Tonight will be my tenth Open House.
It’s gone by so much faster than I thought it could. You’d think I’d have realized how quickly it would go by (raising children makes you realize just how quickly time truly flies), but we, as teachers (or perhaps just me), tend to get caught up in little details that distract us and before we know it, our world has changed in what seems to be the blink of an eye, and we almost don’t know how it happened.
Some things are the same going into my tenth Open House event as they were my first year. I’m in a new room (the fourth in my career – gypsy by birth or nature, I guess). I’m in a new grade, going from 3rd to 5th. I’ve got a new teammate (who is awesome, by the way). I’m still scrambling to get things done for tonight (and will be up until the last-minute, I’m sure).
But some things are quite different for me. While I’m scrambling about to get all those little details I think are oh so very important done for tonight, how I feel and deal with the stress are remarkably different for me now than ten years ago. I have a difficult time even saying I feel stressed, because it just doesn’t feel like it used to. The changes I’ve made in my life the last few years have made dealing with stress easier or more manageable for me. Running has truly changed my life in how I handle stress. I literally run it out of myself and leave almost all of it on the road. Then, I just deal with the situation at hand.
Another thing that’s different is that I already know the kiddos coming to ‘meet’ me tonight. I had them as third graders, and now I’ll get to know them as fifth graders. I’m truly excited about this! I’m guessing this is what a family reunion is like. I’ve already had one parent email asking if I was the ‘third grade Mrs. Smith’ her daughter had previous, and if so, they were all thrilled! If not, she said they were still going to be happy to meet me.
I didn’t have this blog my first year of teaching (or read any blogs back then for that matter), but I’m glad to have it now. While I have lapses in my writing due to life or avoidance (sometimes both), it has truly helped me to evaluate myself as an educator and things going on in the education field. I don’t always have time to write (and the writer’s guilt is quite real), but I know it’s had a positive impact in my life all around, and especially my educator life.
Blogging has changed the way I look at things that I do in the classroom. While I’ve always tried to find ways to do things better, I find myself asking “WHY am I doing this?” more than I used to. Is it truly going to help my students become better learners? What are the gains for them? Then I want to write about it all. Even though I don’t always get around to writing about it (good intentions and all), I always vow to do better. Or at least get a draft going.
I’m truly looking forward to year ten in the classroom. It’s been an incredible ride so far, and the road ahead is full of promise and adventure.