It’s 8:00 p.m. and I’m in bed.  It must be a new school year.

There should be a reality show titled “The First Two Weeks Of School.”  The weak would certainly not survive.  For us teachers and coaches, there are words to describe the intensity of the first two weeks.  For those who have never experienced it, there are no words that could help them understand.

Bulletin boards to get ready.   Back-to-school nights to attend.  Schedules to adjust.  Equipment to prep.  IEP’s to accommodate.  And new Kindergartners.  Bless their hearts… After 30 years of teaching I am still amazed that the instant one asks you to go the bathroom, suddenly the other 56 students in your class decide that they, too, have to go at that exact moment.

Yes, I am in bed by 8:00 p.m.  Yes, my legs are a wee bit weary.  Yes, my voice is slightly horse.  However, my heart is full of hoPE and my expectations exceedingly high.  The start of this year felt different.  Different because of you.

Throughout this past summer, I had the privilege of presenting and hosting workshops throughout the country.  The honor of meeting so many dedicated coaches and teachers doing incredible things for their kids and community was humbling.  I walked into your community as the facilitator of a workshop, but left a better teacher and a better person.  The stories from your heart have inspired my spirit.  Your celebrations of our profession have renewed my purpose.  It is as if I fell in a bucket of AWESOME and got your awesomeness all over me.

You can’t spell resPEct or hoPE without P.E.  You put the “P” & “E” in both.  On behalf of the OPEN National Training Team, I wanted to wish each and every one of you a great year. Thank you for making the OPEN movement more powerful than we ever could have imagined.  Your students and community are so very lucky to have you.

Jim DeLine