Thoughts on the "Back to School" Season
As I am writing this, teachers are preparing to welcome back students in my former district. I expected this milestone to stir emotions in me; however, I didn’t expect those emotions to be mixed. I’ve written extensively about missing my students and co-workers; however, there are also a few less serious things I’ll miss about beginning the school year as a classroom teacher.
And, I’ll admit, there are some things I definitely won’t miss. At all.
…buying cute items for my classroom. It was pretty difficult to visit Target during the entire month of August as the Dollar Spot was teeming with items that would have spruced up my (former) classroom. Whenever I saw inventive bulletin board or classroom décor ideas on Instagram, I would feel frustrated that I couldn’t implement them in my new line of work. I was in no way an artsy teacher with a beautiful classroom, but I missed decorating much more than I anticipated.
…beginning of the year pep rallies. My old school had a first day pep rally that included cheering and spirit stick competitions. Yes, it was repetitive and loud, but it always energized me on what was usually a very long day.
…the clean slate. A new school year is a welcome opportunity to right your wrongs from the previous year. I will miss the optimism that stems from getting to try again.
I’ll not miss:
…the anticipation of seeing my rosters. Usually a few weeks before the start of school, someone would alert me via text that rosters were available. I couldn’t resist checking them out only to find that my class sizes were enormous or that I had a disruptive student for the second year in a row. Usually these issues would be corrected quickly; however, the stress was an added headache.
…faculty meeting ice breakers. When you have a classroom to set up and lessons to plan, these activities feel tedious and unimportant. Plus, by my tenth year of teaching, I knew my fellow faculty members pretty well. No further introductions needed.
…that first sleepless night. There is nothing more impossible than trying to get seven hours of shut-eye the night before students arrive. I will not miss tossing and turning and going over every possible doomsday scenario in my head. I will not miss crashing at the end of the day and going to sleep at 6 PM.
Teachers—here’s hoping that the coming year is successful, fast, and fun.