It’s the night before the first day of school, and I’m feeling strangely peaceful. If you had told me I’d feel so good about year two 4 months ago, I would have thought you were crazy. But here I am.
Then, when I think about it, things really couldn’t be more different between now and this time last year. My entire school is coming back with a year of operating experience that we didn’t have last year. We’ve got school-wide discipline systems in place, and we’re prepared to get classroom culture right school-wide from Day 1. I’m feeling relaxed from vacation time incredibly well spent. This, as opposed to being fatigued from 5 weeks of Institute, followed immediately by 2 weeks of Summer Bridge, for which I was completely unprepared. I’ve coming in with good materials and technology, as well a strong knowledge of my curriculum. I don’t have the stress of being a tested subject. I won’t be tackling a full-time load of grad school classes. I’ll be teaching 10th graders, who I’ve already spent a year getting to know and whipping into shape. I’m going to be assistant-coaching basketball, which I’m psyched about.
And most of all, I think the school schedule is going to facilitate teaching and learning, rather than impede it. This year, we’ve got a 5-period, 70-minute schedule. Most teachers I’ve spoken to agree that 70 minutes is the sweet spot of period length, and from my experience 4th quarter last year, I’d have to agree.
It took me a while to get my sanity back this summer, but I’m ready to get my teach on, and hopefully be a lot more effective, healthy, and happy this year. Keep me in your prayers, as well as every other teacher in the city, especially our first year teachers. My heart goes out to them!