Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Getting into the groove...
Ahh...I'm finally feeling it tonight...I'm getting into the groove of teaching again. I'm sitting here in a quiet house grading papers, and I'm not cranky about it. I'm interested in what my students have to say, curious to get to know them better. I want to write comments on their papers that let them know I care about who they are, as well as how skillfully they do or don't insert commas into sentences.
Ahhhhh...I can breathe again, without feeling all tight and stressed about going back to school. I can do this.
It's like this every year. The transition from summer's slower rhythm to the more urgent pace of the school year is always a shock to my system. The first two or three weeks are tough. With all the budget cuts and larger classes, I think I've resented it a little more this year than in the past. There is so much to give up in September: sleeping in till seven-thirty, leisurely afternoons, the luxury of staying up later in the evening, time to exercise, time to hike and garden and play. But there is so much gained, too. Part of the gain is my colleagues: I love working and interacting with them throughout the day, and I am sincerely glad to see them again in September.
But even more than that, I love my students. Some of them were pills today. Another teacher commented at lunch that "the honeymoon is over," and I think that's true for my classroom, too. But the kids were there. They showed up. They brought themselves and their stories and their energies to the space we call classroom, and we made it (mostly) work together for an hour. That's cool. I wasn't perfect, and neither were they, but we get another run at it tomorrow. They'll come in with their energy, their problems, their hopes, their secret fears, and we'll spend an hour together.
And then, I'll bring their papers home to read, to get to know their hearts. How lucky is that??? It's September, and I'm a teacher again.