Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The First Day of the New Year

The first day back to school after Christmas is always hard.  The alarm clock rings so early and this morning it was so-o-o cold - at least for Florida.  It was hard to crawl out from under those warm covers.  I got to school to find the laminator out of film so I couldn't use the centers I had worked on over the holiday.  Then it was printers that didn't work and teachers stressed by their inability to print their Newsletters and morning work.  Computers had been "deployed" over the break and every bit of a semester's work for four of my students vanished.  Their daily computer intervention was lost for today, and probably forever, since I can't ask them to repeat a semester's worth of work to figure out where they are in the program. I HATE technology.  I'm sure at some executive level, technology decisions make lots of sense, but for those of us in the trenches, technology is a nightmare. 

With that kind of start, I guess I could say it was a dreadful start to the new school year but then the students walked through the door.  Their new haircuts and clothes - Kayla with her special toboggan knitted by mom, Christian's adorable Superman hat, Grace's cute little gingerbread tee-shirt that made us all laugh - and all those little toys sneaked into backpacks to share.  They walked in with such enthusiasm - smiles ear to ear -chattering away about all that had happened since we had last been together.  Their faces were so eager and some of them seemed to have grown while they were away.  A million stories had been etched into their memories - both good and bad - and they shared so willingly - places they had been, nanas they had seen, cousins they had played with, hugs they had shared... and then there was the one child who said nothing good had happened over the break and told about her dad being so mad on Christmas Eve and crying all night.  Even with the few sad stories, the sun shone brightly through the windows as the children began to take their places in the room melting the fog and dark clouds of the earlier morning.  I guess this is why I teach... because no matter what is going on in my own life, no matter the distractions and roadblocks of the "system," the children warm the air.  They remind me of all that is good in this world and of my responsibility to them for these 180 days that we have together.  Life really is good... and I feel blessed to be able to spend my days teaching children...  Welcome new year!

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