The first day of school is always my favorite. No lessons have bombed. No parents upset. No kids waiting to hear back on the referral you wrote. No books that have gone missing. No computers that have crashed. Nothing negative. Everything is good. All my ideas are still possibilities. All the things I learned over the summer just waiting to be implemented. I can always say I know this is a good group of kids…I see it in their eyes. This is going to be a good year.
But I am also always tired when I leave, always off my game, and always trying to figure out out how the new rules/regulations/programs will affect my classroom. I have gotten to that point, by the way. Just tell my how it affects my classroom. Just tell me what you want me to do; what you want to see. I can make it happen, just be clear about your expectations so I can make them jive with mine.
I have been teaching long enough now to know that what comes today will often be gone tomorrow. I know to listen carefully during preplanning to where a directive comes from. If it is school-based (i.e. principal or AP), then there may be some room for discussion. If, however, it is higher up, then often it is best to just accept it and find a way to make it work. Most things can work if you’re creative enough.
But the first day isn’t about that. It’s about beginnings. It’s about hope. It’s about students and teachers and getting to know you and how was your summer and what is it you really, really, REALLY want to know about this class. It’s about putting aside last year’s grievances (or to trying really hard to) and starting anew this year. It’s about hopping on the roller-coaster and hoping that all those kids staring at you are ready for the ride. And this year it’s going to be an exciting ride.
Happy First Day of School, everyone.