My 9th First Week of School–The Good, The Better, and The Best


Almost a decade in and the first day of school is still always a little nerve racking. The nerves are built from adrenaline and excitement mostly. This year there is a bit more stress added due to changing my position and our school going through yet another round of changes. These changes, however, already feel pretty good.

The Good…

First and foremost, the kids I’m teaching this year are great! I am really enjoying their personalities, but I am not sure they know what to make of me yet. I think they see my class as a bit of an oddity in their schedule; I like that idea though. I love the idea of taking them out of their comfort zone in order to help them grow. We’re starting with memoir as a way of developing their writing a low-stakes, familiar way. (They have all pretty much claimed they have written memoir before; I venture to guess not the way I expect them to.) On top of enjoying their personalities, I am really enjoying teaching on a block. The eighty-five minutes gives me a chance to cover two to almost three days worth of work or to dive deep as well as transition in and out of supplemental and support material.

My role as academy coach (AC) is the alien landscape I have been traversing this week. While I understand the flow of my classroom, my other hours spent as our AC are not as clear. So far I believe I am prioritizing tasks well, but the freedom I have to choose how I approach my schedule is foreign still. I could not help but wonder at times this week whether I was prioritizing correctly–it is difficult not to question myself right now. I do believe this will get better though. I certainly believe in my abilities, but the position is still quite fresh.

The Better…

Thankfully, I got a reprieve this week from some of my doctoral work. For a time, I thought I would be upset having to wait to start my comprehensive exams; however, I found, instead, I really appreciated a week to breathe as the school year starts. That being said, comps should begin late next week. Wish me luck!

The Best…

Finally, I was humbled and overjoyed to be in front of the KSU faculty yesterday to receive the Clendenin “Lamp of Learning.” The dinner celebration is not until next month, but this was a special moment for me. At times, I am still not sure it is real.


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