Pure Gold | Hooray For Monday

July 8, 2024

By Aleta Margolis, Founder and President

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If you know me well, you know that I treasure my few minutes each day reading advice columns, and Amy Dickinson is one of my favorite columnists. Amy has the uncanny ability to distill what, to me, appear to be complicated, overwhelming, multifaceted problems into simple, clear, focused guidance, followed by thoughtful action steps. (And as I’ve written, I believe action is the antidote to worry.)

On June 30, Amy announced her retirement — although she does not characterize it as such, as she is on to new adventures. It is my great pleasure to share Amy Dickinson‘s final column with you, our Hooray for Monday readers. It is pure gold.

It contains, among other things, Amy’s “universal truths,” including:

Amy’s universal truths. Image via AmyDickinson.com

And many more.

I would encourage you to read Amy’s column now, then tuck these universal truths away and bring them back in a few weeks when you are ready to meet your new students, and set up your new classroom. Share them with your students and talk together about how these universal truths might become classroom rights and responsibilities.

What would you add? What would you change? What would a classroom guided by these words look and feel and sound like? What kind of learning and growing would happen in a classroom guided by these words?

Amy’s columns often include letters she receives from readers who disagree with her advice; sometimes she shares letters that criticize her virulently. Clearly she’s not afraid of conflict. She’s not afraid of pushing back, and she does so when she feels someone’s response is uninformed or overly unkind. She’s also not afraid of acknowledging when she’s wrong, and she often thanks her readers for seeing perspectives she has missed. In other words, she’s not afraid of learning.

In school, we study historical figures, wise sages, and many others who shape society. Amy Dickinson has provided perspective, strengthened empathy, and offered guidance to thousands of people for over two decades. And I believe she’s earned a place in our classrooms, especially as we prioritize wellness for our students and ourselves.

I hope you enjoy learning from her as I have.

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Hooray For Monday is an award-winning weekly publication by Center for Inspired Teaching, an independent nonprofit organization that invests in and supports teachers. Inspired Teaching provides transformative, improvisation-based professional learning for teachers that is 100% engaging – intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Our mission is to create radical change in the school experience – away from compliance and toward authentic engagement.

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