"It's today! It's today! It's today!" I feel just like George in Stuart Little. Today is my first day back at teaching after a brief, one-year retirement. And I am so excited.
So...what is wrong with this picture? Well, I'll tell you. There are no children milling about the room, and that is what has been bothering me ever since I've gone back to work. I don't do well in an empty classroom. I suppose teachers are like entertainers, in a way, and we enjoy performing for the crowd. Playing to an empty room...there's no fun in that!
Last night was Back to School Night at Monroe Elementary. True to form, I talked too fast, and I was a little nervous, but just meeting my children put my mind at ease. They are darling. They are so beautiful. And some of them are just like me, a little nervous about this day. I'm looking forward to settling into my rocking chair for our morning meeting. That is my time of day to assure them they belong here, and for them to tell me what is on their minds. We will work through our problems, and discover things about each other during our class gathering.
|This will be our theme this school year.|
To let them know they're not alone, I'll be reading First Day Jitters by Julie Danneburg. I think it will help us all relax to know we're not alone. Kids aren't the only ones with a case of nerves; most teachers admit to dealing with that, too.
My prayer today is that I will not rush. I will remember that it is not the curriculum I'm teaching...I teach children. When I remember that, my school days fall into place in all the right ways. I will take deep breaths, and slow down, and savor every moment that I can. I want my kids to know that Room 26 is where they belong. They don't have to try to fit in; they are wonderful human beings just the way they are. We'll all be learning together this year. I want school to feel like a home away from home for all of us.
I was wide awake at 4 this morning, which, while better than 3, is still pretty early. This August hasn't been any different than the thirty before when I was teaching elementary school. I just get so excited about school starting, I can't sleep. Like I said before, this is like Christmas morning for me. I have the next year to unwrap these gifts their parents have given me for this second grade year, and I want to help my kids discover how uniquely special each one of them is.
Wish me luck! I'm heading in early, just to go over our schedule one more time to make sure I haven't forgotten everything. Then I can relax, and enjoy getting to know my little ones. And I will put these jitters to rest, once and for all.