‘Twas the night before the first day of school, and all through the teacher’s head,
ran thoughts of last-minute planning and jitters as she prepared for bed.

The desks had been sanitized; the carpets had been cleaned,
a bright bulletin board announcing, “We are writers,” she had schemed.

As she snuggled under the covers she envisioned a year of learning,
all of the essays and projects she would grade, as ideas kept churning.

Students’ heads would be filled with texts – both narrative and information,
not to mention ample practice with analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

The Common Core they would conquer, to the top of data charts they would soar,
but more importantly the books, big questions and complex issues they’d explore,
would expand their ideas, ignite their imaginations and broaden their perspectives,
through engagement and discourse, together, they’d become literacy detectives.

On reading! On writing! On speaking and listening!
On collaboration! On publishing! On critical thinking!

Throughout the journey, the students would propel the teacher’s pedagogy,
Into new terrain, new possibilities, news tools and technologies.

As slumber overtook her, and her jitters finally dwindled,
a fierce hope and fervent wish inside of her kindled:

May every teacher remember, in the face of all obstacles–
what happens in our classrooms is the stuff of miracles. 

For they can mandate and legislate and collect data all day,
in the media they can claim we are lazy or passé,
but they cannot take our voices, our ideas, our knowledge or relationships away,
so happy back-to-school to all, may learning and leadership be our mainstay.

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