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Ready As I’m Gonna Be

Tomorrow (the 20th) is the first day of the 2012/2013 school year.

I’ve been working hard to prepare my classroom and myself for the new students I will welcome.

Before I show you pictures, I wanted to share a quick story that warmed my heart.

We’d just gotten back from Daytona Beach, where we watched Chicky play in her season opener (don’t ask about the score).

I had to run a few errands, but first I wanted a Cherry Slushy from Sonic (a rare indulgence, mind you).

The young man who brought out my drink asked, “Are you excited about school starting tomorrow?”

I did a quick look-see to check if I was wearing a school shirt or my badge.

I wasn’t.

When I asked if he attended the school I teach at, he nodded his head.

I asked how he knew me…if he’d heard student talk about me (they tend to think I’m mean).

He said that he had seen me around the school.

I smiled.

I asked what grade he was in, and he said he was a senior.

Ahhh.

He continued to say that he was nervous about it being his last year.

I told him to enjoy every moment and just soak in the feelings that come with such happenings as homecoming, etc.  I told him, “No stressing.”

I then asked if he was in the advanced program at the school.  He said that he is.

I said, “Well, then, some stresses.”

He laughed.

I smiled as I drove away.

Then I got tears in my eyes.

Being a teacher is SO MUCH WORK.  I cannot even begin to tell you.  There is absolutely no down-time.  Teachers are constantly thinking about their lesson plans, their students, and their own teaching practices.

The summer had been very good to me (with the exception of getting sick), and for the first time in two years, I had felt rested.

While I love teaching, I do love not being tired all the time.

Getting my room ready this past week was all fine and dandy…albeit very stressful at the end of the week…so, hearing that young man’s words warmed my heart like you could not imagine.

I was reminded of what an awesome task being a teacher is.  I was also reminded that though I may not directly teach all of the students who enter the doors of my school, I do have people watching and noticing me.

It is a huge responsibility but also an incredible honor.

I am excited about the new faces I will greet tomorrow, and I am excited about the potential in every one of them…untapped potential that I can help them find the keys to unlock and utilize.

I am blessed.

Here are the pictures of my classroom.

Enjoy!

What I faced the first day of pre-planning…another teacher’s furniture along with mine!

By the time I left on Monday, after spending five hours at work, I’d accomplished what you see in the following two pictures…

Tons of work over the next four days resulted in the following…my room as my students will see it when they walk in…

The poster on the inside of my door

The first thing students will see as they walk in…a reminder of the long-term prize…graduation!!

The desk where tardy students will sign in or where students will be able to find Kleenex or hand sanitizer

My classroom library. I plan to purchase a small rug for the back corner.

My storage closet…inspirational posters galore!

Storage cabinets and counter space, where I have baskets of books and tubs of supplies

My personal space, which I plan to decorate with my college diploma, teaching certificate, and graduation cap and gowns (both high school and college)

My favorite bulletin board, which I think my students will relate to

One of my favorite views of the room…ahhh…the work that went into this!!

At one point during Friday afternoon, when nearly everything had been put into place, I began to walk out of my room and turned back to look at it.

I had tears in my eyes and had a little conversation with the Lord:  “Father, I don’t know how this happened, but I thank You for the angels that were running around while my back was turned, helping me put this room together.”

Honestly, two hours before that point, I had felt like I’d never finish on time.  God is so wonderful!

After I locked my door and headed out, I decided to treat myself to some pampering…

With the exception of the manicure that Chicky has paid for when she’d come home early in August, I had not had my nails done since late May.

I had my acrylics put back on and my nails painted up in my school’s colors.

Honestly, I don’t know how ready I am for the day.

I am nervous but for different reasons than last year.

Last year, I didn’t know how to teach reading and had no clue what was involved.

I also did not know anything about the students I would be teaching.

This year, I am more confident about the reading standards and different ways to teach them.

I had also discovered, last year, that my love for teenagers runs deeply, and I am able, by the grace of God, to connect with them.

This year’s nervousness stems from a desire to do things BETTER this year.

I want more of my students to pass FCAT.

I especially want those students who missed by one or two points to BLAZE through the exam.

More than that, I want, when my students leave my room for the last time next June, to feel properly equipped and completely confident to handle any type of challenge they might face…all because I provided them with the tools and the understanding of how to apply the knowledge they gained during their time in my classroom.

I’m praying for all teachers as we enter our classrooms, each one of us with our own set of nerves.

May the Lord be gracious to provide us with abounding love and patience for the young charges He has blessed us with.

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2 Responses

  1. Love the no slacking sign : ) Happy Back to School day!

  2. I hope you had a great first day! I agree on the being tired thing. I was going nonstop from 6 a.m. Til 7:30 tonight and it was just our work day! How am I gonna feel when the students arrive??

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