The first full, five-day week in the Melrose Public Schools began today with anticipation and gusto, and I'm thinking about what good and challenging work our teachers do every day for our students. Reflecting on his own schooling, one of my favorite Globe editorialists, Carlo Rotella, wrote a wonderful piece for the August 29th paper entitled "Good teachers, memorable lessons." (You can find it in full here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/08/28/good-teachers-memorable-lessons/A3zypnzUez6LUbhrGMfuUP/story.html.) In it, he submits that "There are many good teachers out there, quietly tuning up their instruments as they prepare to go back to making beautiful music with their students. What they don in the classroom may look sorcerous, even miraculous, but, like good music, it's almost always the result of painstaking practice, rigorous self-examination, and deep attention to craft." His recollection of lessons learned from his own teachers is classic (like from teachers in grades K-3, "I learned that freedom and creativity grow from order and competence. If you first get things set up right, with routes established and structure in place, you can then improvise, explore, and invent with confidence."). I wish your children a year of order, competence, freedom, and creativity. And if you get a chance, please thank a teacher for making the beautiful music so necessary to develop our learners - from their first days in our schools through their last!
Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.