Tuesday, August 28, 2007

371.002 First Day of School: A Celebration

One of my regular readers sent me a message wondering where I have been. This post should help explain my absence and is a celebration of sorts at the same time.

Yesterday was the first day of school for our district (and many others throughout our state due to a new state law.) It was a marker in my personal calendar of educational experiences in that it was # 33 for me. My 33rd year of "the first day of school" from the teacher's side or librarian's side of the desk...50 years if you also count those 17 years I sat in the "unfriendly to left-handed students" desks of long ago (17 you say? 13 + 4 years of college!!!) My life has revolved around the September-May calendar for virtually all my life. Yes, I know we go in August now, but you get my drift.

But more importantly, it was the first day as a teacher for Daughter #1...that is where my mind, my body...and my checkbook have been for the last month! I have been mentoring her through this exciting time. And it has been exciting! She is a 4th generation teacher...there has been someone in her family teaching for around 100 years...in the State of Texas.

If you have done it a few times like I have, you tend to "forget" some of the excitement, but you also forget the "scary" parts too! And there have been a few moments of uncertainty and frustration, but that's all of part of it. Do you know how fast bulletin board border runs out...even in a city as large as Houston? and do you know what works as a replacement in a pinch---blanket edging!! Pretty colors, wide enough to cover a multitude of sins, and long enough for a s-e-v-e-n-t-e-e-n foot long board...there should be a law! And technology issues are not exclusive to any one district!

Moving and starting a new job is a hard combination anyway, but if you add trying to finish up details on several other jobs you have had all at once (in order to survive), it has been a pretty hectic month. I returned home Saturday evening feeling comfortable that all was well and spent a little time getting myself into the frame of mind for my new year...although because I work all year now and had already spent about two weeks with various aspects of staff development, the first day was not that significant...except for the mark on my calendar.

I admit it was a long first day...because I was anxious for the results happening about 200 miles away. If i hadn't been so busy trying to catch up on some things I let languish, I might have paced back and forth. Every time the phone rang, I wondered. But don't worry...all is well. The day went well, the icebreaker went well, there was plenty to occupy the time period so no one had to sit and drum their fingers on the desk. So my First Day Jitters were not necessary!

The phone call came to an abrupt end however, when she made the statement "well, I guess I better go figure out what I'm gonna do on the second day"... arrggghhhhh, a mother's worries never end!

I know many of you had a great (or at the least, an interesting) first day and I bet you used some of these in many creative ways. Congratulations!

[P.S. Wasn't that a clever way how I turned a "personal" post into an informative and useful one?]


melscales said...

I come from a HUGE family of teachers, too! At my sister's wedding, there were 18 of us and 4 school librarians! It was meant to be, I suppose. I'm glad it was a good day for mother and daughter. And you are very clever to make your blog two-fold. But I knew that anyway!

Library Girl said...

I love your personal posts, and I love how they are informative at the same time! I am so glad to see you back - I knew where you were, but I wanted you to know that you were missed! Thank God the first week is half-over already! I need Friday SOON! =)

Books, Computers & Puppets, Oh My! said...

We started out first day by checking out a lot of books to a lot of students and watching them admire my 5 new to the school Lava Lamps. Every library needs Lava Lamps.
Congrats on your 50th year and on teaching going forth into the 4th generation.