I always forget how much my feet hurt after the first day back at the school after a whole summer off–it doesn’t matter which shoes I wear, I always walk out of the building feeling like I’ve just done a half-marathon or something. Oh, and I always end up with a sore throat because of all the talking I do on the first day (mostly about disclosures).
I always have a lot on my mind the first day back–am I intimidating enough to my students that they’ll respect my authority and stay in line? Am I friendly enough that the students will know they can come to me for help? How is it possible that the kids each year seem to get shorter and smaller (especially the sixth graders entering the school for the first time)? Am I a terrible person due to the fact that my main objective on the first day of school is to totally freak my kids out about how high my expectations are?
Then there are the things that come up during the day, like the kid who threw up EVERYWHERE in the hall today after fifth hour, or the handful of kids who somehow didn’t understand the directions to take the cream-colored piece of paper that says, “Welcome to Language Arts” and had filled out the entire questionnaire on how much Spanish they knew and why they were interested in taking a Spanish class before I caught them and made them go back and pick up the correct paper. (You’d think at some point, a light would have gone off somewhere in their brain that signaled, “Hey—I didn’t sign up for Spanish. This is weird that I’m being asked all these questions about why I’m in a Spanish class…)
On top of all that, today I was thinking that this could possibly be my last first day of school as a teacher…for a long time, anyway. The new Life Plan is that after this school year, I’ll be a stay-at-home mom, with the possibility of maybe going back to teaching in the distant future when all of our kids are in school themselves. But, as these last few months have shown, life rarely goes as planned, so I don’t really know if I’ll ever enter the public school system as an educator again.
It was pretty crazy for me to think about that today—
I definitely wouldn’t miss the sore feet, anyway.
Or the random vomit episodes.
But there is something to be said about the excitement of a new school year full of fresh expectations and new possibilities, not to mention a clean stack of Post-It notes and pink erasers lying in neat piles on my desk organizer.
So, although I totally missed being at home with Raven, I wasn’t totally sorry that I was back teaching today.
Happy first day of school to me!
For more first-day-back musings, check out my posts in years past: