My 8th First Day of School

Today was my eighth first day of school as a teacher. Some things have changed a lot since my first first day, and some haven't.

For example...

It was still extra hot and humid.
I was still very nervous. I didn't sleep at all last night.
The day felt very slow and also felt like it flew by at the same time.


I know now to be patient. The first day is a beginning, and I know that sounds obvious, but it's important. Because the beginning is so different from the way a classroom (or any type of community) feels after lots of learning, cooperation, arguing, laughing, etc take place.

One of the things that drives the flow in the classroom is student voice. Depending on the school and the students, this takes time to develop. It's common for elementary students to let their teachers do a lot of taking on the first day, and this is boring.

The first day is mostly about planting seeds then. The kids come in with lots of questions, and on the first day we try to answer some of them and provide clues to others. This is when we'll eat lunch. This is how we'll go to the bathroom. This is how we'll talk to each other this year. No, I'm not a monster. Yes, I am strict.

Meanwhile the kids give us the smallest clues as to who they'll be. But ultimately as teachers we are responsible for that final picture.

Another thing that hasn't changed is how exhausted I feel. But I also know now to feel proud and grateful for how much I did in just 8 hours today.


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