I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.
I have to be honest. I was not ready to start school this week. Our teacher work day is Friday, and I needed to start going into school yesterday to get my room ready and prepare for students. It's not that I don't love my job, my subject, or my students. I love them all. I just wasn't ready.
My summer was full. I went to district Google training, a writing conference, a celebration trip to for my 25th anniversary, Mom's 70th birthday, and to attend the Newbery banquet, and a mission trip (which was amazing). In between I finished up a book proposal with my friend, Megan, which you know got rejected, so now we need to rework it and shop it around. I tried (and failed) to keep up with TeachersWrite!, blogged, read, spent time with family and friends, and now it's time to go back to school. I am not complaining. The summer was full, and I felt blessed. I felt blessed to be so fortunate to have a summer and be able to travel like I did. I just wasn't ready.
I packed up my car with things I stored at home over the summer and filled bags with books I had bought, read, and was ready to put into the classroom library. I stopped at Ace Hardware to buy red spray paint for an old bookshelf I wanted to fix up, and a few picture hanging materials for a new Peter Brown print I had framed over the summer. I wore workout clothes because I knew I'd be dragging down boxes of books and materials I had put away in cabinets during the last week of school so the custodians could have access to floors, furniture, and shelves. I wasn't ready to do that physical labor and reorganization. I just wasn't ready.
I came through the office to pick up my paperwork, badge, and key. Greeted the office staff, the principal, and a few teachers. Checked my mailbox. It was full. It was nice to see some of the people I work with, but I still just wasn't ready.
On the way to my classroom, dragging my feet a little, I noticed the shiny floors and spotless locker bays. The empty display cases ready to be filled. A few new additions to the décor - all really nice. I looked down and noticed a fat envelope in the pile of mail I just picked up and saw that it was from Water for South Sudan, Inc. I excitedly opened it up, and saw that it was full of pictures from our #ReadWalkWater sponsored well in South Sudan! Our Columbia Intermediate banner was being held by the villagers that received the well! I smiled and started thinking about our walk last year, the A Long Walk to Water read aloud, and the enthusiasm and generosity it generated. I started to get excited about doing it again with this year's sixth graders. I picked up my pace. I passed the head custodian and thanked him for beautiful job he and his staff did on the building. I could feel myself getting ready.
I reached my classroom door, put in the key, and walked in. Everything had been spotlessly cleaned, and the furniture returned to its exact spots. I put down my bags, smiled, and thought about the possibilities that awaited my students and me this year. I thought about my new fifth graders and their excitement and my sixth graders who I've been teaching since their 4th grade year and realized how much I missed them. I thought about the books I was going to add to the classroom library that I had loved reading over the summer. I thought about the authors and illustrators I was going to introduce to my students and use as mentors. I thought about the part of the room I was going to make a writing station. I thought about the theme topics and book sets my students were going to explore. And I realized I was ready.
Oh, the possibilities...