This is not a drill. We are live.

Dawn of new year.

Dawn of new year.

It’s the first day.
I’m alone in my classroom.
Wow! It’s so calm in here.
And why not? It is nearly 2 hours before the first bell of the new year.

Why do I feel so excited? Yet, at the same time like butterflies are barfing in my stomach? 

We’ve all thought about it, dreamt about it, and for many, myself included, stayed awake the night before thinking about it. Our first day. Albeit,  only for a moment, or as part of lifelong “professional reflection”, the first day of school evokes feelings of anticipation, excitement, fear, or fearcitement (my word).

Did I set my alarm? Am I dreaming? What will my students be like? What about the parents? Will admin be stopping by our class? Is everything organized? Did I pack a lunch? Where’s my coffee? What if they don’t like me?

If you’re experiencing anything from self-doubt to euphoria to start the year, take heart; you’re not alone. Whether this thought life is old hat or brand new for you; congratulations you’re a teacher. For many entering the classroom for the very first time, it is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to our profession.

In this new era, just landing a job is worthy of celebration in Ontario. So when you get a moment, set aside some time to take it all in.

It seems like only yesterday. I recall being there 2 hours before the first bell. I recall the faces of students and parents meeting the “new” teacher outside. I recall the first big breath taken before entering the classroom. I recall the sense of accomplishment knowing I survived. Moreover, I recall this where I began to thrive.

Thinking back on the excitement from my first days of school; I  appreciate how they have led to personal growth, professional friendships and constant learning.

So take some time and enjoy the moments that can only happen on a first day of school. Take time to watch the parents who are seeing their child off for the first time. Take time to notice the student who is standing off to the side trying not to make eye contact. Take time to be still and appreciate the world of difference you are about to make in the lives of your learners. Take time to get caught up in the excitement, and let it carry you through that first day.

Enjoy every moment. I know I will too.

Will

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The Author

Will Gourley

Grade 5 lead learner and SERT at Adrienne Clarkson PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, divergent, and modern learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement, 1 of 90 TED Ed Innovative Educators, and Global Math Project Ambassador. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at https://escheweducationalist.wordpress.com/

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