Opening Day. It’s like a baptism, when the sins of yesteryear are washed away. The disaster of last October 2, when the Cleveland Indians were eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Rays in a game that was not nearly as close as the 4-0 score would indicate, is long since forgotten.
Opening Day. Hope is in the air. Anything is possible. The World Series is there for any team to take, for any team who finds some good pitching and some timely hitting and a little bit of luck. On Opening Day, even the Cubs are contenders.
Opening Day. We forget about all of those pains from the past. We forget about Jose Mesa in game 7 of the 97 Series. We forget about Steve Bartman. We forget about Bill Buckner. Opening Day is the ultimate Do Over. We all start fresh. We are all 0-0 with 162 to play.
As we get ready for the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd, let us educators remember that for our students, EVERY day should be Opening Day.
Every day should be a chance for kids to start fresh.
Every day should be a chance for kids to turn the corner;
to take a new path;
to continue developing into the creative, intelligent, caring, compassionate adults they all are capable of becoming.
Opening Day is about mercy and forgiveness.
Opening Day is about second chances.
Opening Day is about realizing that the role of the educator is not to condemn for past failures, but to help up, to brush off, and to set forth on the straight path.
Kids are kids. They make mistakes. They make bad choices. They cause others pain. They strike out, sometime a lot. But they are still kids, still capable of rebirth and growth, still deserving of another opportunity to come to the plate. And if we continue to coach them, they will hit it out of the park.
How awesome would it be if EVERY day were Opening Day for our students? If every day, every student, everywhere, was given the opportunity to start fresh?
Educators have the power to make that happen. Make the choice to do so. When given the choice between mercy and justice, choose mercy. Even for Jose Mesa.