Tomorrow begins year 17 of my teaching career. How did that happen? So much has changed in the last 16 years, and yet some things are just the same as they were on the night before my first year of teaching. I still don't feel like I've had enough time to get ready for children to enter my classroom. I'm still not sure exactly what I'll wear tomorrow (I have a good idea, but we'll see if it's what I leave the house wearing). I spent the better part of the day agonizing over my lesson plan book, yet I'm sure each lesson will change slightly as I teach it. I won't get much sleep tonight. I'm too anxious and too excited. But tomorrow...
...Tomorrow I'll be happy to see each of my 500+ "babies". I'll great each of them with a smile and/or hug and I'll be completely honest when I tell them how much I've missed them this summer.
...Tomorrow I'll be wishing well my former students who are starting middle school. I've been honored to be part of their Underwood safety net for the last 5 years and I have to admit I hate that I won't be seeing them in our hallways tomorrow. I hope that they remember the life lessons we've learned together and treat each other with respect.
...Tomorrow I'll be a Safe Keeper. I'll be keeping my students safe when they come to my dance room, yes, but perhaps the biggest way I'll be a Safe Keeper is when I'll be running afternoon carpool. That first day always makes me nervous (will they all get in the right car?), but I'm blessed to work with 5-6 teacher assistants who help keep everything running smoothly.
...Tomorrow I'll feel like I'm home. Things always feel slightly off when I'm not in the school environment. Tomorrow everything goes back to normal.