Teachers are nervous on the first day of school. I know this because I was an elementary school teacher for ten years.
My kids say I still ‘act like a teacher’. I didn’t know what they meant so I made them journal about it and circle any word patterns they could find in their writing.
I haven’t taught for a while, but I remember the jitters. I tossed and turned the night before thinking, ‘What am I going to wear?’ and ‘Did I plan enough for the first day or will it be chaos by noon?’ and ‘Oh god, please let this year’s crop of kids be quiet, calm, easy. And their parents too.’
Fact: teachers fret a little about the parents. One difficult dad or moaning mom can turn a great year into a grating year. I’m not talking about YOU of course. I’m sure you are a teacher’s dream.
I love the back-to-school buzz, though it’s bittersweet. I enjoy working from home, but there are definitely things I miss about being a teacher. Like…
The students, of course. Imparting knowledge, igniting a spark in a curious mind, etc. (Obligatory point to show what a wonderful, caring, dedicated teacher I was.)
The staff room hilarity. Teachers spend the better part of every day speaking mindfully and respectfully, keeping in all the swear words and inappropriate comments. They have to let it out somewhere. Hello, teacher’s lounge.
The practical jokes and camaraderie between staff members. Teachers are creative and have access to the school musical costume cupboard, a photocopier, and art supplies, so you know their pranks are going to be top shelf.
Staff snack day. Chips, chocolate, coffee, pastries—your basic brain food. I had the date circled on my calendar in red teacher pen.
Teacher parties. Ask anyone, pedagogical parties are off the chain.
But most of all, I miss the hilariously misspelled words and drawings gone wrong.
Here’s a sampling.
A student left this note on my desk at recess, with a promise of a surprise for me after school. It was a long stemmed red rose of course.
Somebody had to do something. Skanks tend to loiter.
‘My favourite part of grade one was doing meth.’ Clearly this kid’s parents were binge watching Breaking Bad.
A duck says what? Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the drawing is on the other side of this one…
…it’s a hermit crab, obviously.
Happy BTS everyone! Here’s to another exciting year and a few more pages in the ol’ ‘Teacher Ha Ha Binder.’