Sunday, August 6, 2017

Returning to Work

Tomorrow is the first day of school for students. Last week, I had a full week of pre-planning, which consisted of meetings, in-services, a motivational speaker, time in my classroom, and seeing students and parents as they came to visit on registration day. 

This summer, I was pretty much a bum. Since I was finishing up my Ed.S degree last summer, this summer I was determined to take it easy. I deliberately stayed at home and enjoyed my time off doing nothing. In terms of professional development, though, it was busy for a 2-week span, as I delivered CI presentations at both the ACL Summer Institute and IFLT, served as a coach at IFLT, and took a 4-day Fluency Fast course in Mandarin with Linda Li. I got the chance both to teach others about CI and to experience CI myself firsthand, as well as learn many new strategies and ideas which I plan to implement in my classroom. Overall, I had a great summer.

After all that, one would think that I am ready and refreshed to teach students. The truth is: I am not. Far from it. Mentally and emotionally, I do not feel ready to teach or to see students. I feel like I am laboring to create lesson plans. Scaffolding and even knowing where to start as a beginning point with my lesson plans feels difficult for me, because I am out of sync. The idea of seeing 150 students tomorrow throughout the day seems a bit daunting to me. Quite honestly, I want to be feeling joy and excitement, instead of knowing that regardless of how early I go to bed tonight, I am not going to be able to get to sleep.

Now to be honest, I feel this way to a degree EVERY year before the first day of school, and I do eventually get back into the swing of things. I also know that the best thing for me is just to dive back into it all, and that like riding a bike, it will all come back to me. I am just out of rhythm.

My accounting friends always tell me that they envy my job, because "there is a definite beginning, middle, and an end." While I definitely celebrate the "end," do I celebrate the "beginning"? A beginning means a clean slate - I can start anew; where I fell short last year, I can strive to improve this round. I just wish my mind and emotions could embrace that at the moment.

So I write this to say that even after over 20 years of teaching, I still get nervous about the beginning of the school year. I guess that it is just part of being a teacher.


  1. Like you, when August rolls around, I always find myself wondering how to begin again. I feel like I have lost the ability to teach. There are so many ideas rolling around in my head from the summer conferences that I almost feel paralyzed. My mantra: slow, less is more, breathe, and teach with intention. Here's to a great school year!

    1. Carol,

      I so appreciate your comment and that you read my blog. It feels good to know that I am not alone in experiencing this!