August 14th has arrived. While I’ve officially been back to work for two days, this being the first Monday makes it all the more real. So too does the fact that this evening is Meet the Teacher. A new anxious and excited group of students and parents will come flowing into my classroom.
Ahh… the classroom. As I look around Facebook (and my own building) at all the many Pintrest perfect rooms, mine can best be summed up as “Smoldering Crater”! My desk is where it belongs, the ton of new math supplies are mostly stored appropriately but other than that, there isn’t much that screams, “parents and students will be here in mere hours”. And I am completely at peace with this.
(Where’s my desk?)
I’ve never been the greatest decorator and my artistic ability is quite limited, so I’ve never been one to stress out too much over how my room looks. But in years past I have spent much of the first few days back focused solely on “getting ready”. That meant, desk tags, rows, laminating (oh the laminating) and poster hanging. This was followed by creating stacks of papers for each desk so parents could go home with a forest full of different district centered information. It left little time to really focus on what (or who) mattered most – students.
“Good is the enemy of great!” – Steven Covey
“Good is the enemy of great” is a quote that has come to mean a lot to me as this year begins. For much of my career, I have been focused on being good enough. But this year I wish to be great. Not for me, but for my students. They deserve it. So as I start this Monday morning, I’m thinking about engaging lesson designs, how to communicate more effectively with parents, students and colleagues to enhance student success and how best to shift teaching/learning from being centered on me up front to the students and what they are creating and how they are thinking.
The crater will get filled in… and whatever parts don’t look Pintrest perfect, the students can help create and improve once they arrive on Wednesday. It is better like that anyway. But just as a church is only a building and really becomes a church because of the people… my classroom is only a room until it is full of happy, engaged and energetic students. Their desires, their passions and their creations focused on learning and being successful will make this room the caring wonderful place I hope it will be.