- "Outline the picture first, then color it inside."
- "Put antibacterial on your hands so you don't get germs on your snack."
- "The best thing is that you get to play. The hardest part is that you have to do your work."
- "Here's how to make friends: Say, 'Do you want to be my friend?' "
- "Don't be nervous because in school we have fun. Your parents will come back and pick you up after school."
The older I get (I'm 37 and about to embark on my 17th year in the classroom), the more I realize that the kids are not the scariest part of things when starting up the year. I know that all of our fussing as teachers in terms of "getting ready" is about plans and bulletin boards and so on. We want things to be just perfect for the kids walking through our doors in a few days because we care about them. The frightening parts are all of the things the kids don't always see---the administrative tasks on our plates, the grading and accountability, and the angry parents or unhappy home lives we may have to work around. It is staring the school year in the face and feeling confident enough to manage all of that so that kids have what they need: a caring teacher in the classroom.
The graphic above was part of this week's Post Secret. The anonymous sender is right---kids can definitely forget that we are people, too. If I might offer some advice, I would like to suggest that teachers not forget this fact no matter how many students do. You are important people. You are more than "just teachers." Remember this year to nurture yourself. Put down that red marking pen and go for a drive, a walk with a friend, or whatever feeds your soul. Write a blog post, make your mark, and strut your stuff. Remind others that you are whole. And if I start to forget---be sure to drop me a line and remind me, too.