Dear colleagues and friends:
As a school leader, August was always a time of both renewal and anticipation for what’s to come. Every school year and every new class of students brought with them opportunities for growth, tremendous potential for impact, and typically a need for the team to rethink and innovate for a changing context.
In many ways, this is the beauty of being an educator. Working with young people demands dynamism that reflects the complexity of who they are and who they will become. This means accepting that the work may never look the same from year to year – but also celebrating that we are in a profession that allows us to join our students for a unique part of their journey toward adulthood.
As we enter another school year experiencing the ripples of the pandemic, it’s tempting to reject this dynamism and instead seek normalcy or a “return to basics” in our schools. Without a doubt, we must strive to create stability and a safe and welcoming environment for students. At the same time, we must acknowledge that students and their contexts have been forever changed in ways we’re only beginning to understand.
Now, more than ever, our educators must embrace dynamism; they must improve practice, innovate on structures, and seek new pathways to support students and families. Just as they have countless times in the past, I believe educators will rise to this moment, and TLA will stand with them in our mutual commitments to ensure students reach their full and unique potential.
Ryan Mick, Chief Program Officer