The Switch.

Every year around this time, I experience a switch. I go from not wearing a watch and being utterly clueless as to what the date is to having my days meticulously planned out in my pristine XL Moleskine planner with color-coded pens. I go from sleeping in and watching The Office in my pajamas until 1pm to waking up at a reasonable time, putting on real clothes (the *NSYNC concert tee just isn’t meant for the public eye), and drinking coffee from my World’s Best Boss mug while I head out the door to be productive.

This switch happens because it’s August, and we all know what that means for traditional school calendar teachers: it’s back to school time.

The summer after my first year teaching was so great that I had a really hard time relinquishing my freedom. I had a long, challenging year in Durham, and I wasn’t quite ready to get back to school…until I got my key. Something so small and simple threw me into a spiral of school supply purchasing and organizing out of excitement (do people not organize because they’re excited? Oh, that’s just me?).

This past summer, I didn’t really have a summer. I didn’t take a long beach vacation like I have every summer prior since I was working with the North Carolina Science Festival for my fellowship. By the time I ended my internship with them at the end of July, it was time to start thinking about first week of school plans and getting my classroom organized. I dragged my heels, trying my best to hold onto the last fleeting days of summer, but yesterday I picked up the keys to my classroom and felt it again.

The switch.

Something just flips on when I get the keys and step into the classroom; the butterflies are already building a home for my stomach for when I meet my kids and their families in a week and a half at Meet the Teacher Night. Getting my keys, setting up my classroom, finding out the names of the precious lives I get to influence and love this upcoming year — these things make the switch real. Yes, summer was great, but the ten months I have with those kids are far greater.

We got class lists a lot earlier this year than last — just a few extra weeks for me to get excited about these children that will soon no longer just be names on a paper, but little humans I get to interact with and learn with on a daily basis. I’ll see 39 kids this upcoming year, and I love them each to pieces already.

This is one of my favorite times of the year — the anticipation of the first day and the first week of school itself. Seriously, it’s on par with Christmas.

There’s this amazing energy (which I know could be read as a mildly lame and vague term) surging about when this switch happens — it’s the feeling you got when you rode your bike without training wheels on your own for the first time, or when you experienced the Ghiradelli chocolate/sea salt caramel swirl with chocolate sprinkles in a waffle cone at Yopo your freshman year at UNC. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it might even be the same feeling you got when you found out Lebron was going home to Cleveland (it’s about dang time, y’know?).

It’s magic.

The switch is magic.

Thankful that the magic is real and has yet to fail me.

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