Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back to School Time

Stores have been advertising back to school specials since the end of July. I don't start thinking my summer vacation is coming to an end until the Halloween stuff comes out. Well, the costumes are in the stores now! Already, the nights are getting cooler (yea!), and we don't use our air conditioning as much. Guess it's time to face reality.

For all of you non teachers, I'm sure you don't want to hear me complain about going back to school. I know, I'm lucky to only work 180 days a year, but you could have been a teacher too.

I love every moment of my summer vacation. It is so great to have days on end with no place I have to be. I sleep later, take a shower later, sit on my deck for hours reading. It is pure heaven. A perk of the job, which I think I totally deserve. It gives me time to recharge my batteries. Without the break, I'm sure teachers would be burnt out, and it would be the kids who suffer. I think I need the break from the other adults, more than I do the kids. Teachers are all control freaks, and can be hard to get along with. We each have our own style and teaching philosophy, and they don't always mesh.

While I dread these lazy summer days coming to an end, there is nothing like the first day of school. The scared, quiet freshmen who have yet to come out of their shells (their true colors will be shining soon!). I hear they will be a tough group this year. The sophomores who have grown and matured (hallelujah) so much over the summer. They are practically unrecognizable. The familiar juniors and seniors who are now like family to me, and each other. The new notebooks, folders, and pens and pencils. A clean blackboard (mine gets cleaned only twice a year). Shiny hallway floors. Fresh plan books and grade books. New textbooks.

Oh, the possibilities the year holds! How many students will get on the honor roll? Will they all graduate on time? Can we get all the kids to pass the regents exam? Will so and so spend the whole year in detention again?

The first day of school is usually chaotic, with schedules changing and mass confusion. Any major changes are immediately challenged. Expectations are often unrealistically high. I try to stay above all that stress, and just enjoy the first day with the kids. There is plenty of time to worry about the other stuff later. Like the other 179 days.

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