My classroom is ready.....and a new year begins.
Eighteen new little faces looking at me for guidance....eighteen sets of parents looking at me with trepidation. "Relax", I want to tell these parents...."I will treat your little ones as if they were my own; I will be firm but fair; I will love them, I will encourage them; I will find what makes each one tick and I will let them use that to help them learn; I will aid them in discovering the joys of learning; I will keep them safe; I will give them an environment where they feel safe to make mistakes - and they will learn from these mistakes; I will aid them in finding appropriate social behavior".
How can I achieve this? Because I am a teacher. I can handle a room of 18 (or more) first graders. I can fight off Spiderman's webbings while teaching addition. I can tell if a little one is avoiding telling the truth, while maintaining a steady gaze on the rest of my class to make sure they remain on task. I can take 18 little people on a trip out of our city, maintain crowd control while at our destination, manage to have my kiddos set a good example for other children there, run an efficient bathroom-water line with an efficiency and safety that would make our military envious, and face my kids while at our destination yet still know what went on so that I can continue our lesson back in class. I can return back to our school exhausted after said excursion - with all the same kids I started off with.....and declare "Wasn't this fun? So... let's see where our next field trip will be!" I can stop either one, two, or a herd of kids from stampeding down our hallways with a look and an "ahem". I can guide learning over and above the 3 hour howling of a baby in the hallway directly outside our classroom. I can leap a silent e in a single bound. I can teach a child that I love them, but not his/her actions. I can put a band-aid on a boo-boo, re-braid hair, and search for a missing earring while helping my students discover animal adaptations.
Why do I do this? Because I am a teacher. Parents have entrusted me with the most important thing they have in their life. God has put me in this place and time to do His Will.
And so....another year begins.