I survived the first full week of school! By Friday, I had cried several times and was feeling overwhelmed. Not that it was a horrible week, I was just exhausted.
As the relief of the weekend arrived, I began to contemplate the many reasons for my emotions. One answer stood out-change. Change, even positive change, is difficult. And this year is going to be filled with change.
I taught at my previous school for nine years. As far as jobs go, this was a record for me. It was comfortable, familiar. I knew the layout and the great people who worked there.
My new building is beautiful. It is a welcoming space filled with a positive, dedicated staff. And though I love entering each morning, it is still unfamiliar. I’m learning my way around.
For the past five years, I taught with the same two ladies. Teaching art, music, and P.E., we truly were the dream team. We quickly transformed from colleagues to good friends, sisters. I didn’t realize how much I would miss seeing them every day.
My new team is amazing! We are in a larger school, so there are six of us. Two teachers for each subject-art, music, and P.E. They’ve already helped me more than they know. But we are just beginning to know each other.
Learning my way around a new building. Getting to know new colleagues. Connecting with a new set of students.
As I considered these changes, I began to think about my almost five hundred new students. They are facing changes as well. Summer ending and school beginning again. For many, it means attending a new school.
Learning their way around a new building. Getting to know new teachers. Connecting with a new set of friends.
They are experiencing similar changes. And if these changes have such a powerful effect on me, how might they affect my students? Are they also feeling emotional and overwhelmed? Most certainly.
As I approach the upcoming school week, I need to be more aware of emotional reactions in myself and my students. We will work through the growing pains together and come out stronger on the other side. In the end, the results will be worth the change.