As we turn into 2019 and return to school early in this January, we should pause to consider the unique place this month has in our calendar. The month of January is named for the Roman God Janus, who is the god of beginnings, transitions, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces since he looks to the future and to the past. He fittingly represents where we stand as we are both at the beginning of a calendar year, but looking back to the foundation built in our first semester as we simultaneously move forward to open new doorways along the passage that is this year’s educational mission.
January has always marked important transitions in our educational history, both big and small. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, an important moment in moving this country toward freedom for all. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, observed on the third Monday of January, celebrates his "life and legacy" as Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement that helped realize the dreams begun in many ways with Lincoln’s Proclamation. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was approved by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002. But perhaps less well known but just as importantly, in 1946, at one minute after midnight on January 1st, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling was born, the first of nearly 78-million baby boomers born in the United States, beginning a generation that resulted in unprecedented school population growth and massive social change—and she became a teacher!
As we look back to our first semester, and on to the remainder of the year, it is our hope that each student, parent, guardian, teacher and staff member’s commitment to our World Language curriculum goals is marked by such ardent desire to truly involve ourselves in these languages and the cultures that they represent—because, as Franklin said elsewhere ““Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Monica M. Flynn