Well, as I sit and type this post at 6 am, teachers all around the world are getting ready for their first day of school. I remember my first year teaching. School started at 8:15 and I think I arrived that morning around 6:30 to make sure I had everything ready. I ALWAYS arrived to school in the early hours of the morning to prepare for my students. I remember walking into my classroom, the halls still dark, and turning on each one of my warm lamps. I think I counted one year and had 11 lamps in my classroom. It just made my classroom feel more like a home; a cozy place to learn. After the lamps were on, I went straight to the CD player and put on good ‘ole Norah Jones. In all 4 years I was in the classroom, she helped me prepare for the day. To this day when I hear Norah on the radio, memories of teaching flood my mind.
My classroom library in Kindergarten and 1st grade
I remember my students walking in on the first day of school. It was the same every year. They were so shy and quiet. Not sure what the year would hold in store for them. By the end of the first day their little personalities would start to emerge and by the end of the first week, we were in full swing. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.
I remember turning our classroom into a Zoo, a Mexican Restaurant, a Poetry Coffee House, a Stone Age exhibit, a place for all things Dr. Seuss, etc. I remember Thanksgiving Feasts, Christmas Breakfasts, Book Exchanges, and all things that created tradition.
I was telling David just the other day that I’m so glad I chose teaching as my career. I actually didn’t want to be a teacher when I started college. It was David who encouraged me in that direction and boy am I glad he did! I learned so much about myself as a teacher. You think you are going to work everyday to teach 18 little ones how to read and write, but they end up teaching you so much more along the way. Each one of my students has helped mold me into the person I am today and for that, I can never forget each one of their sweet faces.
3rd Grade, 05-06
Today marks the second year that I am out of the classroom. There is always sadness in my heart when a school year begins and I am not there to start it with my own sweet students. But today, I can smile. Today, I have an almost 8 month old little girl sleeping in the room across the house. Today, I get to see her smiling face when she wakes up. Today, I get to play with her instead of dropping her off at daycare. Today, I get to be a mom, a teacher, a counselor, a doctor, and a friend all in one to a little girl who means the world to me. Not every mom gets to stay home with their babies. And even though staying home means I don’t get to start another school year, it does mean that I get to invest into the life of my children. For that, I am ever grateful and I wouldn’t change it if I could.
If you are a teacher, walking into your classroom today, on the very first day of school – know that I am praying for you. I am praying for you and I am praying for your students. I am praying that it is your best year of teaching yet with the best group of students you’ve ever had! Thanks for all you do! Your job is a tough one at times and you aren’t appreciated enough. From one teacher to another, you are dearly loved and dearly appreciated! Have a GREAT first day!!