Learning The Art of Teacherly Love

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 09 2013

Payless Mom, Just Pause.

You know that Payless Shoes commercial? The one with the mom, house full of kids, summer fun going on all around her?  The one where at the end, empty house, she sits down on the couch, sighs, and says, “Hear that? …That’s the sound of September.”
This commercial:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6MQNfrEDmM

I cannot stand this commercial.  For one thing, by September, we will have been back in school for a few weeks already!  And she seems so annoyed at the beginning of the ad! Payless Mom, let’s put this into Teacher Perspective: Summer began June 21st… And the kids come back August 22nd… And then they spend 10 months with us.  Payless Mom, you had them for 2 months… Let’s just take a moment to think about that. Moms, trust me, we know they are driving you crazy, but, please, savor those days with them! And try not to be in a rush to send them back to us… Please?

With the arrival of the Payless, and numerous other back-to-school commercials a few weeks ago, I was starting to long for a pause button.  While I have spent many days relaxing, reading, and doing nothing but savoring the day, I still would like a bit more time; just one more long weekend trip, one final beach day, and a day of nothing but brunch, shopping, and a pedicure.  But, we all knew this day would come… Life doesn’t come with a pause button, even in the summer months, and Tuesday, we return.  Then a whirlwind of Professional Developments, meetings, organizing, and setting up, and the kids will be back in their seats before we know it.

It’s hard to believe that I can actually say I am no longer a “First Year.”  I still feel new to everything, and there is still so much I need to work on.  But, with a little experience under my belt, and a whole lot of lessons learned, taught, and retaught, I am about to begin Year 2!
While I am returning to my same classroom home, there will be quite a few changes this coming year.  The biggest, and quite frankly the scariest, is that our amazing, and beloved, Special Education Administrator, our team leader, will no longer be just ours… We will have to share her with other Mastery schools because she has been promoted!  While I am so excited for her, and I know that having her higher up within Mastery will only mean improvement for the overall Special Education programs across campuses… We are really going to miss her… Really.. A lot. I was lucky to have spent my first year learning from her, and let’s be honest, I probably couldn’t have made it without her, and the other 2 incredible women that make up the Mann Special Ed Team.  Thankfully, both of them will still be my teammates, we will be adding a classroom para-professional for our 3rd-6th graders, and our new administrator seems to have a similar style and work ethic, but still a bit of an anxiety-inducing change, nonetheless.

We will also have several new teachers throughout the building, and I am glad to no longer be completely and totally lost, and maybe even able to help!
I am not quite ready to start thinking about the personal, teaching, and professional changes I would like to make during this new year; Round 2.  Although, I am thankful that teaching is one of the very few professions where you actually get a break to recharge and reflect before trying again!  With a whole new school year, I have the chance to create new habits in myself and my students, I can try new techniques, work on the things I didn’t do so well last year, and set new goals to keep improving.  For some teachers, you even get to try all this on a whole new set of students!  Each school year is a fresh start, a chance to change, to make yourself better, for teachers and students alike.What other profession allows you to do that, every single year?!  I mean, how awesome is that?!

Maybe after the classroom is rearranged to look more like my second home, I will be ready to dive into setting those goals and mapping out the areas I will improve during Year 2.  For now though, I have one final weekend of summer, and one final responsibility-free weekday, and I plan to savor that, like I’ve got the pause turned on.

Back-to-School/Happy August Flowers :)

Some of my Favorite Summer Moments:

PS:  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider contributing any amount you are able to our Donors Choose Project!!! We would LOVE to have these new Brain Tools this year! [{ http://www.donorschoose.org/we-teach/1867186 }]


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    Dare to Teach with Love… Never cease to Learn.

    Greater Philadelphia
    Elementary School
    Special Education

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