My annual wish list with something for the current season:
May your classroom be full, but not too full, of eager students.
May your students not be jaded.
May they have had a good night’s sleep.
May they greet you when they come in and bid you goodbye when they leave.
May they look you in the eye but not get in your face.
May they never say “whatever.”
May they get their work done—by themselves.
May the sparks in their lives be of interest not notes.
May their parents appreciate what you do for them.
May your classroom not enchain you with gadgets or constrain you with needless routines.
May its main source of light be sunshine.
May your bag of tricks be bottomless.
May the only added value in your life be the value added to your abundantly deserved retirement accounts.
May your administrators be educators.
May they see the paradox in preparing individual students for standardized tests.
May they not think that schools are a business or education a product.
May they share your horror of baloney and pink slime education.
May your school’s mission be expressible in under ten words, none of them a superlative.
May nothing in your building leak.
May your school’s network work.
May you possess or achieve the serenity to accept the human condition and the keenness to relish the good things you have.
—and two wishes in light of current events:
May you and your students be alive and safe a year from now.
May the friends and relatives of those killed in their classrooms find the strength to endure their loss.