School starts tomorrow, and I have conflicting emotions. As a teacher, I'm ready for the challenge of another year. As a parent, I will dearly miss spending so much quality time with the girls.
Last year was the most difficult of my teaching career. It was my first year at a new school, and in an attempt to fit in, I dialed it down, particularly in the classroom. I like to describe my teaching style as a cross between Bobby Knight and Father Flanagan. I kept Bobby bottled up, and Father Flanagan got his butt kicked. I may not go as far as throwing chairs across the room, but to be truly effective, I need to let the inner Bobby out every once in a while. After a lot of reflection this summer, I had to admit to myself that the fire, the Bobby, just wasn't there last year. I won't make that mistake again. I'm challenging myself to teach with that fire this year. My students deserve it, and I won't let them down.
On the flip side, I hate to see this summer end. This really has been one of the best summers of my life. June was all about lazy days: playing games, reading, swimming, watching movies, taking naps, just being together. July was an action-packed month of travel, family, and friends. August has been about integrating Riley into our family. I am incredibly grateful for the time we've had, but selfishly, I want more.