I’ve quickly been swept up into the work whirlwind; it’s been great going back, though. Teaching is a sword that needs to be sharpened. By the end of a school year, it is dull, but summer resharpens the sword.
In the midst of summer, there are moments where I imagine going back to work and feel overwhelmed and wonder how I did it – how was I prepared for each day? Then, once back, a switch flips, and I go into teacher auto-pilot. My brain functions in a different way, and suddenly everything I experience in a day somehow relates to my lessons. I also am quickly reminded why I came back from summer sunshine by my students.
The best part about going back to work is seeing them all again. Getting to know new students is exciting, but I’m always interested to see who comes back to my door for a hug and a hi. It’s sweet because some return each year, some move on, and some come back for the first time. It surprises me often which students come back and jokingly walk into my class even though they don’t have me as their teacher. Students that, in certain moments, I thought for sure I lost for good – I’m not perfect; I mess up – they come back and tell me they miss me, give me a fist bump, go out of their way just to remind me they remember me.
That’s why I come back to work. If I came back each year, and my previous students walked by my door without a glance my way – like a ghost – I would ghost the profession. Seeing that, despite hardships, I make a positive impact on students, that my classroom is a home away from home for them, maybe plays a small part in why they are comfortable continuing on their quest for an education, gives me the inspiration I need to push through to the next year. The beginning of the year is always much easier than the rest. I’m not oblivious to that – it will get much more difficult, but the return is worth the investment. Investing in the future of humanity – what better investment could I make?