Back to School, Already?
September 9, 2022

Summer is barely half over, yet storeshelves are already being stocked with back-to-school supplies. Some of you may bewondering, “What are they thinking? There are still several weeks of summer!” Perhaps, some ofthose storeworkersare tired of entertaining their kids, sothey put outschool supplies to give themselves hope!

As a teacher, I never stop thinking about school. At the end of a school year, I start thinking about how I can make next year better than the last. What can I do differently? When should I teach certain units? How will I establish classroom procedures, and organize the first few days? How do I let the kids know that they are loved and valued?

I have spent about 25 hours this summer working in my classroom and with my team to schedule, plan, organize, and prepare. I’ve organized my teaching binders, set up the tables, and planned out the first quarter. I still need to clean out my cabinets, decorate bullet in boards, and purchase notebooks. Planning a new school year, for me, is exhausting! But each day I enter that school, I feel a twinge of excitement for what’s to come.

I’m excited to meet my new students. I teach 6th grade in a Jr. High, so some of those kiddos are a little nervous coming in. Finding their classrooms can be a challenge, as well as knowing which lunch they go to. I stand in the hall ways between classes, looking for that lost look, so I can help the students navigate the halls. I hear the exuberantchatter of friends who have reconnected. They have stories to tell and new adventures ahead. They sport new backpacks, shoes, and outfits that they like to show off. It’s especially fun to hear the kids call my name, and say that they have missed me all summer!

Then into class they go, hoping that this year will be a good one for them. As I begin my lesson, I soon find that these kids are amazing, and will do great things, if given the chance! I hope their experience in my class will enhance their learning, but more importantly, I hope they leave each day knowing how much I care for them. I hope they feel empowered to pursue any dream they have, and know that they can do whatever they set their minds to do.