The first week of school from a teacher’s point of view

School has started; the kids are getting into their routine. The first week is a trying one. Training the children in the routines of what, when, and how to do things isn’t easy. Getting to know their personalities and figuring out the best way to reach each child can be challenging, especially with a large class. Everyone learns differently!

Then come the parents…Oh how teachers want to be respected and well liked by the parents. I think the parents feel the same way. After all, teachers are with their children seven hours of the day. It’s only natural that they want to know their child is safe, happy, and in a positive learning environment. It’s a blessing when you have parental support.

What is hardest for me is saying goodbye to being a stay at home mom after being home for the whole summer. I feel that guilt and pang that I should be at home with my own children. The transition is hard on my own kids after they’ve gotten used to having me home all summer. I never know how I will be greeted at the door! It’s honestly not easy on anyone.

During the summer, teachers have the chance to enjoy their family and friends in ways very differently than they do during the school year. I read so many books, played with my kids nonstop, had play dates and parties and swimming galore…! I soaked up the sunny summer like a strawberry slushy!

But when a teacher is working, days don’t start and stop at a certain hour. I am always thinking of something I can do to make tomorrow a great day. I check my school e-mail before I wake my children, spend hours preparing lessons plans, I work really hard to keep positive contact with parents, and I’m constantly looking for ways to REACH a child.

Expectations increase every year as we work to improve standardized tests, and meet needs of learning disabled students. This is why the summer is so important for teachers! We get to reconnect and truly enjoy quality time with our family and friends. This “recharging of the batteries” is necessary to reenergize for the school year. I think of teachers like little Energizer bunnies, especially at the beginning of the year. We are busy buzzing bees!

For me, starting the school year is like pledging a sorority! There is usually some kind of hazing (difficult children or harassing parents)!! There’s always an unexpected surprise that can throw you off your game! My very first year of teaching, 11 years ago, I was 22 and thought I’d be teaching dance, not second grade!

I was teaching during the first week of school and I noticed a student was missing! I had a child run for the principal for help! The principal came in and found him hiding under my desk laughing! The same time I was looking for this “missing child” I had another bipolar child running into the walls (on purpose)!! Fresh out of college, I wondered, what am I doing?!? Well, I’ve remained a second grade because it fits like haute couture!

Teachers are very lucky, we know that! We work very hard and are rewarded in ways that are indescribable and endless. There isn’t a job more important than being a teacher! As parents, we are all teachers! It is a labor of love and a fabulous job to have! The thousands of hugs, smiles, and thank yous we receive every year are priceless. There are certain things we are meant to do, for me…I am a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher. I am proud!

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