1st Day of School — Being with the authenticity of my own Discomfort

I really hate to admit this, but the first day of school, especially in a new school in a new grade, is terribly frightening for me. I am full of anxiety, fearful I have not planned well enough, feel engulfed by the waves of unknown and unplanned things that happen when 25 people are in a room together for the first time. Everyone is checking everything out — and often in ways you did not plan or imagine. Parents are milling about, watching you, watching their kid, watching each other. My first planned activity of the day, a scavenger hunt to get to know our classroom — a warm up to get everyone involved — just sort of vanished when i got my supplies in the door of the classroom. I had no idea where it was, and suddenly, despite my having arrived to school 2 hours early — everyone was there, ready to come in.

It’s funny how I plan and plan, get everything in order, and forget tthat he main event is what I do NOT plan — how kids interact, how they test limits, how they are just trying to get to know you and everyone else in an organic way.  And that chaos is the scariest feeling in the world for me. That very human element of teaching. The not knowing.

So, for tomorrow I am planning and planning. I have a book to use as a mentor text to make our own book. I have a Hopes and Dreams activity to start our social emotional learning. I have a discussion of a book to begin to create a peace corner for kids to use to calm down. And inside, I am a churning mass of discomfort, trying to just BE with that authentic discomfort. And that is the hardest lesson of all.

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