As I started getting my first day agenda together, I am beginning to think of the first day of school as a free therapy session. Who are you? What's your favorite music, book, subject, sport, color, cereal? If you were a shoe which one would you be and why? Who do you want to be five years from now? What are your goals for the year? What are your strengths and weakness? Biggest fears? Pet Peeves?
Don’t get me wrong, all of this is much needed information along with their learning style color and astrological sign. However, to be quite truthful their biggest goal for the day, even the year, might just be to make it through the first day back to high school with no real catastrophes. No tripping down the stairs (or up for that matter). Finding someone to sit with at lunch. Hoping no one else has on the outfit you spent days putting together. Hoping you see at least one friendly face in one of your classes. Trying not to look lost, scared or vulnerable. No tears on the first day!
I say all of this to get to the point that we are all anxious on the first day. We all have a desire to start with our best foot forward. The motto my first year of teaching as I heard it from new teacher orientation was "don't smile before Christmas" - but we all need a little compassion on the first day back. Someone to ask if we need help when that distant stare has overtaken our faces. Someone to give us a compliment or a smile.
I am always waiting for that one student who finally says something that makes everyone laugh to break that "new class" tension that the teacher just can’t break.
Here is hoping we all have a wonderful first day back with no catastrophes and maybe a little more insight into who we are J