As an intern I was required to keep a weekly reflection journal. In trying to psych myself up for school starting again tomorrow I read the positive note I left last school year on. (It's easy to be positive when summer is staring you in the face and it's full of endless possibilities. Like sleep. Yeah, I was mostly just excited about sleeping.) Anyway... It was really great to read through this and be reminded of some of the specific reasons why I love this job so much.
"As demanding, difficult, and utterly exhausting as this year was… It reaffirmed my love for this career. I love teaching. I love being that extra influence in a child’s life. I love being the reason that they know something as basic as multiplication, or cursive for the rest of their lives. I love celebrating small achievements with them. I love knowing that I changed their lives and helped them to grow not only academically, but in character as well. I love seizing every teaching moment, and opening children’s eyes to the world around them. I love inspiring them to be better; to love learning and to love reading. I love when a child calls me “teacher” instead of my name. I love it because I am proud to be a teacher. I love when a child accidentally calls me “mom”, then gets all embarrassed. I love silly stories and jokes that don’t make sense. I love pretending things aren't funny because they’re inappropriate, then telling my friends all about it later. I love laughing with my students until none of us can breathe, and bringing it up weeks later. I even love the bad days, because they make the good ones that much more special.
I am so excited for a fresh start with a new class, and at a new school. I will miss Riverton Elementary and all of the amazing experiences that I had here. But after this year… I honestly feel like I can handle whatever next year throws at me."
I loved reading back over this, because I am now nervous for this fresh start. I am nervous for a new school, a new team, and not having the fallback of my BYU mentor teacher when I need her. I am nervous for new curriculum and methods. But at the same time I am so excited for this. I am excited to only be a teacher. Being a student simultaneously was so difficult! I am excited for first impressions, and to start new with new students that haven't had a chance to frazzle me yet. I am excited that I am not a first-year teacher anymore, and am confident enough, even at the beginning of the school year, to contribute in team meetings. I am excited that the first-year teachers look up to me and are coming to me for help. I am excited that the veteran teachers are coming to me for fresh ideas. I am just excited. I have missed teaching. Ask me again in a few weeks, and I might tell you a different story. But for the time being...? Bring on year 2!! :)