Are you ready? Can you hear the school bells calling and the echo of alarm clocks ringing in the air? Because ready or not, here September comes! And no matter where we hide, the new school year is going to find us. It’s time to pack away the BBQ’s, picnic baskets, sunblock and beach buckets, and trade them in for pencils, chrome books, lunch boxes and backpacks.
The mom in me wants to hide under the blankets and throw an adult-sized tantrum in protest to the changing season. The teacher in me is not going to let September catch me by surprise.
I´m in full swing of preparing for the quickly approaching school year. Before I can wrap my head around my classroom and new students, I look first at the students in my home (aka my kids).
For my little eager students, I start by scouring the stores to find the all important new backpacks and lunchboxes. Honestly, this is something I keep in mind all summer long. They are on clearance in a lot of stores until August hits. This year, we scored our backpacks in July at Toys R US for $5, and our lunchboxes at Aldi for $3.
To be fair, even if we missed the clearance there are always great school deals in August and September. With backpacks and lunchboxes in place, I check over the kids summer reads and math packets, then carefully pack them for the first day of school.
Next, on to the closets! I’ve turned back-to-school fashion into a full runway modeling event. My kids don last season’s clothes, and dance their way from their bedrooms into the living room. It’s the same results every year — they have grown out of ALL of the their pants! However, I’ve come prepared. Like magic, I pull a box of new clothes from the top of their closets which I cleverly purchased cleverly at 90% off last June. After one more modeling event (this time with the newer clothes); we are ready to hit the stores one last time to fill in whatever is needed. Just like that, our home and my babies are ready for the new year.
Now, to get myself back into teacher mode. I begin to wonder…
Who will be my children’s teachers this year?
Will their teachers be mothers and relate to the chaos of this working mom’s life?
Then I wonder about the 100 new faces I will meet, and their own mother’s influence on their lives. Some of them are doing exactly what I’m doing at my home right now. Others are getting hand me downs. While others will come in with nothing on day one.
Then it’s off to my classroom….well in my mind at least for now.
I’ll unpack supplies from the boxes that my children have reorganized into a fort. I´ll place the seasonal decorations that make the room feel warm. I´ll fill my desk with supplies for students who come unprepared, no matter the reason. I´ll decide on an ice breaker, and carefully prepare my welcome to science speech. Their impression of me and my classroom from our first encounter will shape the rest of our year together.
I never feel truly ready for the first day, even after all the copies are made and first day clothes are picked out. Like a school-girl, the thought of the new year and new faces will keep me up the night before the first day of school and give me butterflies in my stomach on our first morning.
Ironically, this is one of the things I love about my job. Every year ends, and a new one begins, filled with new faces, new experiences, and new opportunities.
So as Fall approaches with that ¨ready or not, here I come¨ feel, many of us teachers can confidently stand in readiness to whatever it has for us.
Bring the new year on!
Written by Jessica Guidera
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