Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things I Am Not Doing to Get Ready for the New School Year

Well, folks, it's time we all start hauling ourselves out of the river in Egypt and admit that summer vacation is drawing to its close.  As usual, though, I'm pretty okay with it.  I start to get antsy in mid-August and feel like I'm ready for my days to have a bit more direction.  I think about my kids more and wonder and worry about them, and before you know it, my head is right back in the game. (Sorry if this Pollyanna-ish paragraph is annoying, but I figure I'd start by coming clean.)

This might be the first year ever, though, that I haven't had, nor do I plan to have, a mini-meltdown regarding classroom setup and related issues.  Granted, some of this is because I work in a largely sane school environment that does not sweat such things, but still.  I went in last week to help out with the August Regents administration, and sort of looked around my classroom and thought, You know what?  This is fine the way it is.  I'll go in for a couple of hours one afternoon and just tidy things up and set out what really needs to be set out on the first day, and that's it.  I refuse to drive myself nuts over it.  Previous classroom setup days typically ended in tears at least once.  I think not, this year.

I'm also not going to break out in a cold sweat one morning and drive myself to Staples and buy whatever I can get my grubby hands on.  I always end up with some weird number of folders in June whose purpose I can never distinctly remember.  I inventoried my classroom supplies and, because I'm a hoarder at heart, I'm actually pretty well stocked-up on everything.

That's not to say I haven't done, or am not doing, anything to get ready for the new year.  I've done unit and lesson planning over the summer, and reading.  But I've also done the relaxing and the nurturing of myself outside of my teacher identity that makes me feel like I'm coming back to school as a whole person.  And feeling like I'm basically read to start the school year already, without having put myself through a few days of arbitrary suffering, is the best feeling of all, one that allows me to really enjoy the waning days of vacation.
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