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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Attack of the Killer Bells

Once again it's that time of year: the first day of school.  Pencils, crayons, back packs, lunch boxes and new duds are on alert as eager and not so eager students prep for that big first day. Also mentally girding their loins are the classroom teachers, looking forward to new challenges while mourning the freedom from tight schedules and ringing school bells that lazy summer days offer.

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!


  1. You are a brave lady. I could never be a teacher. You need a medal. ;)

  2. Aww so nice to be appreciated in any profession but to know you've made a difference to a growing young mind must be very satisfying. I nearly taught but wasnt mature enough to cope with 17 year olds at 21. One of the big regrets of my life actually that I didn't do primary teaching.

  3. I take my hat off to teachers. What a noble profession. Love the cartoon! What a hoot!


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