Yesterday, like for many teachers, was my first official day back to school.

Early yesterday morning I watched an ant pull a wood chip around my porch for ten minutes before the rain came. The ant kept trying to carry the wood chip straight up a concrete step, but it never quite made it. There were a few other ants around, and I can only wonder if another ant had communicated how close to the top the ant had come during one of its attempts if maybe the ant would have kept going.

See 51 second video here: (embed ant video here)

Make this the year you are a great colleague! We must be there for each other in ways that we have never been before. Be fans of each other and root for each other to take chances, go to new places and go farther than we have ever gone before!

My favorite exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo is watching the ants work together. It fascinates me how hard they work and they never seem to get in each other’s way. Together is always better! Although we are faced with many new challenges, we must commit to bringing out the best in each other. Our profession cannot continue to default to being isolationists. We must stretch ourselves to expand our classrooms, teaching and minds!

A strong principal recently shared with me that her school motto this year is “Opportunities Over Obstacles”. Too often we are our own biggest obstacles. We must get out of our own ways sometimes to go farther and dream bigger than ever before! Never before have we had a more blank canvas for teaching and learning with such a captive audience of stakeholders. Our students, families and communities need us teachers; we must work hard and carry on!

Lastly, while reflecting I thought of this quote from one of my favorite books:

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” — Randy Pausch THE LAST LECTURE

You wanted to be a great teacher. Now’s your chance. You’ve got this and you have your colleagues too!