Monday, August 08, 2011
Today was my first day back to school this summer. Sure, I’ve stopped by to visit, check the mail, just pop in, but today was the day I started putting my classroom back together.
The rearranging of the furniture, the digging out the textbooks, the hanging of the posters, is all really symbolic of something bigger.
I spent a lot a time today just sitting at my desk, pondering, looking at the tables, the chairs, thinking about how I wanted them arranged, what the final overall plan was to be. Having been in this same classroom for 10 of the past 16 years, I have some idea of what works and what doesn't. But every year is different. Each group of students is different. I am different each year.
Symbolically, it is a starting over. A clean slate. A new chance to make a difference. Where I put the tables matters. But more importantly, the attitude I start the year with matters. My attitude sets the stage for the learning (or lack thereof) that will occur within those 4 walls during the 2011/2012 school year.
Someone on a listserve once commented: We are but part of their journey. I hope that can be my mantra for the year, with students, parents, and other staff members. As I move tables, write names in textbooks, print parent letters, and plan those first few days of class, I will strive to remember the impact I have on their individual journeys, and even more, strive to make that impact a positive one.