And we’re back. Teachers opened the classroom doors on Thursday morning, took deep breaths, grumbled at the realization that summer vacation is over, smiled at the sight of their favorite resource books, and then grumbled some more when it became clear that the first staff meeting would begin in 10 minutes.
It was the start of the annual grand battle between Negative Nancy and Positive Polly, between Tired Tina and Refreshed Rita, between Over-done Olivia and Newly-minted Nelly. Who will dominate the beginning of the year? Who will crush and who will be crushed? How long will it take for a winner to be determined? Do I have any say in the matter? If yes, how much say do I really have?
I’m trying to have a good bit, but when I say grand battle, I’m not overstating anything. Teachers returned with a lot of different summer experiences, a lot of different ideas about this coming year, and a lot of different emotions about being back in the classroom. Navigating the mix takes energy, determination, and persistence. I could be pulled in any direction, and undoubtedly, Nancy, Tina, and Olivia will strike with vengeance. But I don’t want them to be victorious. I do have excitement, I do have plans and dreams. I want to feel good stepping into the building each morning. I want to feel motivated to take instructional risks, to attempt something complicated and untested. I want to be telling the truth in a week and a half when I say to twenty-four children that I’m glad we’re all together, that I’m glad to be starting a new year with them.
Therefore, I’m ready to partner with anyone willing to contribute to team Polly-Rita-Nelly. The more support the better. Together, we can prevail!