I'm in the business of hope. I have the great task every single day of making this world a little better. I'm also in this fortunate position with many other incredibly strong and brave people who I proudly call colleagues. We are entrusted with America's youth everyday. Their parents hand them over to us with trust, love, and hope. They have hope for their children's future and so do I.
I'm one of America's teachers. I'm a lucky one.
Today, I cried my eyes out on my way to the job that I am so incredibly blessed to hold. Prior to driving to my beloved school, I had a long talk with my dad- a man who fought for our country before I was even born, a man who worked tirelessly every single day of his life to provide for his family, a man who (in his retirement) continues to work to better the lives of veterans, the elderly, and my family- a man who voted for hope and a better future a few days ago, a man who assured me that we are America and we will persevere- we've done it many times before and we will do it again. I'm a lucky one. I'm so lucky to call that man my dad.
Then, I drove to work. I sent a voice message to my dear writing partner, Kari. Kari and I are lucky ones. Right now, she and I are collaborating to help make reading instruction more joyful for many of our nation's other lucky ones- our fellow teachers. After I sent a voice message to Kari, I called my dear friend and colleague Jim. The night before, Jim, his partner Jason, and our dear friend Jenn, and I were sending messages to each other of hope, but also of fear. We were two American women and two gay American men who were terrified- who still kind of are terrified. But, we are lucky ones. We live in a community surrounded by a vast majority of other Americans who voted for hope, love, and acceptance of all Americans, of all people.
During that phone call with Jim, we thoroughly and thoughtfully discussed how we would handle the morning with our different classes, my fifth graders and his sixth graders. We decided to choose hope. We decided to choose to listen. We decided to choose literacy... to read to escape, to write to feel, to change, to express anger/fear/uncertainty/love/hope.
Jim and I are lucky ones.
You see, we are in the business of hope everyday. Today, we saw why we do what we do. My tears are still sneaking up on me here and there, but my students are giving me hope. Today, they talked, wrote, read, thought, analyzed, questioned, and loved.
When I tearfully told them this morning that I was not able to talk about it yet, one of my boys looked me in the eyes and said, "We can respect that Ms. Nosek." Then, they went off to their chosen spots in the room to write, to read, to unknowingly show me that I truly am in the business of hope. My inability to talk about it began to fade. As I witnessed hope unfolding in front of me, as I saw them read, as I read their incredibly honest writing, I found my voice. I was reminded that I am in the business of hope.
Our kids are amazing. Regardless of who you support, your political affiliation, or your fear for the future, I offer hope for I am a lucky one. I am in the business of hope.
I wish you could spend a day with me in my world. I wish you could see the hope that I see every single day in my work. I am a teacher. I am an American teacher. I am proud to be an American teacher- absolutely nothing can take that away from me.
You see, I'm in the business of hope. I get to work with our real future every single day. When my current kiddos graduate from high school, the year will be 2024. They have hope, so I have hope. They can both live in the moment and look far ahead to the future- and so can I. I choose to follow my students' lead. I choose hope. They are our true change makers. I will do everything in my being to empower their possibility. I am a lucky one. Everyday, I get to see that...
Whenever a child laughs, we have hope.
Whenever a child smiles, we have hope.
Whenever a child gives a hug (thank goodness for those today), we have hope.
Whenever a child reads, we have hope.
Whenever a child writes, we have hope.
Whenever a child critically thinks, we have hope.
Whenever a child questions the status quo, WE HAVE HOPE.
In the America I live in everyday, there is more hope than I even know how to handle. I am a lucky one. I see it everyday. I was reminded of it this morning when I was greeted with hugs and this afternoon when I was left with hugs. I am a lucky one.
You are, too.
We do have hope. Please believe me. Please let your voice be heard. Please show our little ones that we are America and we have hope. Please join me. Show them that they are change makers when they believe in themselves and in hope. We have this power and so do they- as long as we read, write, think, question, speak, and act. We are lucky ones. We are America. Nothing and no one can take that away from us- not even our elected officials. We are a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. We are the people. Never forget that. WE HAVE HOPE.
Love to you all.
Love to all the children.
Love to this great country of ours.
Love trumps hate...
Please believe me.
I see it everyday.
I wish for you to see it, too.
Alas, I am a lucky one.
After you cry, after you yell, please act.
Rest assured, I will.
After all, I'm in the business of hope.