Students adjust to shifting rhythms

Published 9:13 am Saturday, August 8, 2009

The rhythm of my life shifts into high gear this week as school begins for teachers.

As I begin my 20-something year of teaching at Pelham High School, I’m excited.

I’ll hardly sleep the night before the kids come and I’ll stay at school entirely too late trying to have everything just right before that first day. Excitement will pulse through the hall as our kids come in and embark on the adventure of a new school year. I know this because I live that first day of school every year.

Possibilities are endless for a new school year. While many of the kids are already involved, clubs and new organizations begin with the school year. Involvement adds to the fun and advice from former students is valuable.

“At Pelham, the 200 rooms are downstairs, the 100 and 90 rooms are on the main level,” PHS 2008 graduate Briana Bishop said.

Although this numbering system sounds crazy, it’s true. We began with one level of classrooms at PHS.

As new wings and downstairs classrooms were added, we had to do some creative numbering.

Academic advice comes from PHS sophomore Ray Foushee.

“Freshman year counts. Work hard and get the best grades you can,” Foushee said. “Do your homework so that you understand the concepts. You can’t cram everything you need to know into your senior year.”

The best wisdom one of my students has offered about high school comes from PHS 2005 graduate Ashley Davis.

“High school will be the fastest four years of your life,” Davis told a freshman just after graduation. “Enjoy your time there because it will be over in a flash.”

I ran into Davis this summer. She is finishing her teaching credentials at UAB and plans to teach high school.

We must look like we’re having great fun as teachers because lots of our Pelham grads come back and join us on the teacher’s side of the desk.

And the truth is, most days we are having great fun — and enjoying life while we work hard at Pelham High School.

Columnist Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at