I can’t believe that I still get nervous before the first day of school. When I taught in the same building year after year, I was terrified the first year but only felt a flutter before the others. When the kids would come in the week before school started to drop off their things, I would feel so much better. I’d be excited for the first day and could never wait to get started.
This year was like my first all over again. I was so scared! Meeting the kids helped, but only for a little while. I became terrified again. How was I going to do this? I knew that I needed to be every bit the teacher I used to be. I cannot let my bosses down. They need to be able to believe in me no matter what sickness I’ve had or machine I have attached to my body. I need to be amazing times ten.
So today I was in my classroom feeling like I was getting back into the swing of it. I was laughing with them. We talked about all the gross and amazing stuff I talk about on the first day. It was great.
And then I started to get so very tired.
I was feeling pain and exhaustion like I’ve hardly ever felt. My stamina started to waiver. I felt myself looking at my watch over and over. I knew if I could make it to lunch I could make it through the day.
Of course, I made it to lunch. I made the whole day. I did ok. I wasn’t perfect. But that’s ok, because I was never perfect before, either. I was good before, and I was good today. I’ll be better tomorrow, and keep getting better. Every once in a while I will have a bad day, but the next day will always come. And I’ll be a good teacher again, no matter the pain or the exhaustion, because it’s what I do. I teach.