According to Merriam-Webster.com, to have hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation: to desire with expectation of attainment: to expect with confidence: to trust: to believe. Personally, I believe hope is the most important principle that I learned as a child, and it is the quality that I try to pass on to children every day as an educator. But why is hope so important to me? It is important to me because I believe to be hopeful is to never quit. It means to operate in the belief that anything is possible. And, I believe that when we possess hope, we are better able to pick ourselves up when obstacles get in our way. Therefore, when reading an article in the Washington Post this past week about a Montgomery County Maryland teacher who was given an award for inspiring hope in her students I had to share it with you.
I realize that for some, teaching a child that a measure of hope can help achieve his or her goals is not big news. However, for those of us who understand how important it is to build a child’s hopes I trust this article will help to inspire your work as the new school year begins. I also hope that anyone who reads this article will take a page from Mary Hawkins-Jones and start every lesson this year with an element of hope in your instruction. Teaching hope is easy just remember to:
Teach your students to trust and believe that with hard work anything is possible.
Teach your students not to lose hope when they make mistakes because with growth comes lots of mistakes.
Most of all, teach your students to expect, anticipate, and believe that anything is possible with just a hint of hope.
Ultimately, in the midst of a busy school year, do not forget a key element of teaching is instilling hope in the minds of your students.