This has been a very long week and my body hurts so much I need one big Bandaid to feel better. My brain and my body have forgotten the requirements of teaching. Today I switched from flip flops to my workout shoes, because tracking around the school has taken its toll on my poor feet. My brain is also cramping up and there are long periods where I just sit and stare at the empty desks in my classroom and wonder how I will ever be ready for students next Wednesday.
Yesterday my visiting teacher, Paula, showed up at school and asked if she could help me. I put her to work unpacking books for the class library shelves. She spent an hour just cleaning and sorting through all the "stuff" that English teachers tote around. It truly is the simple things in this life that make such an impact. Paula has always been one of my heroes, but yesterday was truly the extra mile. The best thing she did was just listen to me and talk me through a few of my "brain cramps." By the time she left I was reminded that I have so many people helping me through this transition back to work.
Back to School Night went well, but it took me some time to remember what to say to parents and students, giving a quick five minute overview of my class. I did get the hang of it by sixth period though. It is fun being back in the preparations of school again, catching up with the faculty and meeting new teachers. On Wednesday I had several teachers stop and offer help and support as I attempted to clean out the classroom I had inherited from a veteran teacher who had retired last Spring and couldn't begin to cart home all of her accumulated English teaching "wealth" that represented thirty years of public school service. Maybe twenty years from now some young Miss Bumblesprout will be dealing with the leftovers of my "Mrs. McBloom classroom!" (If you haven't read the children's book Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom you need to.)