It's a crazy thing we do every year, teachers. We dive into the new school year with renewed hope and expectations, many of us with positive outlooks regardless of what may have happened the previous year. We greet our new and returning students with smiles, handshakes, pats on the back, and hugs, and a clean slate with which to begin the new year. We go in early to set up our rooms, decorate bulletin boards, plan the first days, and meet with other teachers. We teach our new students routines, and help them navigate the hallways of our buildings. We try to make them feel welcome and connected to us, and safe. We practice and try perfecting our systems and routines.
This year in addition to doing all of the above, I took on a new role, which another teacher an I are sharing: co-assistant principal (interim). Our new principal felt strongly about pulling from the pool of teachers for this position. My co-assistant principal is a 37 year veteran music teacher who knows everyone and everything there is to know in the school system, and pretty much in our town as well. Our new principal is a lifelong art educator who is a refreshingly out-of-the-box thinker. So far, I think we make a good team, complementing one another's different strengths and abilities. It is hard work, and having a dual role can be complicated, but we are committed to trying it out.
The start of the new year came almost 3 weeks earlier for the 3 of us, as we planned the students' arrival, and reworked systems in our school to hopefully be stronger and more fluid for teachers and students alike. The first day of school wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad either! Of course the only day I forgot my Fit Bit, I am sure that I walked at least 15,000 steps that day!
My first class with my own students was great. Since I had already been at school for weeks, my normal anxiety and nervousness were not as high as at the start of other years. My new students were excited, nervous, and adorable. For now there are 5: 2 boys from Puerto Rico, 1 from El Salvador, a Brazilian girl, and a Dominican girl I had last year in 7th grade, who is basically my TA now (I keep telling her she has teaching in her future!).
Here is to new beginnings for all you teachers out there!! Wishing everyone a clean slate for those who had a bad year last year, and positive energy and patience to last at least through Thanksgiving!