I love the beginning of the school year.
I have new students to meet.
I have a full year of possibilities to plan.
I have a clean room.
(Okay, mostly clean now. I have been in it for five days.)
I hit the ground running with discussion and speeches and letters written and mysteries solved and expectations covered and books checked out.
I went to the gym four out of five days and still got to school in time for my early morning bus duty. (I am thrilled that I’ll do all three weeks of duty in the first three weeks of school…with one random day left to cover for a friend in the winter while she has early morning rehearsal.)
I packed lunch and slowed down enough to eat every day.
I giggled over a student’s picking on me by “hacking” Nerdy Book Club and my class page. (Nice skills there, kiddo!)
I helped several students do what they seemed to think was impossible in their homework assignment.
We read I Want My Hat Back. (Lots of #teambear peeps in this ninth grade class…)
I helped them find books on my shelves and in the library.
(I helped a few grown-ups find books, too.)
We already have a yearbook theme, a plan for the cover, and a good idea of what we want the pages to look like.
We also have a whole list of stories assigned — and the first rough draft already came back to me yesterday. Two days after she’d taken the assignment.
I’ve cried over the writing and ideas my English and journalism students have shared already – their heart and willingness to share with me is overwhelming and beautiful.
I had well-planned dinners with my guys at home. I lounged with them and enjoyed their company.
We met up with friends at the park one night and talked far past dusk while the kids caught up.
I met up with friends for dinner (despite the ridiculously slow traffic in both directions) and did the work of planning and scheming with them and enjoyed the chance to catch up.
I got a thank you from a colleague that meant so much.
The sleeping dog and purring cat near me and the relative quiet of the early morning hours on Saturday bring a happy calm to my office as I sip my coffee and ponder where to start as I look at what we’ve done this week and prepare for next.
What a extraordinary blessing it is to live this life, to have these loved ones near, to teach these children.