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Hello! I am Mrs. Davolt and I teach English Language Arts. Now that August has arrived, I feel like the summer countdown is on! The 2018-19 school year is my eleventh year of teaching and my second year at Tahoma High School. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you very soon. Expert teacher Sarah Brown Wessling wrote the following pledge, but every word resonates with my excitement for the year to start. Go Bears!

 

Pledge to My Soon-to-Be Students

 

I haven’t met you yet, but I’m already thinking about you. I’m wondering what you’ll be curious about and worried about. I’m wondering what will light you on fire and what you’ll teach me. There’s a very good chance I’m more excited about the first day of school than you are, but I want you to know why. I hope this pledge helps you understand why this first day and all the days that follow are so important.

 

I Pledge…

 

  • To see you as individuals. Not as part of a clique or group, not as the younger sibling or the child of well-known surname. I will work to see you. As you are, a work in progress, not a testament to past successes or failures.

 

  • To listen to you. I mean really listen to you. So when I ask you a question, it’s not because I already know the answer. It’s because I’m curious about your brain and how it works. It’s because we’re having a semester-long discussion and your thoughts and experiences are just as important as anyone else’s and definitely more important than mine.

 

  • To be human. This means I’m going to make mistakes. It means I won’t get it right every time, but I won’t be shy about owning it. It means I have two kids who sometimes have meltdowns or get sick or just need a mom and I won’t get those homework assignments read. It means that while teaching is undoubtedly my life’s work, it’s not the only part of my life. And this is good! Because it will remind me that your lives are just as complicated and imperfect as mine. That some days you won’t get it right and some nights you had late practice and slept through your alarm and didn’t get your homework done. 

 

  • To work as hard as I ask you to. I promise I will. This doesn’t mean I’m going to make it easy or lay out all the steps to getting an A. It means that I’ll be a writer so I can be a better writing teacher. It means that I’ll read challenging things on my own so I can remember what it feels like to struggle and get stuck. It means I’ll stay up late and get up early and do everything I can to give you an experience every day.

 

  • To challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable. If we’re going to learn something, we’re going to have to struggle. I never want you to fail in a way that makes you want to give up, but we’re going to have to welcome failure if we want to get better. This class isn’t about showing me what you can already do, it’s about proving to yourself you’re more than your “can’t.”

 

  • To love you through it all. I know. It sounds over-the-top, but I mean it. I will encourage you and hold you accountable. I will celebrate you and have the toughest conversations with you. I will listen without judging, I will talk without withholding. I will laugh at your jokes and listen to your music. I will hear your stories, I will share my own and I will hold them all.

 

  • To teach. Which is to say, I will be humble. That doesn’t mean I will be quiet, but it means I will be less important than your learning. It means I will abandon my ego and replace it with your best interests in mind. I haven’t met you yet, and already I know it will be an honor to have been your teacher.