A new schedule isn't the only big change for me professionally this year. Three years ago I chose to participate in a federal study. It was a two year commitment, but I stayed a third year because I loved the people I worked with, and I believed we were turning things around. We found out this summer that the girls would be starting school later, and since I handle the mornings, I needed to find a job that fit our new family schedule better. As it turns out, the school I left had a position available, and fortunately, wanted me back.
I'm teaching 6th grade language arts this year, and while it's a new grade for me, the content isn't much different. I'm quite enjoying it so far. A couple things are making it a unique experience. First of all, my oldest is in 6th grade this year, so for the first time in my teaching career, I have a child who is the same age as my students. I've told my students that I have high expectations for my daughter, and whatever I expect of her, I'll be expecting the same from them. What kind of teacher would I be if I didn't?
The other thing that's kind of strange is that for many of my students, I am the first male teacher they've ever had. A number of parents mentioned this to me at the little pop-in we had before school started. Some of the kids were actually nervous about it. This won't change how I do anything, but it's kind of cool to think I'm the first male teacher for some of the kids. I better make sure I represent for the fellas.