Last Sunday at this time I was sitting at home gradually getting more and more freaked out at the prospect of returning to school the following morning. I'm not sure what did it, but I somehow managed to convince myself that during the 2 week break I had forgotten how to teach, the students would be a nightmare coming back to school, and the week would essentially be a trainwreck. (Aren't I Miss Susie Sunshine?) I tossed and turned all night and meticulously went over my lesson plans Monday morning, as nervous as I was the first day of school. Why did I freak out this much? I have no idea. It's not like teaching is something you forget how to do. So much of who I am is about teaching; why would I think that after a short two week vacation I would suddenly be inept? (Dear God, what will I be like next August after a 2 1/2 MONTH break??)
Well, obviously I don't have to tell you my fears were unfounded. This week actually went pretty great. We spent a lot of time Monday morning reviewing classroom routines and procedures and going over our classroom rules. The time was definitely well spent, and the kids were overall well-behaved this week. Not perfect, but whose class is afterall. :) Even my little challenge student seemed to be in good spirits. He was testing me a lot Monday and Tuesday, but I just ignored any negative behavior and didn't let it get to me. I guess I passed the test--at least for now!
It's amazing how much more organized I feel about school. I have a schedule that pretty much looks the same from week to week, I plan more in advanced and am able to avoid those horrible Monday morning copy rushes for the most part, and I have much fewer late nights at school. (And late nights are now 6:30 or 7pm and not 10pm! Even those 6:30 ones are rarer) Basically, I just feel a little more in control. There are still a million things that manage to go wrong allll the time, and some of the kids I still am not sure how to help or what to do with. But...it's getting easier. For sure.
Of course, over the coming weeks I am going to gradually become more and more on edge about ISATs...I already have taken down any superfluous posters to make room for all kinds of writing and math reminder posters, and I'm really not planning on teaching any science or social studies until late March...which breaks my heart to admit, but with both a writing test and a reading extended response to prepare for, it's going to be writing, writing, writing for the next month and a half. But we WILL BE READY!
Anyways, I am hoping that this week goes as smoothly as last, and that this calm feeling keeps up. It's refreshing...to actually enjoy teaching for a change. :)