School’s in. It’s time to put those brains in gear again, and bid farewell to late nights, sleeping in, and relaxing at the beach on hot summer days. Hopefully we all made some fun vacation memories that will carry us through the rigor of tight schedules and demanding workloads – students and teachers both.
As a teacher, back to school means going back to the basics with new and former students alike. I usually make some adjustments to the policies that maintain order in my classroom, tweak a few assignments, and polish up my lesson plans to make them more effective and efficient. But there are many things that I keep the same, such as reviewing the Founding Documents and helping the students discover how these amazing concepts are still relevant today. This involves being aware of the daily world, national, and state news headlines.
It is refreshing to be in a twenty-first century classroom, listening to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders read, discuss, and present on documents that birthed our nation. Sometimes it jolts me into reality – we can still claim the authority of the ideals inscribed in those documents as citizens of the United States of America. Our country has changed and would hardly be recognized by the authors and signers of old, but the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution have not been altered.
So as we dust off our books, pull out our backpacks, and sharpen our pencils, let’s demand liberty and justice for all and take responsibility for our actions. Punish the guilty, protect the innocent, lower taxes, shrink government, and welcome common sense back into the classrooms (and airports). It’s time to get this nation back in order – report cards will be due before we know it.