I remember my first day as a teacher not knowing how it would really be. Would I really be able to do what I had dreamed of doing since I was a little girl? Would my role as educator change the world like I had imagined? I recall being nervous and anxious and excited. What lay ahead of me was absolutely unimaginable.
Fast forward to the end of that same school year. I was tired. I was humbled. I was not certain I had chosen the right profession. But...June, July, and back then...August. Those three beautiful months gave back to me what had stirred in me my whole life and enabled me to show up for year number 2.
Every year since has been the same. The beginning ushers in hope, nervousness, and excitement while the end is marked with exhaustion, more humbling experiences to reflect upon, and uncertainty that I chose the right profession. As I look back on those things I wondered in my first year, I am confident now of the answers. I can do this thing I always dreamed about...not because I’m great and wonderful. Not because I am an expert. I only know this because I did it. Every single year. Did it look like I thought it would? Uhhhh...no. Did I do all the things and make all the improvements I wanted to every year? Haha...nope! Did I achieve great status, awards, or recognition? Not once. Did the world change because of my role as an educator? Yes...mine! I have no clue what kind of an impact I made on those whose path I’ve crossed but I know for sure that they ALL have impacted mine. I am better because of them.
I’m grateful for this profession and that I did not give up on it. It’s hard. It’s ever-changing and life-changing. It’s...in a word...amazing! If I had it all to do again, I would, with 100% certainty raise my hand and say, “Here I am. Send me!”
As I stand on the threshold of my 30th first day of school there is no doubt that my usual feelings will be magnified. The unknown for what this school year will bring is weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of educators everywhere. Twenty-twenty one will be like no other year before us, and school as we knew it could possibly look different from here on.
What I am certain of is we will show up...in classrooms, Zooms, offices, porches...wherever we need to, and we will try. We will endure. We will advocate. And we will persevere for the good of the children entrusted to us.
Here is one of the best gifts of my life laying out some really great advice for us all as we muster up the gumption to show up and rock yet another school year...