Today was the first day of school,in the district where I work and for my own 4 boys. It is the second first day of school where I have not been at my classroom door excitedly greeting students as they enter for the first time. Today started my second year as the Academic Support Specialist with the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program. And the thought of not being in a classroom today made me a little sad.
Don’t get me wrong! I really do like my current job! So, to my friends reading this, don’t panic and think “Oh, no! Teresa is miserable!” and to my boss (Graig), relax, I’m not going anywhere! But not being someplace and not doing something you love makes you stop and think about WHY you might miss it. To be honest, I don’t miss stressful Sunday evenings prepping for the week ahead. And I have yet to have a painful longing to peer at my dining room table to see 100 essays waiting for me.
But there are parts of the job, especially with that first day, that can’t ever be replicated in any other job. Here’s my list of things I missed today:
1. Hugs and exuberant smiles from past students scheduled into my class this year.
2. High fives and smiles from students proclaiming ” I was hoping I’d finally get to be in your class this year, Mrs.Bunner!”
3. Hesitant smiles and handshakes from students who haven’t quite decided if they are happy to be in my class.
4. Finding out who grew, got a new haircut, is now dating so-and-so, made the team, is going to try out for the play, read a book over summer they want to share.
5. The frenzy of the Book Pass as greedy hands grab for books just book talked minutes before.
6. The exclamation from the first student who says “Aw, man! I wanted to read that book.”
7. The first fervent plea “Please, Ms. B., tell me you have another copy of that book?!”
8. The nametags placed on desks that show who my minimalists are, who my artists are, who wants to see if they can pull one over on me the first day.
9. The ringing bell that precedes hollers of “See ya’ tomorrow, Mrs. B!”
10. The quiet whisper overheard on the way out “She’s not as tough as I heard she was.”
My professional career has brought me to a new path, one filled with exciting challenges and new possibilities. But I know that no matter how far I wander from the classroom, deep inside of me will always beat the heart of a teacher. To my friends who have celebrated that first day, today, tomorrow, in the weeks past, in the weeks to come, I am jealous of your first day. And I am in awe of your teacher’s hearts. Blessings and cheers for a new year filled with learning.