First full week of school on the books

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“I am so tired,” a student said behind me as I opened Google Classroom on Friday.

“Rise above the tired,” I responded. “After all, you’ve made it through the first full week!”

“You make it sound so easy,” says another student.

This year, students began the school year on Thursday for a short week; however, the first full week of school is challenging. Returning to seven daily classes after years of modified blocks four daily classes adds more frenzy to students’ days and more homework to their evenings. As the teacher, I must model rising above the tired.

Talented athletes’ long runs look effortless. Skilled dancers appear to defy gravity with ease as they leap and turn. If rising above the tired after the first week of school is something the teacher can make appear easy, perhaps I’m attaining that mastery that allows difficult moves to appear graceful—because I’m exhausted!

Afternoon bus duty added 90-degree heat to the week. Duty was doable because I worked with Shauna Stewart and our new assistant principal Kelvin Riley. Together, we redirected lost drivers and reminded students to wait for buses to completely stop before approaching them.

Perhaps I’m mustering energy up because I have insight into what lies ahead. On the first day of school, I asked students to respond to this question on an index card, “Tell me anything that you wish I knew about you.”

Ranging from disarming to charming, students’ answers signaled that the year ahead holds great promise. Below are a few samples.

“I want you to know that I’m really shy and that when I need help, I’m too shy to ask.”

“I’m interested in scholarship opportunities and I want to be involved with Lit Mag.”

“I still have my issues and you’re still my favorite teacher.”

“I want to build amazing creations.”

One of my favorite responses read, “It’s going to be a great year with new chances and new opportunities!”

School is about the students—always. They’re ready—and so am I.