My feet are throbbing in post-long run kind of way. My shoulders ache. I’m hungry, really hungry. My eyes are droopy, and I’m ready for bed. Yes, at 7 pm. But I’m also so, so happy. In a heart full kind of way. In a can’t stop smiling kind of way. In a sigh of relief kind of way.
Today was the first day of school. I loved it!
I didn’t do anything particularly amazing. We mostly just went over the rules, and not even in a fun way but in a boring way. Somehow that’s all it takes to make me deliriously, ridiculously happy. When the first bell rang, and the students came rushing down the hall, I couldn’t help but beam. My next door neighbor told me afterwards that he was jealous of how excited I was. It was like I was watching the Puppy Bowl or like my winning lotto numbers were being read off. I was just smiling and high fiving and welcoming kids and joking and loving it.
Since I got hired, people have been saying that I’d fall right back into the swing of things even though I took two years off from teaching. But I didn’t believe it. The too-loud voice of doubt in my head did some worried hand wringing and (in Piglet’s voice) thought things like, “What if you can’t do it anymore?” The closer the start of school got, the more advice I got, the more I felt like I just wouldn’t be able to do it, that I was incapable of teaching.
All that was washed away today. I have a long way to go. I’m not as good as I could be, and I’m definitely not where I want to be. But at the same time, I’m exactly where I want to be. I’m where I belong. I’m back in the classroom. I’m doing it.
Now I get to do it all over again tomorrow. Good night!