Today’s post will probably mean most to my American readers, but even if you are from another country, read on…it may still speak to you!
Today is July 4th. Happy 4th, everyone! Today most of us will go to a cookout and/or watch some fireworks while we spend time with friends and family, as well as a number of other traditions people may have. It is a day to celebrate and to remember when our country was officially founded.
July 4th is the day that we mark the Second Continental Congress’ passing and signing of a resolution of independence from England called the Declaration of Independence (though there is a lot of debate about when it was actually signed by most of the people who signed it). This document was the founding document of the United States as an independent country with its own government and no longer under the reigns of England. Today is the day that we celebrate that independence.
This morning, I read up a bit on the traditions, celebrations, and meaning of the 4th of July holiday (Wikipedia had some pretty fascinating tidbits on it). I found out some interesting pieces of information about it. It was almost an instant holiday. The year after the Declaration was passed, there was a celebration on the 4th in Philadelphia (the capitol at the time and where the Continental Congress met), and the party even included fireworks! The tradition of celebrating on that day continued year after year and spread throughout the country. To me, this seems pretty amazing that the holiday basically began the year after the event! But it was a pretty amazing event, and it should be remembered, honored, and celebrated!
Now, how am I going to bring this back to teaching? I don’t know that I need to, but I think I will anyway. 🙂
Think about your students. I know that we all teach students of different backgrounds and each year our students are different. Most of us are on summer break, as well. For this reason, just think about your students in general. Some come from excellent homes and environments…other don’t. Some have amazing and obvious gifts and talents that will take them far…but not all of them. Some know how to learn, think, and explore knowledge independently…but not every single one of your students. Some know how to be independent learners…a lot may not. Some students know what it means to be free and what freedom means…other have no idea.
We are teachers. We are like the armies, soldiers, and volunteers that fought for the freedom for our countries founders to be able to declare independence from England. We have to fight for our students to know thinking independence. Without the freedom to think on their own, they will never know true freedom as an adult…and I believe that most of our job is to get students ready for the future, no matter what we may teach. We need to know each student and what their individual learning styles and need are, and then teach them how to know how to do this on their own. They will not always have us fighting for them…we need to teach them to fight on these battles on their own!
I know this post may be a stretch, but a part of celebrating independence is understanding what independence is. We as adults have a pretty good understanding of what freedom is. Not just freedom in the sense of the freedoms we have in our country, but freedom of mind…to stand and think on our own. We need to remember that our job is to help our students to be able to do the same one day. We are fighting for their freedom to be who they will be one day, on their own. Don’t give up the fight for your students’ independence!
You are an awesome teacher! You are a great freedom fighter! Don’t give up and don’t ever stop! You are changing the future one student at a time! This makes you amazing! Keep on teaching, Teacher! Happy Forth of July!
PS…The picture is from when I went on a cruise and got to sail past the Statue of Liberty. It was hard not to think about what it must have been like for the millions of people that sailed to Ellis Island from around the world in hopes of finding the freedom promised in America. Are you that beacon of hope of future independence for students? I want to be.