Whether I teach in a brick and mortar or online, the start of school is much the same. There are meetings to attend, to refocus after the summer and to plan all the great ideas we’ve had, to inspire students. There are schedule and enrollment issues to solve and to try to remember not to be so frustrated by them because, no matter how well things were planned, stuff still happens.
There are students we’ve had before, and loved or struggled with, who come back in new sections or just to say hi and we rejoice. Really. There are brand new students, timid and a bit frightened about what this new school or class will be like. There are parents, concerned that their kiddo gets off to a good start, or confused as to how this new thing works and why it isn’t like last year. There are countless explanations, directions and re-directions to resources that will eventually make the routine old-hat, but are causing panic here at the start.
There are introductions and connections and “wow, you did that over summer?” and shared pictures, adventures, and “I know you can do its” and “Really? That is my favorite toos” and remembering that we are in this together, student and teacher and class.
And I can already glimpse some who need a hand, some ready with a smile, some who forgot that they care, some who just want to be heard, some who have barely contained themselves all summer and want to launch into the school year, and some who come hungry and thirsty and need a safe place to rest. Teachers will be there for all of these: ready, willing, and trying to be able to do the best they can. And along the way, this hodgepodge of students and teachers will learn from each other about reading and writing our stories.