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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Monday, August 29, 2005

Time To Make The Doughnuts

The worst thing about going back to school is the getting up and going back to school. I mean I'm cool with going to the school a zillion times to setup. I can even deal with the dreaded lesson planning. But the worst of the worst is getting yourself back into the routine of getting up early, especially when you've had a summer of the exact opposite.

I never was a morning person. I've always been a late owl. So much so that one semester at college I actually had classes on Tuesday and Thursday that didn't start till 12:30. I consider it just another way college DIDN'T prepare you for the real world. It was heaven.

The weird thing is that eventhough I complain about getting up early, I'm actually very good at it. I've never been a snooze user or abuser. I get up as soon as my alarm goes off and once I have some coffee into me, I'm good to go.

Still there is just something about getting up and feeling the pressure of having to be somewhere by a certain time so early. That and the whole clock changing scenario. I hate waking up when it's still dark out. It just seems so wrong, not to mention, depressing.

In order to get myself psyched to get back in the routine, I've been slowly easing in to it. Two weeks ago I got up at 8:30. Last week I'm getting up at 7:45. This week I'm getting up at 7:00, well at least until Thursday when I have my first in service and I have to get up even earlier. I like to get to school earlier rather than later. For instance, last year I woke up at 5:45 eventhough school didn't start until 8:35. I figured it's a great way to beat some traffic and get in get going. Sometimes this worked. Other times people had the same exact idea. Who are these people anyway?

Another way I've been trying to beat the school at its own game is by getting ahead this year. I do not want to face the insanity of last year when I had nothing and knew nothing. Now I know better. This is why I've been in to school so often over the last few weeks. This is also why I laminated everything I could get my hands and yes I do mean everything. I even went and labeled things with the kids names although given the revolving door I had last year, nothing is certain in that department. I have noticed, however, after looking at the exotic class roster that I am completely and utterly convinced these children's parents are the same people who give those poor Cabbage Patch Kids their random names.

In the midst of all of this, I even managed to help two of my friends who just got their first teaching jobs setup their rooms. It's amazing what a year can do actually. I think next year I might start a service cause as soon as I walked in, it was like something else took over. I went all Queer Eye on those classrooms. Believe it.

I know what y'all are thinking. So you start at 8:35, you get 45 minutes for lunch, 45 minutes for prep and you're out by 3. Oh poor baby. Well let me tell you something. The early morning wakeup calls aren't the only rude awakening. You need those two sets of 45 minutes during the day like you wouldn't believe. And sometimes even with them you don't get a chance to do things you might take for granted like saying peeing or eating. No it all depends on what the day has in store for you.

Oh and your day rarely, if ever, ends at 3. Even if you are somehow lucky enough to leave the building by then, more than likely you will be leaving only to take work home with you. Yes, these are just some of the joys of being an elementary school teacher.

One thing I have learned after talking to much more seasoned teachers is that the first day jitters never go away, no matter what side of the desk you are on. Last year my class was crazy, but for every "problem" child, I had a little angel in my class, waiting in the wings, keeping me sane. I wonder, what if I don't have those angels this year? Just the "problems"? I guess time will tell. These kids will no doubt be nervous when they meet me for the first time. Now if they only knew I felt the exact same way about them.



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