This year, teach indignant.
Indignant about the state of education in this country. For all the big - and small - reasons.
Indignant about them number of days lost to asinine standardized tests that are ruining education.
Indignant that misguided billionaires who know nothing about education are shaping educational policy in this country.
Indignant that our kids come to school hungry every day. In America. The richest country the world has ever known. And if that doesn't make you indignant, think about who the last president who cared about poverty was. Let me give you a hint: it was over fifty years ago.
Indignant that all school workers are overworked and underpaid. And under respected. "You get summers off - must be nice."
But here's the thing. And it's a thing that I still struggle with. But a thing I am getting better at. If you get angry - or get indignant - all that does is ruin your day. It doesn't ruin Bill Gates's day. Or whoever or whatever you're indignant with.
This anger eats at you. Until you come to terms with it.
In this case, until you channel that indignation into something positive.
Don't ask for permission. Got something you think will work for your students? GO DO IT. Don't ask an administrator. Ask for forgiveness later.
Don't have data to back up what you want to do in your class? Is it best for your students? Go do it.
Want to make a difference in your kids' lives? Want to do right by them? They're the reason you're here, working fifty or sixty or seventy hours a week. GO DO IT.
Teach indignant. Make a difference. It's 2014. Just go do it.
Remember: is it what is best for kids? Good. Go do it. Ask for forgiveness later. Not permission now.