Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Day of School

I have been teaching for 10 years.  10 years!  And at the start of *every* new semester in the classroom, I have butterflies in my stomach.  It's ridiculous.  It's not even a nervousness.  I have the "first day" routine down to a science of sorts.  We play campy icebreaker games and do a writing diagnostic and I introduce myself.  Talk about the syllabus.  No big deal.

But still, there are butterflies. A physiological anticipation.  I'm back in the classroom tomorrow morning.

I wonder who my students might be.  There's a different chemistry with each new class.  Mostly good.  I have had only one class in all of these years where I couldn't wait to get rid of a class. 

But each one is different.  New faces.  New names.  I'm terrible with names.  New stories about why they're there in that seat, coming back to get their education. 

I usually tear-up at the start of each new class.  I can usually hide it. ;)  I remember being so dumbfounded by a student's story that I couldn't speak for a very long moment.  I'm so moved by the stories.  The determination that brought them there. 

Most times there are long, complicated paths.  You can see the worry in their face.  Can I do this?  But also, the excitement.  They are ready.  Notebooks open.  Pen ready. 

I love teaching adults.

Tomorrow is my first time doing a morning class with all three of my kiddos.  They've always been at night.  So tonight, I had to pack lunches for each of them.  Lay out all of our clothes.  I'm not good in the  mornings.  I have to prepare in advance.

Jack can't wait to start co-op.  Andrew asks daily about school, too.  They loved picking out their folders, the notebooks, new lunch boxes.  I love that part too.  The newness of it all. 

I'm ready for our fall routine.  Busy, busy.  Adventure and routine.  Packing lunches.  Outings.  Co-op days.  Soccer practice. 

I'm ready.