My first day of year 29 was Monday.
The last two years were the hardest of my entire career. Harder than being a beginning teacher. Harder than having new babies. Harder than the year I was on bedrest with a pregnancy. They were HARD.
When I walked in the door on Monday, I walked in to a year where we were able to set up our rooms without spacing chairs 3 feet apart. I walked into a classroom where I didn’t have to make Zoom rooms that I would have to open daily for groups of quarantined students… and then manage simultaneous live and synchronous classes. And best of all, I walked into a room set up with my reading lounge at the back. My lounge has been closed since we shut down in the spring of 2020.
When students came for their first day on Tuesday, there was actual JOY. They were grinning from ear to ear. Some even jumped up and down with excitement to be back in the room, to be back to normal, to be back in school as they knew it.
I’m not going to lie to you, I was feeling really grim. I had lost some spark over the last couple of years. I am a forever teacher. I plan to be in this room until my retirement day arrives… but it was getting hard to find my usual joy. Let me tell you, I am going in tomorrow for my first Friday of the year and there has been no shortage of joy in my classroom this week. There have been laughs, smiles, and a lot of relief as the year is off to the best start we have had since my seniors were freshmen.
I hope that you all are as lucky as I have been.
I hope that your admin is as wonderful as mine has been. We have been given ample work time in our rooms and a ton of encouragement as we re-find our footing in the new year.
I hope that your colleagues are on your team as you plan and present new material to your students. Nothing is better than having a team that has a unified vision of where they want students’ language proficiency to go!
And most of all, I hope that you have the best students ever! I hope the relationships you build are meaningful and that you make an impact on them and they on you!