Teachers need a holiday. I’m not talking about a day off, though they definitely enjoy those when they come around and I’m not talking about Teacher Appreciation Day, which is ironically still an instructional day for almost all teachers. I’m talking about a day for teachers to look at their practice, acknowledge what went well and what could have been improved, and make a plan of action for how it will be different next time.
Coming off the Memorial Day weekend, there’s lots of talk about remembering. We think about the soldiers who gave everything, including their lives, in service to their country. There is no doubt that many aspects of modernity are due to the sacrifices of men and women willing to put everything else on hold why they embody the very definition of courage.
Yet, when I talk to veterans, it is without hesitation that they acknowledge that every day is Memorial Day. Each day carries with it the weight of their fallen brothers and sisters. They are not nostalgic about the past like the rest of us. They don’t pine for days gone by, as if the “good ol’ days” were something to be revived. Instead, they have found a unique way to carry memories forward into the future.
The banks can stay open, the mail can still run, but teachers need to designate a day, maybe this summer, to find a way to remember the past, but not go back to it. Don’t be nostalgic about a lesson from five years ago, the world has changed since then. You’ve changed since then. How can you honor the past while moving bravely into the future?