Those Back to School Blues

pile of papersterrified woman screamingAs I consider returning to school next week, I must confess my first reaction is to groan at having to wake up so early and keep a regular schedule again. It’s easy for teachers to get bogged down by negativity at the beginning of the school year; it can be difficult to see through the the fog of administrative minutiae that pollute the first weeks of school . We all dread those seemingly endless meetings about everything that might go wrong this year. We wonder how many helicopter parents we will have stirring up dust this year. We worry that we will have whole classes ofย  Vlads, Dracos, and Maleficents. We see acres of papers to grade and projects to evaluate piling up in our futures. We know we’re facing new edu-jargon to incorporate into meaningless reports and lesson plans. We remember that our salary is not quite what we think it should be for all of those little extras everyone seems to expect.

Wait…How many more years until I can retire?

That’s when we have to remind ourselves why we teach. No one teaches because it’s easy. No one teaches to get rich. So as I prepare to return to school each year, I remind myself exactly why I do teach. I believe that education is the single most important positive force in the world, and I want to be part of that. I’m a high school teacher, and I love teenagers. I teach English, and I love literature and language.

I promise…This is a positive post!

When I start to feel overwhelmed by the trivialities of my job, I recall students with whom I’ve made connections over the years. I remember one who told me he graduated from high school because I believed in him enough to challenge him. (He had planned to drop out.) I remember one who told me I had recommended to her the first book she had ever read for fun. I remember several who shared troubles with me that I hope I was able to lighten. I have so many students who have enriched my life that thinking about them, I never want to retire.

My point here is not to say I’m awesome, but to say to teachers starting a tough year that teachers are awesome, to remind parents and students that the teachers you encounter this year are (probably) teaching because they have something to share.

What’s the best or worst start of the school year story you have?

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8 thoughts on “Those Back to School Blues

  1. As a student, I started my first year of college whem all the professors decided to go on strike. I was away from home for the firs time looking for something to keep me from thinking of home. Instead I received plenty of free time.

    As a teacher, I found my first job in a small school where everyone had expected someone else who quit 3 days before school. The kids hated me and tried to chase me away.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Tracey,

    I wish you very best for new session. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I come from a family of teachers. Both my parents are teachers. Still working (***while the eldest child retired***).
    My grandparents and uncles and aunts–many of them are teachers. I like teachers. I absolutely agree that proper education is the most positive force in the world. But it must be ‘socratic/maieutic’ rather than tabula-rasa method of rote-memorization.

    I would recommend you this site. He’s a pioneer in education and my mentor.

    http://www.winwenger.com/

    It has resources for learning. Many wonderful techniques.

    You might find great techniques.

    I wish you a wonderful new week.

    Anand

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I just went over there. The first page I visited had such a relevant article for me: “Keys to the Socratic approach in the Project Renaissance system.” I can’t wait to look around more!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you found something useful Tracey. I would also like to point–They have come up with very efficient methods which have worked wonders in many schools. Win is revolutionizing education and learning. If you ever feel like interacting him–please feel free–he’s a very supportive person for all teachers and educators. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As a non teacher, i have no memories of any “beginning of the school year” stories. Usually it was just seeing class members again after summers, and finding out what classes and teachers I ended up with. Most of us kids knew or heard who were the good teachers, and you always hoped you got one of them. I remember a 6th grade teacher who encouraged me to write, a 7th grade math teacher who pushed me to excel in math, a 9th grade social studies teacher who pushed us to question authority and also questioned us when we gave our thoughts ( to try and make us think for ourselves). A 10th grade french teacher whose love of French permeated into the classroom. Sort of like what some of your ex students have expressed to you. That feedback is proof in the pudding that you’re doing a good job.

    Liked by 1 person

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