I get to meet my new batch of kids on Monday!
It's always kind of interesting beginning the year — you go to your school mailbox, pick up several pages of paper and are met with a whole bunch of names (currently 101 of them) that are complete strangers. There's no faces that come to mind, no personalities discovered, no information yet of any kind…except for those names.
Some 180 days from now, I know these currently faceless students will be far from such. I'll have many memories saved of their personalities, likes, dislikes, and stories. However, right now, anticipation is all that's present.
I sit and wonder what this year will be like. What kind of readers and writers will these names be? Who among them will make discoveries about how much they like reading and/or writing (even if they aren't entering my classroom with those feelings)?
I'm excited, but also nervous. Every year it seems the "battle" to teach the way these kids need is harder and harder. In the face of new curriculum maps, pacing guides, administrators, and increasing test pressure, I'm gearing up for a potential fight this year. Being the one who teaches differently, I know eyes are often on me. The old administration had complete confidence in me and my teaching philosophy, but I have no read on the new administration's feelings yet and that current unknowingness is a bit scary.
Nonetheless, I know it's these unknown names on these lists that will see me through. These are the kids who will bless me with the privilege to read their poems and stories, load me with book recommendations, and remind me every day why I undertake the battle I do.