The first day back to work after an extended break is always hard. The anticipation of having to wake up at a certain time. The anxiety that comes with having to set all 12 alarms to ensure that you are on time. The stress of getting re-acclimated. Reviewing routines. Remembering names. Finding something to wear that doesn't consist of jammies and slippers. I wasn't ready. At. All.
When my first alarm sounded, I almost cried. But had I hit that snooze button- I may not have a job. Getting back into my regular daily routine wasn't easy. My son spent his entire winter break with my mother because, "Nanny's house is fun!" Where was this fun person when I was a child? I guess she's trying to do her penance by being kind to the grands. At any rate, getting my things together, getting his things together, cooking breakfast, and ensuring the dogs were cared for was harder than I remembered. It's only been two weeks. What is my issue?
After the hustle and bustle of my morning routine, I was finally able to leave for work. I parked and walked into the building and it took my breath away. Not because I was so excited to see my sweet babies- but because of the hellish heat that hit me in the face upon entering. Not only that, when I entered my classroom, it was twice as hot as the rest of the building and all of my posters and student work had fallen off the walls. Why? Why must it be so hot? I just wanted to breathe!
Then enter the sweet babies. Oh how I missed them! How they missed me! How they thought that first day back meant no work! How wrong they were!
So I had to reintroduce myself. My name is Ms. Brown! And if I come to work, you gon' work!
I think they forgot who they were dealing with. But they quickly remembered. I teach seniors and our time is limited at this point. In a short while, they will begin participating in their Senior Activities. We will begin practicing for graduation and preparing for Baccalaureate Service. We have to hit the ground running. The major complaint about today was that they thought senior year would get easier after winter break. I had to let them know that the hard part is just starting. If they think they have senioritis now, they are in for a rude awakening. The hardest part of their academic career will be returning to class after spring break. They don't realize what lies ahead. They are oblivious to what life truly has in store for them. They don't realize that there's real life out in these streets and they need to be prepared. They have only just begun scratch the surface of their potential, to learn who they are, to experience life in general. My job, my task, my duty is to prepare them as much as I can. I don't want them to feel inadequate and ill-prepared because life can and will definitely throw some curve balls and they need to be equipped with the skills and fortitude to endure, persevere, and survive.
I had to remind myself that these are still kids and they really just don't know what's in store. I had to remind myself that I actually do like what I do for a living and that I couldn't just leave the kids to their own devices. I had to remind myself that my kids seek guidance from me about what they need to do to be successful. I almost allowed the frustration of the day to make me forget my purpose and my place. I know today was a struggle for many educators, but remember, this is your calling. If you don't show up, who will? Show up. Be present. The kids truly do appreciate it even if they don't show it. I know issa struggle, but you're half way there. Push through. You got this.