Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to School Traditions- Old and New

Since the school where I teach opened on the same day as the schools in my hometown, I missed putting my children on the school bus for the first day of school. It was my first time ever missing it. That was hard for me. Really hard. I had been a stay-at-home mom for years and when I went back to work as a teacher last fall, I started after my kids. I've always sent them off with notes in their lunches, hugs, and a camera at the bus stop. They still got notes in their lunches, but the babysitter did the send off.

I wanted them to start feeling calm, prepared, and loved. They probably did. But what I fixated on was not getting that photo of them all lined up with their backpacks on. That was killing me. Irrational, I know. Luckily, I arrived home before my youngest got off his bus. So I then lined them all up for our first annual "End of the First Day" photo. Sure, everyone looks a little more wrinkled, but I got it. After the photo, as we walked to our house, I heard lots of details about the joys and frustrations of second, fifth, and sixth grades. How, by the way, did I become the mother of a middle schooler? The walk home was followed by well earned ice cream.

In my own classes, I handed out a survey about likes/dislikes, goals for English class, favorite words, and so on. Even though I am in a different high school this year, there were some similarities to last year's responses. Of course, many, many high school girls cite Twilight saga and A Walk to Remember as their favorite books. I was surprised at how many of the boys said Louis Sachar's Holes was the best book they ever read. I heard that a lot from last year's boys as well.

I hope your school year is off to a smooth start!

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