August is a wonderful time of the year. My father’s birthday is August 19th. My sissy’s birthday is August 22nd. Sydney will be 12 years old on August 27th. And there are a list of other relatives that celebrate their birthdays during the month of August.
August for me as a teacher has a different meaning. It marks the count down to the first day of school. For Sydney she will love being back on a schedule and going to school as a seventh grader. Harrison is excited for 8th grade and nervous too. For me, I will miss the time with the my children. This was the first summer where we all had peace. I will miss our dinner conversations or the fact that I can actually sit down and eat dinner with them. Instead of checking backpacks, packing lunches and looking at their agendas. I won’t miss sleeping in because that still hasn’t happened all summer. But I will miss taking an afternoon nap, going for walks, watching Syd ride her bike and seeing Harrison make new friends. I will miss going to the bathroom anytime I need to. I will miss blogging. I will miss a relaxed way of life. But the question is why can’t I have a relaxed way of life while teaching? I believe I can and this year I will make it a reality.
When I was fresh out of college I thought I was the teacher of the year and I knew everything. In reality I knew nothing. My on the job training would prepare me for the years ahead. I’ve been teaching for over 24 years. My job has been very rewarding, fun, difficult and stressful.
While teaching in Detroit I had two students that were killed in a house fire that was deliberately set. That broke me. I taught for four years in Detroit Public schools and loved the kids that I worked with. When I left working in Detroit I was naive. I thought that teaching in the suburbs wouldn’t have challenges. I found out that challenges occur everywhere. When I starting teaching in an affluent district in the suburbs, I had parents that didn’t like me or want their child in my classroom. I admit that hurt my feelings in the beginning of my career. But as I matured I was able to shake it off. My main job is to connect with my students to create a safe and loving environment where they feel comfortable to learn. I am not only preparing them for the next grade but preparing them for life. When my students come in smiling, I know that they are happy to be at school.
The bonus is when I have the respect and support of the parents. No matter how a parent treats me, I don’t hold that against their child. That partnership between family and home is important. I have met some amazing students and parents over the years. Parents that have been genuine and kind. Parents that still reach out to check on my family and I.
This year as I prepare for another year of teaching I have a few things I need to get off of my chest. I’ve taught in several districts and in different states. So I am reflecting back over my entire teaching career, not just my teaching experiences here in Delaware. There are always ways that I can improve and strive to be better each year as a teacher. I write a reflection and refer back to it throughout the year as a reminder. I am thankful for having my co-teaching partner to work with again this year. She is amazing and very creative. But we will be missing the other paras that helped make our team a success. That will taking some getting used to.
- This year I am not going crazy buying supplies for the classroom. I would always buy for my children in my class first and then my own children last. But how ghetto did I look? I was the teacher sending her kids to school without all of the supplies that they needed, because I bought everything for my classroom first. This year my kids have all of their things first. And I will use the many supplies that I have stored in my basement to use for my class and switch up the colors, theme etc.
- I am enjoying my summer until the last day of my vacation. I am not going in early. Life is short and my kids need me. My classroom will be set up and look great for meet the teacher night, it always gets done. Will a parent think less of me because I am not spending twelve hours working in my classroom? Maybe, maybe not. When you are mature those comments or remarks don’t consume you anymore.
- My classroom may not look like the ones that you see on Pinterest but guess what we will still have fun and learn.
- I will find the perfect balance to be a single mommy and a teacher. I will share that with you when I figure it out.
Teachers have hearts of gold. The back to school nightmares usually start in August too. You know the dreams like being late on the first day, the smartboard doesn’t work, and the dreaded night before the first day of school. No matter how long you have been teaching you still have first day jitters.
I am praying for the children that will be mine for the next ten months. Also, for great communication and relationships with their parents and family members. I pray for the staff that I will work with this year and the memories that we will make. I pray for wisdom and continued patience to be a leader and teacher that they respect.