Wow…My 40th First Day
The first day back for teachers….what do YOU want to see? Is it the same each year? What do you want that first day back to be like?
I want to see my class list, my schedule and know exactly what I am going to teach (will I departmentalize with my team, teach all subjects, etc.). I don’t particularly care to see the school handbook or the lunch monitor schedule (unless I’m on it) but I do want to see what changes have been made around the school over the summer and get a great pep talk by my principal. I want to reconnect with my staff and teacher friends I may not have seen all summer. I am anxious to get back into it…
I don’t think that what I want now, as I return to school, is much different from my early years of teaching, in some ways. Then, I wanted to know the things that would affect my whole year as well. After all, I’m the one who needs to make lemonade out of whatever lemons I may end up with (such as specials at a time I hate or a late lunch when I want an early one, or whatever…)
What HAS changed is my faith in myself to do that- turn the things that could be deficits into assets. I don’t count down the days until school ends–I count ON the days I have to help myself and others learn. (I actually hate to see the end of a school year.) As an experienced teacher, I ask questions to help myself and perhaps others see another perspective or think more deeply. If I don’t ask questions, how can I be more reflective or see more avenues or help others do that? How do I know what I think until I question myself and what I say as well as think about what others say and do?
In conversations about what to teach when, or how long the various parts of the day should be, or as we develop the specific work we’ll ask the kids to do, we teachers are learning from one another. Today, as a teacher and I talked about geoboards, about whether plastic ones or homemade ones with nails were better, I liked that we were learning from one another’s questions and comments….and isn’t that what we want for our kids? To incite a curiosity in them that causes them to ask questions of one another and listen carefully so they can form more questions and continue to learn?
I’m still asking them after 40 years in this job…and I’m still trying to amplify all of the minds I meet, and have mine amplified, too….which is why this blog.