Yesterday was the first day of my fourth year of teaching. On my way to work this morning, I recalled a teacher who worked in my building when I got hired here. She ran into me in the hall one day during the summer before I started teaching and, in an attempt at encouragement, said, "Oh, you won't know what you're doing until you get through the first three years." At the time, I remember thinking that this wasn't the most encouraging or comforting thing for someone to say to me as I anxiously prepared for my first First Day of School. However, looking back on past first days, I'd say every one has gotten a little better and a little more comfortable.
I loved meeting my new students yesterday. It's always so exciting to see a new group come in, some looking impossibly tired and bewildered, but most looking happy and anxious and timidly excited. My goal this year is to get to know each one of them well, to take the time to find out what each one is needing out of school, and to try and fill some gap that's there.
Last week at in-service, I found myself feeling so overwhelmed I could have cried. Education is constantly changing, and I've yet to teach a year in my classroom when we weren't implementing a new curriculum or assessment system or teacher evaluation system. When I think about all the administrative tasks that have to be completed in a day, I sometimes wonder how to get it all done and still have time to teach! But then I have a day like yesterday, and I remember why I chose this profession. I chose this job because I thrive on seeing kids walk in the door, excited about a new challenge and a new school year, even if some of them are trying their hardest to look disinterested.
So to all you other teachers out there who may be feeling like me, a little scattered, a little overwhelmed, a little annoyed with all the acronyms you're required to remember in a day, I hope you also had a great first day of school. I hope you had the kind of First Day that reminded you how much you enjoy the most important part of your job--the part where you get to teach children.