Spring is hope. And I knew to start hoping when I saw the first boy come into class with a see-to-the-skull haircut.

I loved watching my students whittle down the “number of Mondays” or “number of spelling tests” to something which could fit on two, then one hand. It gave those young minds a number which could fit into their experience, something much less than 1 year. And they mostly reacted positively when they could sense the end of the school year.

Because even if I was not their. favorite, they knew I cared about them. They could not yet say the same thing about next year’s teacher. It made me think they cared about what we had accomplished and built together in that classroom. It made me feel that they cared about me too.

I also had to turn to hope at that time. Hope that I had done my best with the struggles which surface every year. Hope that I had demonstrated some characteristic which a student or two needed to see in action to internalize. I hoped I made them more capable and willing to face the challenge of the next, and next, and next school years.

Bring on the boys with the short haircuts. We are all ready for some hope.