Oh, let’s not spend too much time lamenting the end of summer. Fall brings a plethora of new possibilities, especially for those going “back to school.” It’s more than just cute pictures of knobby knees and new lunch boxes. It means a lot to teachers, parents and students. (Yes, many of them are getting bored and are ready for the stimulation that learning brings. I’m not being corny!)
We asked some of our favorite teachers what they wished for the year to come and to share a little about themselves…
Katie is a wife and mother of 3 hockey playing kids, along with one 4-legged girl named Shooter, (her family’s labrador retriever). After taking a break from teaching and spending many years at home raising her own children, Katie is going into her 5th year of teaching first grade. When she’s not at school or a hockey rink, Katie enjoys taking her dog for walks, staying active, and being creative making various crafts.
This is what Katie said when asked about her 3 wishes for the school year:
- That we have a safe and happy year at school for our best teaching and learning to take place.
- That my students are successful in discovering their own abilities, talents and inspirations.
- That I may be successful instilling a love a learning in those around me.
Max is going into 3rd grade. Max is into basketball (loves Lebron James) and Star Wars. He likes to play Clue and enjoys carrots and good chicken Caesar salad.
This is what’s on his mind going into 3rd grade…
- I hope my friends are in my class.
- I hope I get a nice teacher.
- I hope to get better at math.
Lawrence lives in St. Charles, IL and owns Preservation and Atlas Chicken Shack in Geneva, IL. In his words, “We’ve had a successful summer that came with a lot of challenges! I didn’t get to spend as much time with my kids as I wanted to this summer, but I make sure that I listen to them and want them to know that they can come to me with anything.”
- My kids are 11 and 13—both in middle school. I know that can be a really tricky time. I want my kids to feel comfortable in their own skin. If they don’t do, say or dress like they’re “supposed to,” I want them to be able to own it and feel confident being who they really are. I know, a big ask!
- I’ve tried to instill in Oscar and Ella a sense of pride in their work. We don’t look at grades as much as effort. When Oscar got lazy on some reports last year, we took that very seriously. We orchestrated a re-boot and made sure he was turning in something that reflected the potential of his ability through a genuine effort. I really hope that sunk in and will show itself this year.
- I hope that with all the pressure that comes with middle school life that they can still have plenty of carefree fun. I wish that they can still be kids a while longer.
Well, it looks like there’s a good chance that Lawrence’s son, Oscar (with broken arm on the right), has taken some of last year’s lessons to heart. He’s ready to put aside his favorite Playstation games (like Overwatch and MLB The Show) and is ready to take on the new challenges that middle school will bring. He doesn’t seem to have any fears about it, but these are his wishes…
- I hope I make high honor roll all year long.
- I hope I get good teachers. It’s the first year I’ll have multiple teachers in middle school.
- I hope I never forget my locker code
Let’s hear from a school counselor and her desires for the school year.
My name is Brittany and I am about to start my second year as the School Counselor at Eastview Middle School! I work with a wide range of students. Some need help learning organization and executive functioning skills and others struggle with things like depression and anxiety. My favorite thing about my job is the fact that I get to work with so many different teams and students. No two days are ever the same and it definitely keeps me on my toes!
Brittany’s three wishes for this school year:
- I hope that our incoming 6th graders have a smooth transition to middle school because I know they are all very anxious about starting
- I hope that our Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) teams can make a positive impact on the school culture both with the students and the staff.
- I hope that any students struggling with mental health seek help from their trusted adult so that they can get the support they need.
Lisa has been teaching for a long time. She still has high hopes for her students…
Although I came to the profession of education later in my life, I have now been teaching for nearly 20 years. I am passionate about helping middle school students learn to access information, synthesize ideas, and express themselves effectively orally and in writing. Several years ago, I chose to pursue an endorsement in English as a second language because I saw a need to strengthen my knowledge and skills specific to improving achievement for my English language learners. My goal is for all of my students to acquire the ability to read widely, think critically, problem solve, and collaborate with others. I currently teach 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts at River Trail School, Gurnee, in Northern Illinois. I am proud to be a lifelong learner.
Lisa’s three wishes for this school year:
- That they won’t get caught up in the negativity and peer pressure with their friends and social media.
- That they’ll believe in themselves and their ability to make a positive difference in the world.
- That they’ll strive to achieve their goals and not let setbacks deter them.
What about high school teachers? Well, we talked to one…
My name is Jenna and I am a speech-language pathologist working at Oak Park and River Forest High School. This will be my second year at OPRFHS, but is my sixth year working as an SLP. I grew up on a farm but now live in the city with my fiancé and 5 month old puppy, Roscoe 🙂 My fiancé Sam is a special education teacher! I love being able to throw around ideas with him and plan and problem solve student cases!
My 3 wishes for the upcoming school year:
- I hope to provide effective and beneficial services to all of my students!
- I hope to remain patient with parents, co-workers and students through the good times and bad!
- I hope to collaborate with new and old teachers, as well as other related service providers.
My words of wisdom would be to always take a step back and fully enjoy the students you are with! Do not let the politics of a school system get in the way of enjoying the job you love!
My name is Meghan and I will be teaching fourth grade at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock, IL. I grew up in Algonquin and just graduated from Carthage College in May. I am so excited to start my first year of teaching!
My three wishes:
- My students all feel loved and valued in my classroom
- My students develop a love of learning
- We all create positive memories that last a lifetime
Let’s send out a lot of love (and some prayers) to this first year teacher. You can do it!
Did this take you down memory lane? Do you have a vivid memory of a first day of school that you’d like to share? We sure would love to hear it!