Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mixed Emotions

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.        


  1. Although school starts later here in Canada, I'm feeling the same thing.

    But I am so grateful that as teachers, we get to reflect and reevaluate our teaching practice each summer and hopefully, begin the new school year with a more seasoned perspective - like you just did in this post.

    I love that about my job.

    Good luck!

  2. I wish there were more male teachers. My daughter's favorite teacher, male, taught language arts - 6th grade. It was a class of high achievers and not too many discipline issues. He'd call our house when my daughter did well on WordMasters or for other special achievements. It meant a lot to her (an A student), which says that all children need praise. And they need a bit of Bobby Knight too. :)
    Best wishes for a productive, successful, and enjoyable school year!

    Ps. I wrote a post called Teacher versus Parent a while back. Got interesting comments. :)

  3. Squilla's AuntAugust 16, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    I'm looking forward to the stories that will come from this year of teaching, with the rise of Bobby Knight and a new principal to boot.

    One of the best teachers I ever had was something of a battle-axe....Mrs. Fairbanks. I had her in 4th and 6th grade, and she didn't let anyone get away with anything. (Well, except for a great education.) She was relentless in her high standards, and while I don't think many kids would have called her their "favorite" teacher, they lobbied to get into her classes and treated her with respect. So cheers to the Mrs. Fairbanks and Mr. Rileys of the world!

  4. I'm glad you had a great summer. I hope it lead's into a great year. I always appreciated those teachers that brought a little "Bobby" to the classroom. Many of the people that helped shaped my life were teachers and I'll never forget the positive influence they had on my life. Best of luck with the new school year.

  5. Wishing you (and Meg) the very best for a bright and exciting school year!