Every Opportunity on Day One and All Year

Every Opportunity

You’ve probably seen this video. When I watched it this afternoon, it had over 8 million views. If you haven’t seen it, I challenge you to watch it. Then, think for a bit about where you see yourself. I did.

And it’s humbling.

As I start a new year with new students today, I want to remember the me I want to be every single day — the adult with the smile who takes the time to greet each student with a genuine hello, the teacher with a voice of care and concern — even when I’m tired or frustrated or worried about something completely unrelated to school. I want to show every student that they matter — because they do.

We teach students as much by our actions and attitudes as we do by our instruction. We know this, and we love children — that’s why we went into education in the first place, or at least I hope it is.

So today, when my students come to my door, I’ll be there to greet them. I’ll talk to as many of my juniors as I can. I’ll look into their eyes and invite them to think and write and share as much as they are willing to about their lives.

How will I extend this invitation? You guessed it. Our first response of the year will be to this Every Opportunity video. I’m eager for the conversations.

Building community on day one and then working to strengthen community every day throughout the year.

I’d love to hear your ideas for building classroom communities that work to ensure all students feel seen and heard. Please share in the comments.




3 thoughts on “Every Opportunity on Day One and All Year

  1. Norah August 24, 2016 at 1:25 am Reply

    Amy, thank you. I have not seen that video before. At first it appalled me, and then it touched my heart. It’s message is clear, brilliant, and important. It should be on the must watch list for every teacher as they begin each school year, and every time a reminder is required. We are there only for the children. They need to be at the forefront of our minds and our practices.


    • Amy August 24, 2016 at 5:56 am Reply

      I shared the video with my AP English students on the first day of school. The students responded with interesting connections as to what the message means to us as a community of learners. They decided that teens mirror adult behaviors, which I think is insightful. Thanks for the comment Norah.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah August 24, 2016 at 6:21 am Reply

        That’s interesting, Amy. I wonder does that mean the teenagers are mirroring what they have learned from adults, or are adults persisting in behaviours set in teenage years. Or perhaps a little of each. I hope it’s the positive behaviours that are being mirrored. 🙂


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