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In the Middle of September

By mid-September, reality sets in.

I have read many posts by fellow blogger teachers about how the honeymoon is over and life is feeling a little out of control.

I do know this panicky, stressed, overwhelming feeling will pass. It always does. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t still be teaching after 16 years.

Today was a nice break from our normal schedule as we bussed all of our middle school students down to the high school. We had a special assembly featuring motivational speaker, Bill Ballenger. He is part of a program called Break the Grey.

You can see some videos of his band and his work at their website. The assembly had a good message and there was an additional program tonight for our community.

However, the best part of my day came as I was standing at the gym doors. Our students were seated on the gym floor and the high school students were filing in. With the music and 1500+ kids, it was loud and hot.

But I got to see many former students. I have been at the middle school long enough that my first group is now in 11th grade and the only group I don’t know at the high school is the Class of 2013.

It was fun to see them – how they’ve grown – and how they’ve grown UP. At 5’2″, I felt shorter than ever. (One good thing about being at the middle school is the fact I am taller than at least half the students.)

Many of them squeal my name and run over to say hi.

Some make eye contact and quickly look away so I don’t talk to them. (I can take a hint.)

Some of my homeroom trouble-makers nudge each other and laugh (but they still say Hi).

Some smile and act all shy, but I can tell they are tickled I remembered them by name.

And one boy….well, he gave me a big, old, sweaty hug and the biggest smile ever.

Can you guess who that was?

The boy from the last day of school….that I wrote about in A Happy Ending.

It was just what I needed after what has been a very long month. On top of back-to-school fun, my friend and I have been in charge of administering a new online test (MAP) at school this week. It has been a super challenging and exhausting week full of both scheduling and technical difficulties.

There were a few times this week when I wanted to bang my head against the wall, throw a computer across the room, and just give up. Besides what was happening in the computer lab, I’ve had a sub all week and it’s been hard not being with my kids. It’s so much work preparing for a sub, especially this early on. I wish I knew them a little better so I could do a better job planning my lessons.

As for the MAP test, it’s never easy piloting something new, being the guinea pigs, and convincing people that what you are asking them to do is worth it. The good news is we have ironed out many of the kinks and the next round of testing will run a little better.

The kids saw a great motivational speaker today. Seeing former students today was motivation for me. Seeing that one particular boy reminded me that all of this work and frustration will be worth it in the end.

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2 responses

  1. Those hugs rock! That was the first post I ever read of yours (I believe!). 🙂

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