Hitting the Restart Button

blog post by Mrs. Kate Curran, 3rd grade

It’s that time.  Time to break out the Lysol wipes, sharpen the pencils, line up the desks, cover the bulletin boards with new paper and new names and new messages of motivation and excitement.  The laminator starts heating up. New labels are hung.   The daily schedule gets typed up.  The stacks of books and folders are laid out-ready to be passed out on that first day of school.  I already know what I’m teaching.  I already know many ways it can be done.  This is all of the easy stuff.

The first day of school-I hit the restart button.  I go back to the beginning of 3rd grade.  I just ended 3rd grade in mid-June, but time to do it again.  Again, but not exactly the same.

This will be my tenth 1st day of 3rd grade at Bishop Marshall School.  For each one, I have been excited and nervous.  Excited for another year of kids to teach.  Nervous as to whether they will like 3rd grade and yes, nervous if they will like me.  But also, a little sad. Sad because another summer with my own little kids has gone by.  But sad because with hitting that restart button, I restart with a whole new set of smiling and anxious faces walking in my room.  Those faces from the year before…. those faces will be going into the next classroom.  That always makes me a little sad.

I’m excited for them for the next year of their young lives to move on, to change, to learn more, to grow up more.  But those faces that are going into a different room to a different teacher-those are the ones that for 175 school days (plus weekends and holidays honestly) those are the faces that I taught. I figured them out.  I knew what to do for them. I lost sleep over them. I smiled about them. I stressed about them. I laughed with them. I wiped tears from their eyes. I recopied lost papers and then found those same said lost papers. I retaught those same lessons. I worried about them.  I prayed for them. For 9 months, they were my kids…my other kids…my school kids.  Now they go on to be the next teacher’s kids.

Now-absence does make the heart grow fonder.  There were many, many days that those same little faces drove me crazy-I now reflect on, and they are in my heart forever fondly.  Another class has gone by.  My restart class is just the next 1st day of school away.  Hitting the restart button is accepting that a new set of kids need taught, lose sleep over, smile about, stress about, laugh with and about, wipe tears, recopy papers, reteach, worry about, and of course pray for. It seems almost impossible to do it all again.  To start over.

But teaching is like that.  The seemingly impossible always becomes possible.  I know it is possible, because I’ve done it nine times before. And I hope to do it countless more.