It’s the first day of school tomorrow.
I have crossed off everything on the to-do list I brought home with me this evening.
Yet still I’m having a hard time leaving my computer and going to bed. Surely there must be SOMETHING I’m forgetting?
Doesn’t matter. I’ve been at this long enough that I can roll through anything. Hard to believe I’m starting year 17 here.
Let’s see: the seating charts are done (save for the few adjustments I need to do in the morning after reading through students’ 504 plans), the lesson plans are posted, the websites are updated with shiny new pages for posting assignments and daily lesson plans, all the stuff I need to take to class with me tomorrow morning is in a neat pile on my desk, copies of our first book are on the shelves in my classroom, my new classroom (for my journalism classes) is finally all set up (save for the extra-long cord power strips I need to get all the computers plugged in), my to-do list is written, my semester calendars are sketched out so I have a general sense of where I’m headed as I take the first step tomorrow, the curriculum maps are done, I’m excited to wear the shoes I haven’t had out of the closet all summer (I wear only running shoes and Birkenstocks in the summer)… just need to sleep so I can get up in the morning and dive into it all!
I think I was terrified the night before the first day of school of year one. I remember sleeping very poorly that night. And every other first-day-of-school eve since then.
What kept me awake me then is different from what keeps me awake now. Then I wondered if I would survive, especially after having been hired literally two days before. I had no idea what I was doing.
Now mostly it’s the anticipation that keeps me awake. I’m anxious to meet my students, to see them walking through my classroom door, to see them all there together and have my first interactions with them.
Right now they are just disembodied names on my rosters.
But tomorrow they will become actual human beings.
And in the end, what matters is not how perfect my seating charts were or how elegantly I wove together the curriculum for my students.
What matters in the end is the experience we’ll all have together–and my hope that for at least some of my students, their experience in my class will be meaningful and relevant to their lives.