Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! You get the idea, right? At the beginning of every school day, this is the greeting that I give each student as they walk into the classroom. Thirty faces pass me by. A few reply with the same greeting. Some just smile. About half of them give me eye contact and the other half look everywhere else, but towards me. Why is that? Well, school has just begun. It always starts out the same. The replies, smiles, and eye contact do actually increase as the year progresses though. Right now, I am sure that most of them are just thinking “Is she really this happy in the morning or is it fake?” It’s real! I love what I do!
I am not a teacher, but an awakener. ~Robert Frost
Once the shock of a relaxing summer break ending sets in, anxiety and excitement quickly move in.
“OMG! I haven’t even finished my Summer Break Things to Do List yet!”
By the way, I never finish all of it!
“WHAT? I can’t wear shorts, tank tops, flip-flops and a hat everyday?”
I do love my hats and summer attire!
“YIKES! I wanted to go to my classroom this summer to clean out some cupboards and reorganize my files.”
Now, I’ll just have to go on a weekend when our campus is open for “Saturday School” and do it then. Although, it’s not necessary, it’ll make me feel better purging and reorganizing.
“OH NO! What happened to pinning new classroom ideas on Pinterest?”
In the end, it always works out because our grade level collaborates so well on curriculum planning. We share ideas all of the time. Bonus—one of colleagues loves Pinterest, so for a quick search, I just look at her board. 🙂
“How many students will I have? How many girls? How many boys?”
Last year, two-thirds of my class were boys.
“Will I have any of the same families from previous years?”
Since I’ve been teaching at the same school for so long, I generally do.
“What type of personalities will they have? Assertive? Reserved?”
This is usually noticeable in the first few days.
“What will they teach me this year? More compassion? More patience?”
I have had some years where a student’s home life makes me go home and appreciate mine even more. And then there are those years, where a student’s behavior stands out from the others, testing my patience and classroom management system. There is always a reason behind the behavior.
“What can I do this year to make it better than the last?”
EVERY teacher I know asks themselves this question.
However long my summer breaks have been, excitement ALWAYS squashes anxiety to the ground. WHY? I love the dedication, collaboration, friendship, and sense of humor of my grade level team. I love the overall positive vibe of our school site staff. I love the look of wonder in my students’ faces. I love the spontaneous smile on a student’s face when he/she “gets it.” I love when I see former students and they remember my classroom fondly. In the end, I love teaching; and more importantly, I love that one of my passions is also my career.
Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~Confucius