As earnestly as I’ve wished summer would simply go on forever, alas, we have arrived at the beginning of yet another school year! In a couple of days, those yellow school buses will be rolling in with their burdens of tightly wound, anxious little children, and to my amazement (I’ll admit it!), yes, they’ll be looking to me–(me?!)–for structure, professionalism, control, constraint, expertise, guidance, and whatever other tricks I can pull out of my school-teacher bag! Am I ready? Well, I’d better be, because tomorrow evening is open house!
There’s something pretty wonderful about beginning a new school year, but you never really get that it’s wonderful until there are actual students there to remind you what a privilege it really is to be a teacher. Somehow the thrill of it all is squelched a little bit by the preparation–the building of those darn bulletin boards, the cleaning of endless desks, installation of new software, the setting out of books, the trial and error of new classroom procedures, the endless, exhausting in-service . . .
But then the kids arrive for open house, and many of them are your former students who have no reason to come to your room other than they just want to see you, and they’re looking for that reassuring hug, and a feeling of familiarity. You both know that in few weeks you’ll both be too busy for such things, so you take a moment now to laugh with them and to wish them well in this new territory–this new world you’re both just starting again.
Then there are the new faces. You see a shy smile or hear a playful comment, and you start analyzing: That’s going to be my class clown; she’s going to constantly have her hairbrush out . . . he’s very athletic, and he is my next student helper; I better keep an eye on that one! What’s marvelous is you don’t know which ones are going to worm their way into your heart, and you don’t know which ones are going to go on their way and do something absolutely wonderful, and you don’t know which ones (thank goodness) who are going to drive you crazy!
This teaching gig is pretty marvelous, if you really think about it. It’s a craft. It’s an art. It’s a mission. There is no finer calling.
Have a marvelous school year!