It’s that time of year again, time to go back to school. I don’t know about you, but I feel like every year it gets earlier and earlier. Soon we will be heading back right after 4th of July.
I know as a mom, you may be excited that the kids are heading back to a routine, and not constantly saying “mom I’m bored”. You’re probably going to start going to bed at a normal time again or maybe for you, it’s the opposite. Maybe you are dreading sending your little one to kindergarten. Either way the beginning of a new school year brings up a lot of emotions for you and your child. The new school year also brings up a lot of emotions for me, the teacher.
For me, I am excited to start a new year, with new kids to inspire, and new kids to get to know. However, with anything NEW I tend to think about the “old”. Where are all my previous students? Are they doing well? Are they happy? Sometimes I’m lucky enough to run into them and hear about their lives. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to attend their high school graduation and tell them in person just how proud I am of them. Sometimes they keep in touch, and I’m grateful to hear about all their achievements and successes!
Other times however, I’m left to wonder- left to worry.
All of the students who switched schools, got expelled, dropped out or just don’t keep in touch… I genuinely worry about them all. Sometimes I try to look them up, try to find where they went off to, to try let them know that I’m still their teacher if they need one. Yet, I’m left to worry.
At the end of each year, I have around 200-230 more students to worry about, so when a new school year starts 6 short weeks later… I’m filled with a lot of excitement, but also a little more worry then the year before.
We become teachers for a reason. Some teachers have been doing it so long they loose sight, others remind themselves daily. My reason is written on my desk, because with our current lack of resources and lack of funding- it’s hard being a teacher in AZ, and you need the reminder on the hard days.
I became a teacher for kids, YOUR kids. In the moments that they need a teacher or a coach- I’m there. I try to tell them before they leave my room. Try to emphasize that I’ll always be there to come back to. I’ll always be a teacher/coach for them when they need it, but sometimes I just don’t get the chance.
So it’s time to start over, and help a new group find their way. It’s time to try and inspire another 200 kids. It’s time to try and successfully teach and get to know 200 more. It’s time to try and meet the needs of 200 DIFFERENT kids again.
I’m excited, but with worry. Worry for my past students, but at the end of the day- how lucky am I that I have 1,000+ kids to genuinely care about? So much so, that I’m worrying about where they all are.
**PLEASE Reach out to one of your teachers. It sounds weird- I know! I’m sure it’s been a long time, but they remember you. They are out there somewhere worrying about how you are doing. They’ll appreciate the reminder that “their kids” become real adults with achievements that impact the world big and small. **