Friday, August 3, 2012

Final Friday of Summer

The day has finally arrived.... the last Friday of summer break. This is actually the last Friday of the LONGEST summer break I have ever had as a teacher, but that doesn't change the fact that I am not quite ready to return to the classroom.

I think back to the goals that I set for myself at the close of the last school year and I find myself falling short: my house isn't as clean as I intended, I haven't lost those few pounds that I put back on since my last diet (to be honest, I have probably gained another one or two), and I haven't scrapbooked one single layout.

My classroom is clean and tidy, thanks to several short visits over the past couple of weeks; and I have attended the typical 7 days of teacher trainings that were meant to flood my brain with ideas to add sparkle into my lesson plans and routines. Normally at this point I would be a bubbly, energetic instructor just itching to begin filling the brains of my students with literary knowledge. Instead, I find myself feeling a bit empty.

This will be year 28 in the classroom for me. Over that span of time I have taught a little bit of everything and a little bit of every grade level spanning third through eighth. Things have changed a lot in education since I was a beginning teacher. Students have changed a lot. I have changed a lot too. As I prepare for my six classes of students, grades 7 and 8, I find myself being self-analytical.... I am less tolerant of the typical "foolishness" that is prevalent in many of today's middle school students. I am less accepting of a student who CAN do the work, but just chooses NOT TO. On the positive side, I am more flexible about many things. Twenty eight years in the classroom and facing my second round of major school reform have taught me a lot about flexibility and change! Another thing that hasn't changed about me is the reason that I got into this career in the first place: I want to make a difference for children. I want to take that student who doesn't think he or she can be successful and show him or her that EVERYONE can be successful, given time, effort, and attention. I want to take that student who enters my room saying, "I've never read an entire book on my own" and have him or her leave my room with a new-found love for the written word. I want to be a listening ear for that teenage girl who can't seem to talk to anyone at home and just needs to be heard by someone.

Hmmmm.... the more I think about it...... Maybe I AM ready for school to begin again. Maybe I just need to be with my students to really FEEL ready. Maybe the energy that only middle school students exude will help me find my own personal energy.

1 comment:

  1. wow! you have been a teacher for loooong time. :)i was working summer school this year with a new teacher and she was telling me that over half of the teachers quit within the first 3 years (so sad) - but not knowing why...maybe it just wasn't what they thought it would be, or maybe they just didn't want to deal with the parents :)