Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Today is a school day. I walked my usual route an hour later since snow has delayed the school opening. Because of the delay, the tests that were originally scheduled -high stakes, end-of-course tests for many of our students - have been postponed. A light snow fell yesterday covering over all the rough places as only new snow can, making them a shimmering, blanket of white. The sun is shining. The air is cold and clear.
Providence is at work.
At least that is the way I choose to view these serendipitous events that make it possible for our students to view history being made. Our first African American President is being sworn in at noon.
My students need to see this.
I need to see this.
It is the culmination of all the reasons we toil in classrooms every day, living the promise that is America. It is what I believe school is all about. Education: free to whomever wants it. Education: the great equalizer. We can BE our dreams.
I'm sure I'm going to cry today.
Though our new president has many hopes riding on his shoulders, I cannot bring myself to give up on the hope that this man will be an icon for so many of the disenfrachised youth we serve, those who have shown up for school, but for whatever reason, have been unable to take what is there for the claiming. If he does nothing else, my hope is that the representation of dreams realized through his presidency will inspire legions of children to take their place in creating a better world. It is the lesson I learned as a child in school. I want it to be true for all of our children.
Today, the lesson is: We Are One