One of my favorite things about being a teacher is the annual opportunity to start fresh. Think about it: when and where else do we enjoy the privilege of regularly repeated new beginnings? Even going into my 24th year in education, I savor the anticipation of that first day excitement and wonder. Here are some of things I am really looking forward to:
The first hug from a returning student,
the first first demonstration of a super wiggly tooth,
the first jump-and-reach high-five,
the first crying student I am able to calm,
the serial smiling and dazzling enthusiasm of my colleagues,
helping a new parent find a particular classroom,
helping a returning parent find a classroom,
watching the hallways fill with students of all shapes and sizes,
observing students rise to challenges,
team teaching with my best buddy,
the first successful tag game in each grade level,
having lunch with my colleagues,
seeing kids at recess,
learning new skills with my students,
Being taught new skills by my students,
So many things to look forward to and so many surprises yet in store.
When we educators kick off a new school year, we are being granted a unique and special opportunity to renew ourselves in our approach, in our practice, in our very presence before students. This year I decided to renew myself by taking up some new interests: speedskating, joining the twitterverse, reviving this blog and enrolling in coaching coursework. The degree and intensity of learning through all those avenues has been exhilirating and humbling. Maintaining balance and persevering when times get a little tough are themes that run throughout each of those undertakings. And I am grateful because these experiences remind what it feels like to be a student, to be a beginner, to be not yet competent, not to speak of proficient.
My take-away is this: The joy lies in the journey and curiosity is what makes that journey an adventure. A new leg of my journey with students starts tomorrow. I can hardly wait.
What new beginning awaits you? What is it that you can hardly wait to start?