Of course, many of us work in the summer too. Professional Development, teaching summer school, running camps for kids or programs for adults, even bar tending. Even so, summer has a different feel and is easier on the body and mind. When we came back to school, I definitely felt refreshed and ready for a new year.
As tired as I am at the end of only our second week (and not even a full week!), I feel good about how the year started. We had a lot to get used to this year: new schedules, new model for teaching (workshop model), co-teaching, lots of new ELL students for me to test. Luckily, teachers are some of the most flexible people I know - because we have to be. We keep right on doing our job, incorporating all these changes seamlessly; it's as if we have always been doing these things.
Our new 7th graders (of which my daughter is one) seem pretty great so far - although I see the honeymoon period ending with a few of them. Even so, nothing like the challenges we faced last year with our 8th grade. They get excited about reading and writing and science and math. Some of them are self-professed nerds (love that!), some are athletic AND nerdy, which is something you couldn't be when I was in 7th grade; they run the gamut of possibilities and they bring a lot to our school.
Teachers are resilient and hopeful - more things I admire so much about my colleagues. As bad as the year was for many of us last year, we came this year with smiles and good intentions. I didn't like how I felt most days last year and how the only solace I found was in my classroom when I closed the door. I don't like "just doing my job". I want to do it well, to contribute to our building and community in a constructive way. After a meeting with a consultant working with our school on restorative practices (for us, not the students) I have renewed hope that this can happen this year. Fingers crossed.