Adventures in Back to School

August is a time of mixed emotions…

Sadness for the end of my freedom. For teachers, summer represents freedom. Freedom to spend time with our families, to sleep late, stay up late. Freedom to eat when we want, and at our leisure. Freedom to drink as much coffee or water as we want because we can pee anytime we want.

Excitement for the fresh start. Our students are new and capable of so much. My classroom is organized and clean. I have so many plans for new activities, new experiments, new ways of doing things since all my students will have laptops.

Sadness for the end of the summer greenness. I love the abundance of summer. Right now, my garden is bursting with tomatoes, cucumbers, and flowers, but I know that just around the corner those plants will wither and die. The yard will go brown. The trees will drop their leaves. Soon I will leave the house in the dark and return with the sunset.

Excitement for new adventures. The crisp fall weather that is coming makes me want to camp. There are several places on my list of possible camping adventures. It will finally be cool enough to exercise and investigate the new-to-me trails of my new home city.

Tomorrow I will have seventy kids in my classes who are also having conflicting feelings about the end of summer freedom. They will have stayed up way too late, and I will be struggling with a lack of coffee. We will get through it together. Tomorrow I will eat my lunch in five minutes so that I can spend my planning block getting ready for Tuesday. I will leave school partly dehydrated to avoid having to pee during class. Likely, I will collapse on the couch shortly after getting home.

This next week will be about survival. It takes a few days for teachers, students, and families to get back into the routine of school. I know this week will be hard, but I can’t help feeling excited about this adventure that is the 2017-2018 school year.