Today was the first day of school. My 23rd first day of school as a teacher. So I was up at 4:00...not because my alarm went off but because I couldn't seem to stop running through my head all the worries I always have on the first day of school. What if this is the class I can't handle? What if I leave something home that I really need in school (my newest fear..my flashdrive)? What if I hit some major road problem and am late for school? What if I forget everything I had planned on doing? What if...what if?
I also had to worry for my daughter, who was starting her first day of 7th grade. Will she like her teachers? Will she have friends in her classes? Will she have anyone to eat lunch with? Will she make the bus at the end of the day? Sigh. Can you see why sleep eluded me.
So how did it all work out? Ali had a great day, ate lunch with friends, loved her teachers, and had no homework.
And me? I remembered my flashdrive. This was a good thing since all my SmartBoard lessons were done at home and had to be transferred to school. There was a major accident on the highway but, thanks to my Honda Civic Hybrid and clean pass, I get to drive in the HOV lane and was able to move at the speed limit past all the rubberneckers. My lists helped me make sure I didn't forget what I wanted to cover, although, as usual, I planned waaaay too much for the day.
But, how were the students? Funny, enthusiastic, anxious to please. Smart, scared, excited by the possibilities in fifth grade. And, then I understood why, after 23 years, I still love my job. Watching their faces as we described what is in store for them was priceless.
"We're going to put our voices online? How?" "We need an e-mail address? And we can e-mail you?" "We're going to talk to a teacher across the country?"
And, then, at the end of the day, as I was running through all the things we didn't get to today, as I was remembering how it took an hour to label and put away all of our supplies properly, two students looked at each other and said, "This was really a great day." And that's when I realized that, yes, it really was. And we have so many more days to look forward to!