Start of the School Year

I realized today I have a love/hate relationship with the start of the school year. It’s only the 22nd start of the school year for me as a teacher, so I feel like I’m on top of this. (Also, I think I have similar feelings about the end of the year.)

from Joakim Jardenberg’s flickr

Things I love about the start of the year:

  • anticipating all the positives of the year – as I set up my classroom I’m thinking about how the space will be used, as I type my students’ names up for various things I’m thinking about how wonderful they’ll be
  • rethinking our classroom space
  • meeting new colleagues
  • thinking about the read alouds we’ll do early in the year
  • getting rid of stuff I packed up back in June but that I can let go of now
  • looking at my students’ pictures in our district software and marveling at their individualness and fabulous smiles
  • having a fresh, blank slate

Things I hate about the start of the year:

  • the crazy dreams that start two weeks before kids arrive
  • anxiety about ways in which I can fail to meet the needs of the kids in my care
  • the overwhelming feeling of the impending deadline of the first day of school
  • anxiety about my own daughters’ school years
  • questioning why I continually bite off more than I can chew

On the whole, I really do love the start of the school year. And the middle. And the later pieces, as well. None of them are perfect, but I wouldn’t trade this job for anything.

(Tomorrow I get to have short, one-on-one meetings with my students’ families. Out of 23 students on my class list, currently, 17 families have signed up for times. The chance to sit down and really listen to families as they share about their children and their dreams for them is a gift. I can’t wait.)

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