back – be bold! Let them (and yourself) know that this year will be different. Anything is possible in August!