Palms sweating, tears welling, nerves? excitement? fear? too much coffee? or is this an anxiety attack?
That was my emotional state as I drove to school this morning. And of course, as soon as I walk in the door, someone asks me “How are you doing?” with that sympathetic tone. I, being a model Mastery teacher (Ha! someday..), responded with a full demonstration of the Core Value: Straight Talk… “I’m freaking out a little bit.” Okay, maybe not such straight talk, since the real answer was “I don’t know what I’m doing here! I forgot everything I ever learned, EVER, last night!” My kind colleague clearly read the truth on my face because she quietly responded, “We’ve all been there…”
Taking deep breaths as I trekked up to the third floor, I paused at the second landing, to look at the perfect early morning view of the city’s skyline, and then down at the eager, and incredibly early, students gathering in the school’s front lot. I saw two girls embrace each other, parents kissing their babies goodbye, bending down to tell them one last time to do their best. I sat down at my desk, and with a few more deep breaths, got right to work.
The rest of the day is a blur. And each time my fellow teachers asked how I was doing, they knew, to just say, “We’ve all been there…” Or, “I know it won’t help you feel any better, but, that was me last year…” I was running from place to place, working to make sure my students had what they needed, were doing the right thing, and knew they would be with me very soon (Monday!)..
While no teacher or administrator was able to pull me completely out of my panicked state, one person reminded me why I was there. One person, and I was calm, and happy, and knew I was where my heart led me… One of my students. Who else could pull me out from the fog my crazed thoughts had immersed me in? Who did I expect would help me focus on my purpose? One of my 5th grade boys. I had asked him, “Are you happy to be back at school?” And his priceless answer: The biggest grin I’ve ever seen, and 2 thumbs up. He didn’t even utter a word, and I was instantly back.
The students went home. We celebrated our successful first day as a staff. And went back to preparing for more of those grins.
And as I left, at 6pm, my Principal watched me walk to my car, making sure I was safe; he really cares deeply about his ENTIRE school, students and all.
Cannot believe how blessed I am to be a part of such a transformational organization.
Even OPRAH thinks so!!!
Watch this! It gives me chills:
Mastery Charter Schools-The Movement