As I was thinking about the start of another New Year- several lists came to mind. And no, not just my to-do list or the back to school supplies for my son! I think it may be because those of us in the education field know that New Years is not really Jan 1 but rather the day after Labor Day! It is a time of new beginnings for educators and students- complete with shiny, clean classrooms, books full of promise, and perhaps, folders yet unripped or tarnished, with our favorite animals or colors. This is then also a time for resolutions, clean slates and optimism— and lists! Happy New Year to All Educators!
So to share a couple of lists!
Two professors at Benloit College have created and distributed a list with some serious and some humorous cultural touchstones regarding the incoming college freshman class. This year’s list includes such items as:
- Bill Gates has always been the richest man in America
- 9/11 happened before current students were in school
- The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has always been a news program
- While the number of Americans living with HIV has always been going up, American deaths from AIDS have always been going down
While, the list was originally intended to offer reference points for professors encountering the freshman class, it offers provocative points for those of us in K-12 education also. Some items on the list provide perspective when we think about the world our students inhabit and how our time with them in schools may and may not influence them.
Not only is there a new cohort of students entering college but we also have new colleagues joining the profession. Just Ask Publications posted a monthly calendar for mentors to guide and offer suggestions of what they may need to attend to with their colleague. By organizing potential actions in eight areas, there may be areas to attend to that may not be the first ones to come to mind if you are a mentor. Each calendar is a list of things to think about as we support new colleagues.
And in thinking of lists- an old one but good one by Jeff Foxworthy: How to Know You are a Teacher. Actually a quick google search reveals several versions of How to Know You are a Teacher. I would add: you look for calendars arranged Sept- August. Another to add is you say to your family- please use your indoor voices. What items would you add to the list?