The Stress of a New School Year

I realized today that a new school year is quickly approaching.

Seems like that should not have been a surprise, right? Pretty expected that as summer comes to an end, a new year correspondingly approaches (yes, I know that for many of you, summer goes till Labor Day - I have till mid August), and yet, it was a shocker.

I was at a baseball game with teacher friends at the time. We'd been talking about a variety of topics (the delightfulness of pedicures, why that guy a few rows down was wearing such a definitively unattractive shirt, my overuse of the word delightful) when one of my friends mentioned that she was feeling stressed about the new year. She's going to have three and a half preps and is unenthused, especially as she reports back next week and just learned about this yesterday.

And as I sat there and commisserated with her, I suddenly thought, hey. I have a new year starting soon too. I have to build new relationships with kids too. I have to get to know IEPs and figure out differentiation and learn how to work with my school's new admin and prep for a new grade level and find new model texts and figure out my room layout and learn a new software grading system that we're adopting and try to implement a pilot advisory program and reorganize my classroom library and and and and and.

Mild panic attack in the middle of the game, there.

But I worked through it quickly. I think the issue is that I loved last year so much. So so so much. It was such a great year - not to say I couldn't do better in some areas, but it really was delightful and it ended on such a positive note. So I'm a liiiiiiiiiiiittle nervous that this year won't live up to last. Maybe it won't, but it'll definitely have some great pieces to it.

Mostly I'm super excited for next year - since I'm going to 8th grade I'll have some kids I had two years ago, and I loved those guys, so that'll be fun. Plus I'll get to see my kids from last year again and catch up with them, and THAT'LL be fun. I hear good things about our new admin, I'm really excited to work with the other 8th grade Language Arts teacher because she's a rock star, I have a friend who's offered to share some of the model texts she's found with me, I'll almost certainly do cooperative learning pods because that's how I's all gonna be fine. It'll be busy, and overwhelming, and stressful, and exciting, and awesome. And I believe that.

And I'm going to keep believing that every day until the end of next summer. When it'll start all over again.

(Photo credit to Stephen Edmonds.)


"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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