Happy New Year!

The first tangible sign of the oncoming school year is the sight of the kids in the band, practicing on the football field, or the parking lot a couple of weeks before classes begin. I make note of where I first see this each year. Since I live in Austin, I usually see, and hear, the McCallum High School band as I make my way to the office. But this year it happened in Crockett, Texas as I was driving from Region 8 to Region 6 a couple of weeks ago. There they were—the Fighting Bulldog Band. The next day I saw the Hornets of Huntsville High School practicing football in the Texas heat.

Today marks the start of a new year! Somewhere in Texas there is an excited, slightly apprehensive 22-year old teacher, facing a class of his students for the first time. Somewhere in Texas a brand new assistant principal roams the school hallways in her first day as an administrator. Somewhere in Texas, a first time superintendent will call the members of the school board to report that the first day has gone well. Somewhere in Texas a freshly minted lawyer will, for the first time, take a phone call from a school administrator seeking advice.

Everything starts new today. All over Texas today educators begin the slow incremental process of saving the world, one class period at a time. I learned that from my sister-in-law, a 30-year music teacher. After a wide ranging family discussion of the country’s political and economic problems, Shirley quietly observed: “I don’t know about all that. All I know is that I save the world every day in my classroom.”


Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday!!