A teacher's thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the new year.
|I lay in bed the night before school was scheduled to start. I couldn’t believe summer vacation was over. Although I’d had plenty of time to relax, I felt like the last school year had ended yesterday and I wasn’t ready for the new one.
Of course, I frequently felt that way at the beginning of the year. Even though it wasn’t my first-year teaching, I always had a bout of uncertainty the night before the first day. It wasn’t even the first day before planning; it was always the night before I met my new students.
Rolling onto my side, I hit the pillow, trying to push it into a better position. Finally satisfied, I closed my eyes. Morning was going to come entirely too soon.
Morning brought rain which I tried not to take as an omen for my day as a whole. Packing up my lunch, I quickly toasted a bagel and ate it as I checked my bag to be sure I’d packed everything. Picking up my umbrella, I made my way to the car; juggling my umbrella, lunch bag, and teaching bag.
Despite the umbrella, I was dripping as I entered the main office. “What happened?” the administrative assistant asked as I shed my outerwear and dripped my way over to the sign-in computer.
“It’s pouring,” I answered, slicking my hair back so I didn’t drip on the computer. “And then as I crossed the parking lot, someone hit a puddle.” I gathered up my bags. “Thankfully I have some towels in my classroom.”
“Have a good day!” she called after me.
I shook my head, replying to greetings as I hurried down the hall. Once in my room, I dropped my things by my desk and opened my closet, pulling out a couple of towels I kept in there for emergencies. As much as I could, I dried off, and fixed my hair, straightened my clothes. The students would be coming soon and I needed to look presentable.
Just as I put the towels away, the warning bell rang. I stepped out of my door, looking down the hall to see my fellow teachers do the same. Waving at a few of my friends, I turned my attention towards the small bodies that were just beginning to enter the building.
As the first one stopped at my doorway and tentatively smiled up at me, I greeted her, “Welcome to first grade. Go in and find your name. Let’s have a great year!”
Turning back to wait for the next student, I felt some of the tension leave my body. It was the start of another year.
Word Count: 442
Entry for "You're The Judge! Monthly Contest" [18+], August 2020