New.

This will be the fifth school year start that I haven’t been in my own classroom.  But it seems like just yesterday I was standing at my door, waiting for the very first bell of the year to ring.

I remember…

… the nervous knot in my stomach on the morning of Day One and the fear of setting the wrong tone for the year in those precious first days.

… the look on the non-english-speaking girl’s face as she entered my classroom alone- and hoping that I could be the support and guidance I know she longed for.

And I remember…

… tossing and turning the night before school started, waiting and wondering about this new group of children who would become a part of my world for the next 180 days. 

… looking at my classroom the day before school started, knowing that’s the cleanest it would be the entire year.

I also remember…

… wishing summer could have lasted a bit longer.

… annual first-day traditions- playing These Are the Days by 10,000 Maniacs and reading Oh, the Places You’ll Goby Dr. Suess.

… feeling exhilarated at the idea of a new year, a new start, a renewed passion for teaching.

Almost every night for the past two weeks, I’ve had a dream about being in my classroom on the first day of school.   Even though I’m no longer a classroom teacher, I still seem to have those beginning-of-the-year thoughts, hopes, and anxieties. 

If I ever begin to forget what it’s like to be a classroom teacher-  to know and feel the frustrations, the joys, the passion for teaching and learning-  I hope I’ll take that as my cue to leave this profession.  Even though my role in education has changed, my purpose is still the same.  And to support classroom teachers, I need to never forget what is was like to be one.

So, here’s to a new year.  A new beginning.  Some new faces.  May it be everything we hoped- and more.

Have a great first day,

Donna

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