“Reach Toward What is Next” | Hooray for Monday

January 3, 2021

By Aleta Margolis, Founder and President, Center for Inspired Teaching

Hooray for Monday is a weekly blog filled with questions, ideas, reflections, and actions we can all take to remodel the school experience for students. 

Anytime we need a reminder of the potential of young people, we can listen to Amanda Gorman.

Her brand new poem New Day’s Lyric acknowledges our collective pain, and also our collective strength, as we enter 2022. She inspires us to go forward, not back to the parts of “normal” that didn’t serve us.

She begins, “May this be the day we come together,” a message that is particularly poignant as we head back to school this week – some of us in-person, some of us online, some of us waiting in line for Covid tests.


We want so much to come together in school because when we are together in school, we can:

  • Expand knowledge and deepen understanding;
  • Build, test, and strengthen relationships;
  • Challenge assumptions and strengthen empathy; and
  • Identify problems – and generate, test, revise, and implement solutions.

We know that the coming weeks will bring challenge and disruption to what that “coming together” looks like in schools. And much of the mechanics behind that will be out of our control. But let us focus on what is. And that is our ability to make space for our students’ questions and concerns, for their worry about the present and their need to find hope in the future. We can listen, and we can modify our time and our lessons to make room for their inquiry and their need to process what is going on. As Gorman so eloquently states:

“So let us not return to what was normal, But reach toward what is next.”

As you come together with students this week – in whatever way that happens – invite them to reach toward what is next along with you. See below for some places to start.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy New Year.

September Inspired Teaching Institute

Teachers can’t control what happens between the time students wake up and when they arrive at school but they have a lot of control over what happens when students cross the classroom threshold. Participants in this fast-paced, idea-rich Institute will learn 20 different strategies for starting the school day!