Well about mid September the 'back to school' hits me hard. I've had excitement pulling me through. I could go on little sleep, and teach with high energy and enthusiasm from 8:30-3:20 day after day. I'm learning so much about my students - where they are academically, socially, emotionally. There are individual DRA reading tests I give and math too. I'm getting my reading groups up and running, planning hands on math lessons, getting trained in the new science that's being rolled out. Each and every day I plan and get ready a literacy, math, writer's workshop, science, morning meeting (for personal and social development) for every single day. The planning is fun and easy - mostly. It's the getting the lessons ready - anchor charts made, materials out, copies, smart board slides that take the longest. I work on the way my classroom looks and feels to those young people. I answer emails and meet with anxious parents before and after school. Yesterday was our 18th day of school and I'm tired. Like really, really tired. Yes, September hits me hard right about now.
Some have asked me if it's different this year. Last year was my first year back to the classroom after 13 years. And yes, it is different this year. Very very different. The actual work is the same. Yes, there are plans I can pull from from last year. But last year was survival. And this year is almost like a first year because it's about good, good teaching. And so I'm redoing a lot. But this year I'm more confident. Less anxious. I can meet with a parent and not even feel the tiniest bit nervous. I'm 45; they are mostly younger than me and I've been a classroom teacher for eleven years. I feel confident in my teaching, the curriculum, and what goes on each day in our room. So this year is a good year for that.
But I have today off for the Jewish holiday and we are all home - which is wooooonderful. We decided to hire some cleaning help - last April we decided, and I refuse to justify it to anyone. It was a decision that I had to work through for a long time - and with some help from a friend (and Scott literally begging me because he could see how hard it was to clean after all of that I just listed above) I need the help, period. So today is the day they happen to come. I think Scott and I will make some picnic lunches and take the girls apple picking while they clean.
I would like to be here more often. To visit the blogs that so inspire me. And I will. Soon, because I'm getting in the rhythm of teaching again and I need to document life. Because life is wonderful.