Another new school year…
Three weeks into another school year, and the journey has already proven interesting. Some may ask, why? The answer is not so simple. Every teacher spends any number of days over their summer break preparing for the return back to school following Labour Day, at least in Ontario most of us do. We revise plans to meet newly released curriculum, we re-think teaching method to reflect best practices, we consider trying something new (e.g., Inquiry-based learning, genius hour), and we organize our classrooms in preparation for the new year. And, that final weekend before school starts for many is the time to relax with family especially for those with children who are also returning back to school. Everyone has hopefully managed to survive the summer without illness and our immune systems are in top shape to fend off the new breed of germs a class of 20 or more will throw at us. I speak for myself, this year was like but unlike all of my previous returns to a new school year. I was up late the night before the first day, thinking over everything that I would run through ad say on day one with my new group. I was also returning to a grade that I had not taught in several years, so I was rehashing the whole years’ plans in the back of my mind. Finally, I would lay down telling myself that sleep was needed. My son, daughter and wife had all been sick over the long weekend and I figured I was in the clear, I was wrong. I woke up and mentally tried to get myself prepared for the day ahead. Mental preparing myself was one thing, but physically my gut was telling me otherwise. I fought the feeling of nausea, there was no possible way that I wouldn’t make it to my first day. I mean I had to set things straight on day one, or else I might find myself playing catch up with the whole classroom management piece that we work so hard to develop in week one of a new school year. I arrived at school after and what would seem like a forever commute, looking according to others “a white as a ghost.” Thankfully, I had first period prep, it was exactly the way I wanted the year to start, having my students be greeted by someone other than myself but it was a chance for me to gather myself and get a little colour. I prepared my class with a little letter of introduction outlining some basic expectations and simple beginning of the year activities knowing that I wouldn’t be able to face them on this day one of the new school year. I made my way to the office and asked my secretary if she could put a 1/2 day job in the system. I would cross my fingers and hope that at 12 I could fight my way up the stairs to meet each of the 3 classes that I would teach this year. I made it and I survived the afternoon though I am sure those who saw me would have thought otherwise.
Day Two – Rougher than the first. How could it be possible to miss the 1st one and a half days. I guess I would have to wait until day three to set into motion the wheels of learning for the year.
Day Three on….check back for a reflection on some new ideas for a new school year!