Sunday, July 27, 2008

new markers, new folders, and a new cast of characters

it's the first-day-of-school-eve and now, a few years into teaching and not even a classroom teacher i am filled with the first-day jitters. this morning in church thoughts of the first day snuck into my head and i haven't shaken them. the excitement of new friends, the chaos of matching children to classrooms, the brand new markers, tissue boxes, folders, kindergarten moms leaving their babies for the first time, brand new fifth graders enjoying the beginning of their reign as 'the oldest in the school'.
i have no memory of the first day of school last year, or for that matter, any of my first days from my teaching career. snippets come back to me occasionally~ my first day my first year staring at the little ones staring back at me on the rug and realizing this is it, i'm in charge.
or last year, my first day in special ed, helping my new charges find their way to the kindergarten rooms. and that's where my memory stops. no recollection of how on earth the fabulous kindergarten teachers managed to teach their children to walk down the hallway, sit quietly, or go through the lunch line. all in one day! i wish i could be more help this year, wish i could anticipate the problems, foresee what lessons that will need to be taught before others, remember the important aspects of kindergarten. but i don't.
and so my stomach has the same butterflies it has every year, knowing i'm about to go into something i'm not fully prepared for, something i can't quite remember, something i know i've survived before, and will survive again.

the night before my cousin began her very first year teaching she opened a fortune cookie which read "a cast of characters awaits you". i laughed when i saw it, because i knew the first graders she was going to meet the next day would fit the requirement. i always think of that fortune before a school year full of new kiddos starts and wonder what sort of cast is awaiting us tomorrow.

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