It’s difficult to believe that I am already one month into my thirteenth year teaching high school. At this point, we’ve already gone through the first cycle of things: first tests and projects, first homerooms and assemblies. It has been a good year so far, both challenging and comforting in different ways.
Starting again is a strange thing. It often requires a certain amount of willful forgetfulness, a kind of naivete about things, assumes that a little time away somehow makes all things new. It’s an odd optimism. And while it’s been years since I first learned the difference between (blind) optimism and hope (based on truth), I have yet to fully and effectively maneuver well between the two. These last few years have been about learning to reorient my hope, which stands opposed to forgetfulness just as much as it stands opposed to blind optimism. Hope transcends students and adults, policies and (even) possibilities. We make hope’s foundation much too slippery when we don’t see Him for who He really is.
“I need hope to start again,” the song goes. Maybe it is the hope that needs the jumpstart, or maybe it’s the person. Either way, hope is key. And whether it’s year one or year thirty-one, the good and right hope is the essential thing, a common yet uncommon thing.