Friday, September 6, 2013

Season 13, Episode 1: That's A lot of Kids

Good to be back! After the typical summer of playing with the kids, some travel, teaching a little summer school, and the occasional conference, it's nice to be back in the swing of things.

Every start to a school year tends to feel like this epic undertaking:

Okay fine, I just needed an excuse to incorporate an Explosions in the Sky song into this post. But still, something larger than ourselves is at work. For the most part, I suppose this is very true. As a teacher, you're typically part of something big - a school and city community. There are new kids, new hopes, new challenges, and new excitements.

What amazes me is how it can seem like 'preseason' for so long...meetings, workshops, rules & guidlines, grading practices, etc....and then: full blast. Into the curriculum, doing work in class and online, passing out permission slips for the first field trip, and away we go.

The largest thing I'm wrapping my head around right now is the sheer number of students I have in class. 182. It's the highest number of different, unique students for a school year in my career. My goal is to learn & memorize these names as soon as possible. I'm thinking by the end of week 2. That could seem lofty (or slow, if you're not impressed), but this is a very important part of connecting with students. Being able to say their name in the hallway, to ask them a question about their dog, their game on Saturday, their cabin, etc. goes a long way in building relationships.

My hope for this year is to reflect on a different theme each time I write. With the goal of writing every Thursday or Friday, I have decided to approach my writing like a 36-episode TV show. This week's episode is all about what's most important:

the kids.

All 182 of them.

Here's to learning names, making connections, and creating bonds that last longer than the next 9 months.

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