A Labor Day Thank You and Reflection

In the education world Memorial Day is designated as the beginning of summer and gets lots of recognition.  And it should – thank you to all the veterans and retired veterans that have become teachers.  Labor Day is known as the end of summer (often said with a groan).  For many teachers, school has already begun.  For others, it will begin this week.  For the education world I feel Labor Day is perfectly placed as a designated reflection day.

Teachers have many things to reflect upon this Labor Day.  For instance, do you know what Labor Day really is?  Labor Day began from protests and riots to fight for a day off from work – back in the late 1800s!  We should be very thankful that these workers fought for a day off for us.  Now we have Labor Day and many others.

For teachers who have already started classes, Labor Day is a time to celebrate the first hectic rushes of school.  It is time to reflect upon what is working well already, what needs some tweaking, and what just did not work at all.  My favorite author, Parker Palmer (2004), describes using reflection to seek clarity.  A few moments of reflection now can save hours of frustration later.

For teachers who are preparing to start their school year, Labor Day is one last day to catch your breath and relax with family and friends before the first crazy week of school.  This is a time to go over your to-do list for your classroom and psych yourself up for the first day.  It always amazes me how seasoned teachers tell me they still have “first day jitters”!  Well, I’m here to give you calm, confident thoughts.

All teachers have a common bond, whether teaching early childhood or college.  We are all part of the education community.  “A strong community helps people develop a sense of true self, for only in community can the self exercise and fulfill its nature:  giving ad taking, listening and speaking, being and doing” (Palmer, 2004).

Thank you for the past and present workers who secured Labor Day as a day of rest and reflection.  Here’s to a great new school year!

 

Palmer, P. (2004).  A hidden wholeness.  The journey toward an undivided life.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

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