When we left for Christmas break I found myself strangely reluctant to leave the school building. I spent most of the two weeks looking forward to getting back to the kids, not dreading it as I had anticipated. The Sunday before our teacher inservice day I did have the impulse to apply the breaks to my master clock, as I realized a few extra days would be nice, but overall I wasn’t freaked out about returning to school.
Monday’s inservice proved to be a rather large waste of my time – due totally to my misuse of time. I spent 10 hours in the school building and only 2-3 of them were used effectively; I spent a lot of time chatting with colleagues and attempting to organize my workspace (still not done).
So Tuesday the kids came back. I got to school with a mixture of anticipation and concern (mostly that I didn’t have enough planned for the day – which turned out to be a valid concern!). I started the day with bus duty, an evil little waste of time – from 7:30 till 8:15 I was stationed outside the cafeteria to make sure no kiddos attempted to wander into the hallways before the first bell. It turned out to be a nice chance to welcome some of my students back to school – I could hear their exclamations of “Is that Mrs. Rodgers?” from outside the glass doors and enjoyed chatting with them about their Christmas break when they came in and said hello.
Last semester’s Kid That Drives Me Bonkers (KTDMB from here on) saw me as he walked in the building, tried to act tough for a few minutes, and ended up practically squealing with excitement when I gave him a friendly fist-bump and asked about his Christmas. He spent all last semester loudly comparing my teaching style to that of his previous Algebra teacher, implying (and sometimes just straight out saying) that I was the inferior of the two teachers. You can imagine my twisted pleasure when his new math teacher told me that he talked about me all during her class yesterday. What is it with teachers that we get that wicked glee from hearing a student has been talking positively about us? KTDMB found me later in the day to regale me with the stories of his day and make me laugh, earning him a place in my favor that he most certainly did not have when I had to spend 90 minutes a day stuck in a room with him.
I gave the “welcome to the semester – it’s a fresh start for all of us!” speech to each of my classes. And I agree with this blogger – it’s mostly just for my benefit – but it was a nice start. All my students took a diagnostic test to see how much info they retained over the break (imo, a great way to see what they really know at this point). And they NAILED it! Seriously, it was fantastic and a real encouragement for this semester.
It was a good day. Really. I’m now sharing my teeny-tiny office/break room/copier room with another teacher and I’m adapting to that loss of solitude fairly well. He’s a nice teacher and he’s new, so I can relate easily to some of the things he’s going through. I hear the kids talking about him – more than most kids their age, they don’t like change, as it’s usually associated with something traumatic to their history – I think it may take some time for them to warm up to him (and, honestly, him to them!). Hearing about his day and contrasting it with my own startles me. I feel so good about this job! I love it! And when I look back at how far I’ve come in one semester, all I can do is praise the Lord for the miracle of this position and His guiding hand along the way.
Today (Wednesday) hasn’t started yet (for me – I start with my planning period), and my attitude may change by the afternoon’s final bell, but I’m grateful for this job and excited about the new semester.
Did I mention my principal came into my office yesterday to tell me I’m doing “a really good job”? Well, that’s just icing on the cupcake. 😉