Oh how those words hold power in our language. When said together, they can bring utter joy, soulful heart ache, or a multitude of other emotions.
To a teacher, those to words, spoken in early August mean one thing: It’s time to prepare.
I’ve spent many days this summer in conversations, classrooms, and online preparing, yet, it never seems enough. I look at the Common Core and I feel a wave of panic, how will this get accomplished? This year I will be THE fifth grade teacher because of low numbers in this room. It’s been 13 years, since I last taught in Missouri, that I was THE teacher in a classroom, and even then, there were two sections of us. On top of it all, our district is going through some major changes, ones that will cause much uneasiness as the year goes on.
Yet, this afternoon, I’ll be in my room, laying out table areas for students, starting to lay out those first two weeks of school, and talking with my co-workers about what fun they had on their break. It’s what I, we as teachers, do. We take that uncertain that always comes with a new year, and channel it into our work. There are times where that is our only choice, lest we get overwhelmed with everything that is taking place.
Part of gearing up is paying attention to the political climate of our state, and again, we find ourselves with the “edreform” debate. As we gear up, I’d love to know, how many of those who are making these decisions have been in a classroom, seen the work done on a first hand basis, or sat down with a teacher and simply asked “what do you think?” I try my hardest to keep the political side of education out of these thoughts, but at the same time, it’s becoming more and more the nature of the beast.
In the end, my preparing best helps those who I serve the most, my students. I’m excited for the new challenges, the new faces who will look to me for guidance, and that opportunity to help guide lives in the right direction. That’s what this is all about isn’t it?