Friday, August 2, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's back to school time!  The weeks before school starts are some of my favorites.  There is much excitement, lots of new school supplies, a brilliant time for refreshing and starting anew.  Blissful.  It's sweaty and sticky, strangely disgusting and expensive.  But I love love love it.

Sometimes the start up time is exciting in a nice, comfy-cozy refresh.  Other times... not so much.  This year, like last year is a time of much change.  I've moved away from my cave - which is kinda fantastic.   As it stands, I seem to be going back to my roots.  Like so many other teachers who teach in schools that are increasingly overcrowded, I'm back to basics and will soon be a bag lady once more.

When I was in Ukraine, I taught up to 5 grade levels and 7 different preps a week and carried my wares around with me in a super classy Target bag my mom sent to me.  Computer, speakers, books, pencils, paper, markers, the works.  And it was no big thing.  By the time my two years was up, I was definitely ready to have a space of my own, but it really wasn't a big deal.

Not every teacher is cool with this.  And to pretend I was sage and serene when I found out would be an enormous lie - I am a huge emotional reactor.  It was ugly.  But I know me well enough to know that I need time to flail before I can deal.  I flailed.  I've dealt.  And I bought a beast of a bag to help me in my quest.  This alone makes me happy.

Teachers are territorial people.  We claim our space.  We get very attached.  Sometimes these attachments can lead to condescension or stubbornness or inadvertent meanness.  It's rarely intentional.  And I have not been immune.  Trying to shove yourself into someone else's space for a class period can be super stressful.  For guest and host both.

There are perks too, though.  I have a home base.  A full classroom office, if you will.  I will teach my homeroom class in there, and have a desk and all my files and other misc. materials in there as well.  I get to decorate. I get to set up and organize and have a space to regroup, to grade, to claim.  It has carpet and great light and is cozy as all hell.  Two other teachers (possibly three?) will teach in this space over the course of the day.

I've spent the past week setting things up - arranging desks, cleaning the summer funk out of the nooks and crannies, hanging paper lanterns, creating bulletin board ideas, cleaning and organizing the files... it's been lovely.

I have no idea what this school year will bring.  New content to teach, new people to work with, fighting off children in the hallways... all kinds of new.  But I'm pretty darn excited about it.  I love the summer time - the rebuilding and rejuvenating and this summer in particular, the work work work.   But coming back to school is like coming home.  A fresh start.  Over and over again.  I love this job.

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