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Monday, August 24, 2009


I used to feel grateful for the beginning of a new school year, because it was like a second New Year's Eve. I got a chance to start over and be a better teacher. This year, I'm in a new school, teaching a new class and I thought I was handling it well. By Friday (Aug. 21), I was sick of being new, not knowing people's names, forgetting where kids were supposed to go, trying to work out bussing with different districts. This week, I feel like I have prepared for the schedule and I am waiting to see if everyone actually gets where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. New initiatives have already been introduced, which require after-school training. Parents are waiting to see if they have placed their trust in someone who knows what he/she is doing, and administrators are checking out classrooms to make sure students are engaged and learning. I remember a time fondly when both students and teachers had a few weeks to get into the routine. My mother always said it took us six weeks to get used to our teachers. That was before student performance was tied to teacher performance and everyone wanted a good report card in the newspapers. What is the essential nature of education? The relationship the teacher forms with the students that convinces them they are capable, interesting people who have a valuable role to play in the world.