I love the first day of school.


photoI love the first day of the school year. I do! I love being back in the place where I feel competent and useful.

I love the first day because I get to see all of my friends again.  After a long summer of time to myself, it feels both comforting and empowering to be a part of a team once again.  I get to spend my day with people who are smart, caring, familiar and supportive.  I am a small cog in a fine, efficient machine. I have a place.

I love the first day because last year’s kids are so deliriously happy to see me.  They haven’t yet met and connected with this year’s teacher and class, so they hold onto the memories of our time together.  They greet me with grins, and hugs and a rush of words.  “How was your summer? How are your dogs?  Do you remember when we…..?”   They want to know that I miss them, that I remember them, that they made a lasting impression.

I do, and they did, so the first day is filled with joyful and loving reunions.

I love the first day because I get to meet my new kids.  They come into the classroom with hesitation and hope.  They come with bright eyes and sweaty palms. They want to know one thing, and one thing only: will I be “nice” and will I love them?  They don’t come right out and ask, but their every move tells me that they need that reassurance.

I know myself well enough to know that I am pretty “nice”, and that I will absolutely without-a-doubt love them.  I love watching as the first day unfolds, and they slowly come to realize that they are in a safe place.

I love the first day of school because it is simply and purely a new beginning.  It is a chance to start fresh, to make things right, to undo the mistakes of the past.

I love the first day of school because the bright and beautiful faces before me show me that life is full of hope and the future is ours to grasp.

Happy first day of school to every teacher and student out there.

16 thoughts on “I love the first day of school.

  1. My youngest goes back tomorrow. She is in the depths of despair about it. She is eleven but because of her dyslexia is well behind as a reader. As she is one of the “queen bees” in the class this embarrasses her hugely as well as the difficulty of a new teacher. Tonight she will be one major grump. You are right, all she wishes for is a “nice” teacher.

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    • Please tell her from me:
      My class has 10 kids (out of 24) with some kind of “special need”. Some struggle to read, some struggle to write, some struggle with math, some with emotional issues, some with the English language. Here is the part the kids need to grasp: EVERYONE has a struggle! No one is good at everything, and as long as you give it your best shot every day, you will improve.
      The hardest part as a teacher is convincing the kids that they aren’t in competition (especially in this, the age of testing the hell out of them constantly).
      Good luck to your girl! I hope her teacher is super nice!

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  2. Pingback: A new beginning | Happenings on the Hill

  3. This post made me so nostalgic for the first days of school that I experienced as a student, teacher, and principal. You captured the promise and hope so beautifully! As a mom I used to tell my sons that the teachers (and principal) were just as nervous as they were on that very first day. This always seemed to help them realize that it’s a new experience and uncomfortable feeling for everyone involved. Somehow that helped.

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    • Oh, I totally agree! Yesterday I told my kids that I had a scary dream the night before where they were all running around and laughing at me….They were entranced! It does help, I’m sure, to know that even teachers are nervous!

      Like

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