It hasn't been that long ago that I was one of those teachers. That first day begins with the unwelcome buzzing of the alarm clock, usually not needed since I have been wide-eyed and awake since 3 a.m. anticipating and fearing the unknowns of the day. Even more dreaded than the alarm is the opening bell when my students enter the classroom, best manners being exhibited, wondering if I bite or not. Cautiously taking their assigned seats, they have no idea that I am equally apprehensive that they might bite. And so, we begin.
The next bell is one of relief...recess...and everyone is still on their best behavior, myself included, as we all take a break. My thankful bladder breathes a sigh of relief and sends a quick memo to my still-on-summer brain to forgo that second cup of coffee in the future. What was I thinking? I know better!
Too soon, another bell: end of recess. Bell again: lunch, even though my stomach began making growler noises at 11:20. The bells go on and on until, exhaustion setting in, the final bell rings and I collapse in my chair with a deep sigh. Not used to talking so much, I am hoarse; and my feet ache like I have run a marathon. But, hey, it went okay.
Dare I hope? I think they like me. I know from experience that any acting out student behavior usually doesn't rear its ugly head on the first day, but I am having good vibrations and feeling positive about my pupils.
S-o-o-o-o this bell-ridden job I have chosen as a career is launched for another year, and I begin to face the challenges of yet another round in the boxing ring of education, feeling that the smiling faces I have just dismissed to school buses and parents will most likely make the stacks of papers I lug home on the weekends, the $ out of my own pocket that I spend for classroom materials, and the endless meetings I attend...worth it.
But I hate those damn bells!