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Back to School

August 25, 2009

back-to-schoolAfter an amazing summer off (one I feel like I truly earned!), it’s back to it.  The kids started school on Monday and I am already sleep deprived!  Funny how that happens, huh?  I swear this is the hardest job in the world.  Teachers, don’t let anyone think you have it easy because of all your breaks.  They don’t know how many hours we continue to work at home all night, every night and a lot of the weekend that more than make up for those hours off!  And those breaks?  They aren’t given.  They are earned!  Anyway, I digress.

So I started at a new school this year and so far it’s a bit of a culture shock for me.  Last year I worked in a very low socioeconomic area.  This year I’m working in a much, much higher socioeconomic area.  OK, let’s just say it:  Last year I worked with poor kids, this year I’m working with rich kids.  I was really nervous about the change in demographic.  I fell in love with my kids last year and I couldn’t imagine working with any other group.  I have heard over and over, “Kids are kids,” and I know that is true.  But something is missing.

Now maybe it’s because it’s only been a couple of days.  Maybe it’s because my class sizes are bigger.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have that “brand new teacher” adrenaline pumping this year.  But whatever it is, I’m not feeling any sort of bond with my kids yet… and I’m sure I was feeling that last year with my kids the first week.  Right?  Maybe not.  I don’t know….  It’s just different.

I miss my babies!

I cried all the way home today and I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.  Is it about the demographic change or do you just form a special bond with your first year kids that no other group of kids will match?  I was talking to a retired teacher today and she said she remembered her first group of kids holding a special place in her heart… that when she got their graduation invites in the mail it meant more to her than any other year.  So maybe that’s it, I don’t know.  But whatever it is….

I miss my babies!!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2009 12:45 am

    I hear you, I hear you, I hear you! I, too, have a new job this year with a very different population, and oy, what a change.

    A couple years ago I did the poor kid to rich kid switch, and it was an eye-opener. I was naive and assumed my rich kids would have fewer problems. HAHAHA. They’re as needy as any other children, the challenges are just different (and sometimes better-hidden).

    Have you read Ruby Payne’s work on socioeconomic differences? It was enormously helpful to me as I navigated the culture shock of moving between different student populations.

    As to whether you always remember your first class? Well, I do. But since then I’ve also had other classes who stayed in my heart for other reasons: the cast of a favorite show I directed, the entire grade who hated me so vehemently for not being their old teacher (why is it that sometimes the most challenging ones become the most important to us?).

    Thanks to the wonders of facebook, I am now proud as punch to be virtually watching my former 8th graders navigate their first days of high school–oh, what a treat! They are my babies, as every class are my babies, and I love them.

    Welcome back to school! 🙂

    • msdramaqueen permalink*
      August 29, 2009 11:02 am

      Thank you so much for the support! I am very familiar with Ruby Payne’s work…. Amazing stuff!

      I think it’s funny you had an entire class of students who hated you for not being their old teacher. I dealt with that last year from my 7th and 8th graders. That was HARD! I managed to win most of them over, but still at the end of the year when I had the students fill out surveys I got some “It was OK but Mr. Johnson was better.” Ha ha! Can’t win ’em all!

      Thanks again for your kind note! I really appreciate it!

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