I feel very torn today, and if you aren't a teacher, you won't really get it - on a cellular level. It is the struggle between your summer self, your relaxed happy, unchallenged, adventure seeking self and the self that is fulfilled by the profession- seeing very excited children, hearing about their great and not so great summer lives.... and starting a new year of challenges and rewards.
Each year there is a new crop of scared- frightened kindergarteners starting school and leaving the safety of their moms, dads or daycare.... Frightened 4th graders coming to our Park Falls Elementary campus.... Frightened freshmen who are worried about what is coming during this week/year and truly frightened (though they don't admit it) seniors who are wondering how the heck this is all coming to an end, and what will I do when the year is done and who will protect me then? They don't all know they are feeling this, or they won't admit it, but I've seen it! They are all deer in the headlights.
We, as a high school staff, are finally stable. No new staff members that I can think of right now. A few room shifts, but overall, we are FINALLY able to be consistent. It has been hard on all of us to have the turnover that we have had.
We, as an elementary staff, are facing changes again. A few new teachers, many new staffing assignments, a new principal.... this will be challenging, as things are when they are in flux. But good things should result, change almost always has unexpected silver linings and I am going with that, in my usual positive way.
The kids need us and most of us teachers thrive in this environment- the kids are really the only thing that count. All the rest of it is sort of gets in the way of us getting these kids to the next step in their life. Many think how we do it is so important, but really, giving our days and our hearts and our time to them is the most important thing. I don't teach children art, I use art to teach the kids. BIG difference.
Anyway, I had planned to garden and blog and relax and somehow I ended up cleaning out under my sink and painting it????? WHAT??? WHO AM I???? Well, at least I am doing a quick blogpost to get at least one thing done. And you will notice I am not at school, I spent plenty of time there the last week or so, so I will stay here and snivel and mope.
BUT I have plans for next summer already, so this is so exciting. And you can bet it is involving an airplane flight, because I LOVE airplane rides!! More on that as time goes on.
Those thoughts of joyful summers ahead, bracketed by my joys in teaching drive me from one part of my year to the next. Hold onto your hats, everyone, the school year is about to begin.