Meeting the Workdays.

This week has been a hard one. It’s been a week full of meetings, trainings, and classroom setup. It’s Thursday and I’ve already worked 40 hours this week at the school (this doesn’t count my out of school time preparing materials). This week has also been a time of great stress and anticipation — I was given the task of reorganizing my classroom library per district standard (they’ve required all 2nd-5th grade libraries be categorized by genre and not reading level now), and doing this with over 600 books is rather daunting. The stress of completing that monster task on top of all the other little things that needed to get done made my blood pressure fairly high, of that I’m certain. Despite all this, I have to say this week has made me incredibly grateful to the handful of friends who made my classroom setup a success — without you all, I would have been so behind and so much more stressed (y’all are SAINTS and I love you immensely). Lastly, this week has been a time for reflection and reminders about just how much I adore this job.

Tonight was my third Meet the Teacher Night. My heart still beats a little faster when I hear a tap on the door when the first family arrives. There’s something so special about the first connection I get to make with a child — it’s one of my favorite things. I introduce myself and shake his/her hand, and we proceed to talk about the things that are exciting about third grade and all the wonders that the year holds for us and our learning. Parents tell me a little about their child, and their insight is (usually) appreciated. I particularly enjoy hearing things like how parents want their child to grow in confidence and public speaking ability — I really like when parents see that their child can grow more than just academically. Then I get comments about children being reluctant readers and parents wish me luck with their child this year in reading class.

Oh, your child is a reluctant reader? Let’s see if that’s still the case in June.

[Sidenote: Actually, some of my favorite kids to work with are the reluctant readers. They’re the ones who help me realize how I can make literacy something every child wants to access.]

This is the first time I’ve been in a school where I was there the year prior. I’m in the same room, have the same things, and will teach the same content areas. This also means that this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to have previous students visit me.

I don’t know if my heart has been more full upon seeing about a dozen of my students from last year come by to visit me tonight on their own accord. The first boy who came to see me was just absolutely thrilled — I asked how his summer was and if he had been down to fourth grade yet, and his mom interjected that he HAD to come see me first before going downstairs. Another student came by and told another student while in my embrace that I was an “awesome teacher” (cue tears). Another student, one of the ones who many teachers had trouble with last year, also came to visit. We pinky promised that we’d work out some lunch dates this year while he’s in fourth grade so that we can still talk about our favorite Gary Soto books (but seriously, cue the tears right now because I am just a hot mess).

Child after child came by, and my heart felt closer and closer to exploding with each snuggle.

Between seeing my babies from last year (because yes, they’re forever my babies even if they’re in big fourth grade now) and meeting all the new minds I get to mold this year, I’m one exhausted, excited, and very happy teacher.

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