In Georgia some kids are already back in school as I type this, but many are headed back to the classroom next week, which means many teachers across the state are spending this week pre-planning. For the first time in 12 years, I am not in the trenches, attending staff, team, and district meetings, preparing for parent/student orientation or for the first day of school. Honestly? It’s weird.
I was asked last night by a fellow educator and good friend what this week felt like for me. I had just spent a few minutes commiserating with him about his own experience at his school where his time had been taken up with meeting after meeting and the messages being sent by his administration were a bit conflicting and even discouraging. Not the beginning of the year he had hoped for. I, on the other hand, have spent the week continuing to find my place in my position.
In one regard, I have to admit it is nice to not be fretting over gearing up for a school year at a local school. The excitement (and anxiety) of preparing a classroom, meeting with team members, and meeting the demands of administration and others is honestly something I do not miss this year. Instead, I have had an opportunity to visit schools with a few members of my current team to support teachers, counselors, and administrators. The experience of the last few weeks has confirmed for me I was ready to jump into this new role. Meeting amazing teachers across the district, seeing new classroom spaces emerge in front of my eyes, and lending support where I can has been extraordinary! Still, not being at a local school is a bit weird.
To my colleagues and friends who are preparing for students this upcoming week, I am excited for you, but I also know the pain of concluding a much needed summer break. I wish you all a wonderful year, and I certainly want to remind you all that you transform lives–for better or worse. Your influence in a child’s life can change their trajectories. Just know I’ll be right beside you in hopes I can support you even if I am not in the classroom next door any more.