This week’s topic: How do you spend the first two days of the school year?
I can’t believe it, but I have been out of the “classroom” for five years now. So, my first two days have evolved. Though I still have students that I work with, my role has changed. I don’t have students I have to grade. That changes everything. I wish every teacher could work with students and not be responsible for grading. I see things in a more positive light now. I notice the small learning that occurs everyday – the learning I didn’t notice before taking on new roles.
So, how do I spend the first days of school? I enjoy them. As a classroom teacher, I remember leaving each day that first week with no voice and a sore back and feet. Teachers – you know what I’m talking about. As a tech director, I spent it running around the school killing fires and being everyone’s superwoman. As an instructional technology specialist, I spent it, once again, killing fires but also putting a stamp on the year – setting the environment for learning. In my new role, I will go home tired and sore, I’m sure. However, I will also spend it getting to know people. Too much of my last five years has been spent putting out fires that I have not had the chance to enjoy the newness – to enjoy meeting new faces and learning new things.
The first two days of school are chaotic – no matter what position you serve in education. There is no way around it. However, our focus should be on enjoyment. But, I say this knowing I don’t even do this. We are stressed trying to get everything done, get back in the routine. In getting back in the routine, we sometimes lose what is special at the beginning of the year: a new slate, room for fresh ideas and a fresh start.
As a classroom teacher, I entered the first few days of school excited about all the things we would do in the year. I was excited to try so many new things each year. In my excitement, though, I didn’t always take a breath and slow down.
The end of the school year will come fast enough so the beginning of the year is our chance to slow it down.
Be excited. Be inspired. Be mindful. Take it in.
What am I excited about for the beginning of school? A new job and a new slate to start creating. I am excited to start some new student clubs, giving them space to lead, to present, and to grow learning at our school. I can’t wait to inspire staff. I can’t wait to meet everyone. But, in my excitement, I am trying to remember to also be mindful and to take it in.
The first two days are about the balance.
What are your first two days about?