Monday was the first day of school. I mostly really love the first day of school.
I love choosing an outfit and breaking out my new, carefully selected school supplies (surely these jazzy pens will make grading and lesson planning a breeze!). I love the feeling of a new beginning, another chance to get things really right.
You won’t be surprised to learn than a professional nerd such as I also really loved the first day of school as a kid. School has always been my jam. I liked being there. I got to be around all sorts of interesting people (especially when I started public school in grades 6-12)(I went to private Catholic school for K-5, but that was as high as the school went) and I got to spend time away from my crazy family. The first day of school always felt like a relief after an interminable summer, especially if I’d been home in Tennessee all summer instead of visiting my grandparents in California. I could never wait to get back. I liked meeting my new teachers and seeing which of my friends would be in my classes, decorating my new locker, finding the best routes between my classes. School always comes with a nice sense of order and purpose.
This year, I am teaching material I’ve taught before (some of it, anyway), but experimenting with some new course designs and classroom formats, which makes it pretty interesting in terms of prep, planning, and assignment design. I’m excited to see how some of this new stuff shakes out.
I’m experimenting in other ways, too: finding some new group fitness classes to try at the rec center with friends, trying new lunch packing ideas, and hanging up some new decor in my office. It feels more like a New Year in August than it ever does in January.
(Note to fellow dachshund lovers: this tape dispenser is available at Target right now. Getcha one.)
My class schedule right now has me teaching three sections back to back to back at 10, 11, and 12 o’clock, followed by a lunch break and then office hours and/or meetings and/or regular old office work. It’s kind of nice to have the teaching part of the day go by so fast (ostensibly leaving time in the afternoon for other work), but I’ll be honest: on the first day, after teaching, I just sat in my office staring at the wall while I ate that bento lunch, feeling totally shelled. I finally revived my brain and got back to work, but oof.
I was telling my husband over dinner that night how tired I had felt during my lunch break, how much energy I felt like it had taken to go through those three first-day sessions all in a row like that. I said I felt like I was exuding all of my competence, professionalism, enthusiasm, encouragement, and expertise and trying to project all those good sides of myself for three hours straight, to a total of 140 students whom I’d never met before. “Really,” he asked, “Is that what you do? I just try to make eye contact with each person, one at a time, to establish dominance.”
I don’t know, y’all. I just lost it when he said that. Just dying laughing. He says this completely dry shit like that sometimes and it kills me.
In all seriousness, though, the first day of school just requires a lot of energy. Today was the second day of classes for me, and it required a lot of energy, too. I had three really good classes, and then attended a nice yoga class, had a nice dinner (cooked by my husband, who cooks on days I teach and vice versa), and now I’m sitting on my cozy couch wondering if 9:00 is too early for bed. I’m thinking it sounds just right.
This post was inspired by Ginger’s Bring Back the Words prompt (from last week). If you don’t know Ginger, stop by her blog and — if you’re looking for a little blogging inspiration — check out the BBTW prompts.