Ready, again

Monday evening, 8:30pm

School starts tomorrow. Again.

Heaven knows I am not a new teacher. I’ve done this before. In fact, I’ve done this more than 20 times. Before that, I think I count at least 18 starts as a student. And I can add in the years my own children have started school.

I’m still nervous.

Today, I took a long walk with my husband, took another walk with my oldest child, chatted with a friend, read with my youngest, tidied the house. I went online to look up one little thing and ended up reading more than one article about the structure of The Scarlet Letter. I cannot explain how this happened. I don’t even teach The Scarlet Letter anymore.

But since I was online, I took the tiniest of peeks at my class lists. Again.

That done, I tried to read my book. No dice: I was way too distracted. So, I sewed. Doesn’t everyone make pencil cases the day before school starts? And since I was at it, I made *lined* pencil cases. Which I think we can all agree is a little on the ridiculous side. At least my children are happy.

Now, I’m on the computer. Again. Should I change my lesson plans? Nope. Have I missed something? Maybe. I think I should look up one more possible mentor text. But I won’t. I’m going to take a bath and try – again – to read that book.

I’ve chosen my outfit; my husband has packed my lunch. My bookbag waits by the door. The breakfast table is already set, just in case. The children are similarly prepared. I’m ready for another first day. I’m ready to meet the students. I’m ready to be in the classroom. I’m ready to talk about books, to write, to struggle through the hard parts and celebrate the successes.

I’m ready to fall head over heels for a group of young people I don’t even know yet. Again.

 

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27 thoughts on “Ready, again

    1. Thanks, Glenda. Sure enough, I’m already intrigued by these new puzzling people. How can I convince them that they are worth the effort it takes to read and write? How can I show them that their voices matter? Here I go again…

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  1. Yes!! I spend sooooo many hours prepping for the first day. I was trying to count how many first days I’ve taught now, but I can’t even remember how old I was when I first started teaching! I am always nervous on that first day though and for the whole first week or two. I like it so much once we’re into our routine and know more what to expect from each other and my lessons can be more targeted toward the actual human beings in the classroom. Love those pencil cases!

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    1. Routine is a long way off for us. I may need to churn out a few more pencil cases before I will feel really settled with this new crew. I am already fascinated by them & trying to imagine which books will hook them, which writing assignments will make their pens fly… My nerves are mostly gone; now the work begins.

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  2. You should maybe go into the pencil case business on the side – they look great! We are of similar minds right now. I also posted about going back to school (but I may be slightly less…enthusiastic.) Hope you had a great day and a great year ahead!

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  3. I really liked the repetition of “Again.” in this piece. There’s a sense that this is all repeated, yet also a sense of imminent newness–new year, new students, new lessons, etc.. It was also my first day today and I was right with you in the pre-first day unsettledness (I think I just made that word up!). You made pencil cases. I mowed the lawn and made soup. Then I checked my plans. Again. And Again.

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    1. Pre-first day unsettledness shouldn’t just be a word, it should be a phrase! “Again” is what inspired me to write last night. And, sure enough, I’m excited all over again after today.

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  4. I love today’s post, Amanda. I hear you about distractions but your pencil case is lovely. Have a wonderful start to the school year. Your students are lucky to have a teacher that is ready to fall head over heels over them.

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  5. The pencil cases are amazing! 😍 The anticipation is so clear here. We’ve all been there! The honeymoon for us is already wearing off… we’ve been back for three weeks already! I hope you had a great first day!

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  6. I love how you’ve structured this piece. I can tell you were engaged to productive waiting, and that you were back and forth between this and that. If only I could be as prepared for every day as I am for the first day! I do have tomorrow’s outfit laid out. 😉

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  7. Based on your experience, Hamlet’s “readiness is all” may be better served by what you perceive as UNreadiness. You’re a master of energy redirection — a boon to you and your students, I suspect, though it may come with anxious moments, too.

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