Well, today, I don't have any pictures. Just some words.
Going into this school year, there are a lot of changes. I'm not the biggest fan of change, but I know that change can be good. Everyone needs to kind of wipe the slate clean and start fresh sometimes. And, I'm not talking about huge changes here. I didn't move grades or move schools or quit my job or anything like that. Just little things.
First of all, my principal left. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except that was the only principal I've ever worked for. 7 years. So, it's just an adjustment. I really, really, really like the new principal! He's a great person and seems like he has a plan to help our school and is super nice. It's just a change. A change that will most-assuredly bring on many more changes.
We're also implementing a whole bunch of new stuff. New ways to teach intervention. New coaches with new strategies. New running records. Lots, I tell you. And, again, I'm excited about these changes because I know we need some new ideas and I know we need to do whatever the research says is best for our kids. And, believe me, I'll be gung-ho about it all. It's just... different. And a lot to take in.
Also, the last two years, I've had my same class all day, every day. And, I loved it! I felt such a connection to those kids and I felt like I knew exactly what they needed. I loved the freedom to be able to rearrange my schedule when I needed to. I loved not having to check in with someone else about discipline. And, mostly, I just loved the sense of community in my classroom. I tried so hard to teach my kiddos how to be good people, how to help each other out, how to be responsible, how to work for the things they want to achieve in their lives. And, this year, we're switching classes again. I know it will be okay. I've done it many, many times and it's always fine. I know the kids won't know any differently. It'll just be an adjustment. It'll be tough blending several classes worth of kids into "my class" for a few hours a day.
But, amidst the nervousness that surrounds this year, there is immense excitement. Like I said, change can be good. And, although it's taken me a little while to get to this point this year, I'm there. I'm pumped to get started. I'm ready for the routine, the challenge, the fun times and the not-so-fun times. Because, I really, really do love my job. And, I think once we get started, all these changes that seem huge to me won't seem so huge anymore.
On Friday, I saw the list. You know what I'm talking about... THE LIST. The names. The kiddos who will be "mine." I know about 7 of them. I don't know any of them well. I'm trying very hard not to ask around about those names because I don't really want to hear about their past reputations. I want them to have a chance to wipe the slate clean, just like I get to do every year. And believe me. I'll know after the first half day who to keep my eyes on. I don't need any pre-warnings :)
So, all that to say, when I get nervous about this upcoming school year, I pray. I pray for those kids on that list. Because, at the end of the day, none of the other stuff matters. It doesn't matter who the principal is. It doesn't matter what intervention looks like. It doesn't matter if we switch classes for reading. All that matters is the connection I have with those kids. All that matters is that they feel loved by me. All that matters is that they feel safe with me. And, all that matters is that they learn from me: school stuff and life stuff. Both are equally important.
It's a stressful job, being a teacher.
But, those kids on that list make it all completely worth it.