And, we’re off. For many teachers tomorrow kicks off the second half of the school year. I find we usually get about a 24-hour reprieve before students come out of their vacation stupor and kick into full “game on” mode. I hope you enjoyed your break as much as I did and are ready for the adventure.

As you head back I encourage you to put on your team jersey and not go at it alone. We know there is strength in numbers, and it always feels good when peeps have our backs – but as much as I am loathe to admit it, being part of a team affords us the gift of accountability.

A few months ago I joined a gym and signed up for group personal training. Twice a week I work out with 2-4 other people for an hour of full-body strength-training and conditioning. Although there are days I’d rather eat dirt than head to the gym, I do so anyway – because I know others are counting on me. Of course, after the workout I’m always glad I went.

When I work out alone I’m only accountable to myself – which for me, unfortunately, is just not enough. I like working in community. I like holding others to a high standard and appreciate it when they do the same for me.

As you enter this new year, allow yourself the gift of working in community. Let others hold you to a high standard and do the same for them. We don’t have to do this education thing alone and it certainly is a more enjoyable journey when we travel with our friends.

PS – Sorry for the delay in getting out this post. I prioritized watching the New Orleans Saints play for two hours and then had to spend the next hour mourning their loss before being able to focus on my blog.