A Special Time – Every Year

Students aren’t alone in riding the emotional rollercoaster.

The first day Back-to-School is a high anxiety, high excitement time for teachers and staff too!

It can’t be helped.

From enrolling new students, creating new bus routes, preparing lessons, setting up welcoming classrooms, or starting fall sports practices, we continually look for ways we can better serve our students and families – EVERYONE IS  FOCUSED on getting the new school year off to the best possible beginning.

As a former teacher and coach, I can tell you, it’s always beneficial to have positive momentum carrying you forward – and this is what Back-to-School days are all about.

I discovered this when I began my career in education as a first year math and physics teacher at Unionville-Sebewaing Area High School in 1985.

Now if you read my previous blog about the range of feelings I had about my move to a new school district back when I entered the 8th grade, my feelings were pretty much the same on my first day of school as a teacher.

I was anxious.
I was excited.
I was hopeful.

Whether you’re a brand new teacher or a seasoned veteran, you always want to start a new school year in the right way.

I knew this, of course.

I just didn’t know how to confidently do it.

But eventually I caught on – and fairly quickly at that – thanks to several veteran teachers and the wonderful patience and friendliness of my students.

It was an incredible year for me as I reflect back on it now.

The other teachers in my building were awesome mentors; helping me get accustomed to the ebb and flow of school life, teaching me how to communicate with our parents, and pointing out ways a young teacher and family man like myself could stretch tight household finances.

Because I taught physics, many of my first students were seniors.

I had worthwhile and meaningful teaching and learning experiences with them, too.

And I was extremely grateful for this, because in reality, I was only about four years older than they were and I found this a little unnerving.

But these young men and women freely gave me their advice and opinions as well – and most of it was pretty good!

And social media has allowed many of us to keep up with each other even today.

Thanks to the experiences and insights of both my teaching colleagues and my students, I survived my first year of teaching in fine shape… so much so that I continued teaching at Unionville -Sebewaing High School for another 11 years before becoming the middle school principal there.

So the moral of this blog is this: Be open to considering the voices and advice of others, wherever your setting may be, home, work, or school.

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