The start of a new school year is a lot like the start of a new calendar year. Everyone begins with a sense of fresh opportunity, convinced this is the year that will be different from the time we vowed to give up chocolate, use the treadmill every day, or walk the dog even when it’s cold.
In the spirit of eternal optimism, here’s my list for this year. I’d love to hear yours:
This school year, I vow:
1. To write my college letters of recommendation right after I meet with each student. The fresher the meeting, the better the letter—even if the ones I write at 2 AM the night before they’re due are just fine, too.
2. Not to scream when someone talks about the 3 Rs of education. Only one of them is an R, so it’s easy to see why people don’t take educators seriously when we use this term—but I’m pulling a Queen Elsa here. We’ll see what happens.
3. To figure out if there’s more I can do to help students pay for college. The need is greater, and the resources seem smaller, but once my letter writing is done, this will be my focus, since getting into college doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it.
4. To ease off on social media. It’s too easy to look at the phone; it’s time to look more at the world first-hand.
5. To master Excel and Google Docs. How hard can it be?
6. To make sure no student’s college essay uses the word Epic. I know—right?
7. To eat lunch out of tmy office, with other people, at least once a week. Yes, it’s become that bad.
8. To help at least one state pass school counselor training reform in college counseling. We need to know more, and we know we need to know more. I hope my state is first past the finish line, but if another state wants help doing this, call me.
9. To figure out when I can do leisure reading without falling asleep. Doris Kearns Goodwin is a great writer; why have I read the same sentence about Teddy Roosevelt every night for the last four months?
10. To let people call me whatever they want. School counselor, guidance counselor, college counselor. I know I work hard for kids; that’s all that matters.