It’s school year 2015-2016 eve.
We have the 9th graders in the building tomorrow for orientation. Then everyone on Friday.
Well, I’m not actually ready in terms of lesson plans sketched out in detail and copies made and seating charts ready to go.
But I’m ready for the school year. Ready to meet my students. Ready to put into practice the things I figured out this summer in my thinking and writing. Ready to work with colleagues to figure out how to make each other’s classrooms awesome.
I’m ready to see those 2-dimensional photos in Infinite Campus become the 3-dimensional people that I will get to spend 180 days with between now and the end of May.
I’m ready for walks around the lake in the park below our school, talking and thinking with my colleagues, watching the leaves change and fall, the snow cover the grass, the flowers poking out of the earth, the baby leaves to emerge. I’m ready for the seasons of a high school: back to school, homecoming, Halloween, hoping for snow days (but never getting them), final exams, winter break, a new semester, hoping for snow days (but never getting them), spring break, seniors counting down to graduation, finals, summer!
I’m ready for cool fall football fields, loud basketball gyms, soccer fields. I’m ready for seeing the stage full of the singing/dancing/acting talent that walks our halls. I’m ready for hearing from our house the marching band practice in the evenings, the cadence of the drums rumbling off the houses.
I’m ready to see the school full of the human beings that are the whole reason we exist. We do it all for them. For them collectively and for them each as individuals. We do it to help them become who they are, to help them imagine what their future could be, to support them as they move toward that future, to challenge them to be better, to insist that they are kind, to listen, to understand, to watch carefully to figure out how to invite them each to think like writers and readers or scientists or mathematicians or musicians or historians or linguists or artists.
All the meetings over the last week, all the hours spent reviewing legal expectations, safety guidelines, concussion protocols, the intervention pipeline, the next steps of the strategic plan, teacher evaluation, curricular changes…we’ve taken notes, listened, asked questions, laughed, caught up, told stories about our summer adventures, welcomed new colleagues, smiled for our new staff IDs, figured out the new iteration of the grade book, gone out to lunch (so civilized!)…
But now it’s time to fill the building with the students.
And I’m ready.