There is an electricity in the air.
Thunder sounds in the near distance. All afternoon, I have been gathering sources for lessons and making lists for the beginning of the new academic year--and I am excited to be doing so. Of course, there is a tinge of regret over the end of summer--mostly a longing for a few more unscheduled days, time to read, see friends, and in my case, more blocks of time I haven't had to steal in order to write.
I want to remember this feeling on the first day of school. I want the fact that my students are adjusting to vastly structured days once again to be at the forefront of my mind. We have to hit the ground running, I know, but our stride can and perhaps should begin gently.
Each year, before the school year begins, I try to check in with myself.
Do I still look forward to the first day?
Am I getting butterflies about meeting new students?
Does the work involved in the return to school feel like a burden?
I have vowed not to continue teaching past my inspiration's expiration date. Happily, I find myself sitting peacefully before the storm with nothing but joy and anticipation for this year's preparations, meeting my new students, and fulfilling my role as a teacher to the best of my ability.
If you are a teacher and your summer is winding down, I wish this coupling of calm and delight for you--and may our year be rich with learning for ourselves as much as for our students.