As the year begins, as I walk the hallways, peek into classrooms and sit in planning meetings...I can’t help but take note of how much I love my teachers and staff members. There is an excitement in the air, a hint of what’s to come, and a feeling that something amazing could happen at any moment.
It is clear we have a building filled with educators who love their children, are willing to work painfully hard preparing for each day, and all share a willingness to collaboratively reflect on the process of ensuring every child receives the best education possible.
I left the classroom four years ago, this will be my fifth year away - I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it, because I do, almost every day. To me, there was nothing more exciting than the first two weeks… Meeting my students for the first time, creating a first impression that would last the entire year. As I walk the hallways I see teacher after teacher creating a memorable first impression, one built on love and respect.
For most administrators, most district leaders, and instructional specialists...leaving the classroom is about hoping to make a larger impact. I was no different, I wanted to be part of something larger than myself, work hard to help the greater good, support teachers, and ensure students were successful. I love being a principal, I love coming in each day hoping to make a difference, hoping to serve all those in need, and hoping to learn something new around every corner…
But...there is something about the first two weeks of school that always gets to me. I miss the overwhelming feeling of nervousness as I prepared for that first day. I miss looking over my lesson plans to ensure what my students experienced for the first time would be memorable. I miss trying to imprint each student's name into my brain before lunch. I miss planning with my team, welcoming new families, and trying to identify the need of each student who walked in the door.
There is nothing like being a teacher. It is hard, it takes time, it is exhausting, emotionally draining, and a daily challenge. Yet...I miss it.
The first two weeks are a wonderful time of year - So, to all teachers completing their first two weeks of the school year let me just share this: Enjoy these moments, cherish the excitement of the first few days, and embrace the difference you are making...because I promise, you will miss these days when you are no longer teaching.