It has admittedly been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I blogged back in 2010 for myself and with my (then) band class. Yes, my band class. I was trying to find ways to embed more writing into their day, so once a week I brought them to the computer lab, and we blogged. It was a great experiment, and after becoming more and more entrenched in wanting to write and incorporate technology into my teaching, I made the switch to teaching English Language Arts.
For some reason I decided to delete all of those blog posts. I didn’t like the sound of them – I just felt like I was full of myself. In hindsight I regret not even copying and pasting them somewhere so that I could reflect back on how I used to see the state of education. It would’ve been nice to see how far I’ve come…
In any case, today marks my 13th year of teaching.
I love the first day of school. I love the fresh new faces of students, timid and unsure, and hoping that the adult in front of them is more friend than foe. I love the challenge of learning 180+ names, learning about their strengths and weaknesses, and letting them learn about me. It’s a dance, a sort of ongoing conversation where we learn to predict each other’s next move, next thought, next sentence. I love it.
Today was not one of those days. This year I came up with the idea of looping, and following my 7th grade students to 8th grade. I was looking for a challenge and something new since I haven’t taught 8th grade before. I also wanted to see what it would be like to teach them a second year, armed with the knowledge of their strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. I’d heard from other teachers that when they looped with their students, it was very beneficial for the kids, and it was a personally fulfilling experience as a teacher to get a second year to help them grow.
So today felt like the first second day of school. Only a handful of new faces, but definitely new combinations of last year’s students. There was a familiarity that I haven’t felt since I taught band. No nervous students. No demure kids. Just a room full of squirrelly teenagers with wide grins, because they already knew what to expect.
They were definitely excited to have me as their teacher again, and it was somewhat of a relief to not have to learn all of their names! I do love these kids, and I’m excited to see how they’ll continue to mature and grow.
I think this will be a great year for me. I’m going to really push my students and myself and see where I can take them. I already have some amazing ideas spinning around in my brain, and since they already know me, we can dive right into them head first. We’re going to be dancing a different dance and have a more involved conversation, one with unexpected moves and turns.
But I do miss that first day of school feeling.