A Letter to the Class of 2020

To our College and University Seniors,  

We know this was a graduation weekend for many of you and things are not ending as planned. As you make this monumental transition into your professional career, you springboard into adulthood as well. Scary when you think of it that way, right?! Sometimes these big life transitions come at us like the seeker in hide-and-seek. Ready or not, here it comes. Don’t worry, you are prepared and ready. You got this.

We know you are missing out on milestone events that signify the end of an era, but it doesn’t take away from some basics. Take Domain 1, Planning and Preparation for example.  None of you planned or prepared to end your college career like this. But you planned, prepared and earned the honor to graduate. You spent hours in the library, and time on countless group projects. You questioned why your professors insisted on writing super long lesson plans. Trust me, you’ll thank them for this in the near future. The seemingly cumbersome lesson plan format trained you to remember and plan for the little things. If anything throughout this pandemic, I hope you learned to appreciate and cherish the little things because they add up to truly big things.  

Take the time to reflect, like you were taught in Domain 4, Professionalism. Have you ever been in yoga class when the instructor at the end invites you to let your practice “sink in” while in final pose of Savasana? Think of reflecting like that final relaxation pose.  Reflection can be the single most important tool not only professionally but personally. It’s where the growth happens, where the growth sinks in.  It’s where you figure out what went wrong, why, and what you need to do differently so it doesn’t happen again. It’s where you celebrate the things you knocked out of the park, because there is good in everything. Even if you have to look really, REALLY hard to find it at times, I promise you the good is there. When we don’t reflect, we can’t adapt and adjust as needed, we can’t grow. Think about how much growth you’ve done over these past few years. Think of how far you will grow in the future. Think of how you will inspire your future students to grow. 

The best part about this profession is what it gives back to you. Teachers are superheroes. Your superpowers are to lead and inspire future generations to live their healthiest life. Now, more than ever, students need you, their families need you, your colleagues need you.  YOU need you. Don’t forget to be kind and take care of yourself so you can best take care of others. When the physical and mental health and well-being of our school communities are challenged, I hope you realize the importance and depth of what we teach. You can and will make a difference.  

Please know you have a whole squad of teachers across the state from our organization in your corner cheering you on. We’re here to help you celebrate good days, and talk through the tough ones. We'd like to welcome you to your first year of teaching with a free PSAHPERD professional membership. Please complete this form to join or extend your membership on us. Without a doubt, know that we send this message from the bottom of our hearts to you as you take the next steps in your career and life:

Teach on, class of 2020. We can’t wait to see how you shape our future. 

-Jessica Peconi-Cook
PSAHPERD Executive Director 

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