Hey, it’s Anne. Welcome to another episode of Transparency in Teaching. As summer vacation is ending, I was wondering if you are beginning to get a nervous tick when you hear, “Back to School Sale?” Or do you find yourself tearing up when you walk by the school supplies aisle? Or do you awaken in the fetal position, gripping the crumpled notification of your preservice professional development days? If any of these situations apply to you, you might be a teacher.
I’m retired, but I know Jen, Sharon, and a lot of you are gearing up to go back to the classroom and feeling some anxiety about what the new school year holds. I can’t blame you after the way the last school year felt. I was there for that. Today’s episode is all about that back-to-school blues.
For me, the beginning of the school year was always exciting. New ideas, new lesson plans, new school supplies, and rearranging my classroom were all things that helped me gear up for the new school year. I looked forward to seeing everyone at in-service. But after last year, so many of us are skeptical. We are concerned about how classroom discipline will be handled. We’d like to know the new policies admin will lay on us. We also must contend with the daunting task of bridging COVID-caused educational deficiencies (on top of the weaknesses already there)—also, the decaying public opinion of education in general.
However, every new school year does bring a classroom full of promise. The point is to remember why we are here in the first place, the kids! Teachers are change-makers! We helped craft the leaders, the scientists, and the parents who will help shape our future. Students need good, caring, intelligent educators more than ever now. Sometimes we are the only bright spot in a child’s day. Sometimes we’re the only ones a child feels they can talk to.
Teaching is so much more than imparting knowledge. What we provide in our classrooms teaches social skills, empathy, critical thinking, organization, responsibility, and citizenship. So, calm your ticks, dry your eyes, and get up. You have a vitally important job to do. The most vital of all occupations, if I say so myself. The future depends on you! No, seriously. So go get your room ready, um, right after you finish listening to our podcast or, even better, while stapling that new paper to your bulletin board.
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