Today, tomorrow are my last “free” days this school year. As a principal I worked a 12 month schedule. I built in vacations where I could. Since moving at the end of June, this has been my first summer off! And now my “free” days feel very precious … and just having two left … well … I’m thinking I wish I had a few more!
I feel like I am just now getting in the groove of having off days and learning how to enjoy free time. And as the start of school looms … I realize I could use a few more days (weeks??) to prepare my heart and mind for my return to the classroom. I didn’t sleep well last night … can’t help but wonder if that isn’t a bit of anxiety raising its ugly head!
As I reflect a bit on the root of those anxieties, I suspect the root is related to my choice to seek a teaching position over an administrative position. As an administrator I missed the relationships with students. I knew many students – but living and working among them is not the same as being their teacher in the classroom. After twelve years, will it be difficult to be real, transparent with students? Will I be too far removed from their world … or will I be able to connect meaningfully?
There’s a quote by Plato: “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” This quote emphasizes relationship, exploration, and reflection. The structure of the school year and the accountability of standards doesn’t allow a huge amount of time for exploration and reflection. My goal … to get to know all 150 (or so) students well enough to be their guide to success in Algebra … and to help them learn more about their personal strengths to be successful in high school in general.
So today … I lay those anxieties aside … putting a positive step forward … thinking about how to get to know my students quickly, efficiently … with fun … in the context of mathematics!