This is it. The very last day of my summer break.
I could sit here and talk about how fast it's gone by... but the truth is, I've really done a lot this summer. And the past couple of weeks, all that fun has been dwindling down. Mostly because my summer money has dwindled down to nothing.. but still, it's time.
Last night, I went and worked at our annual Back to School Block Party that my school hosts. It's a great way for families to come and meet their child's new teacher, get some free stuff, and just have a good time.
My job was to work the bouncy house, and it was a lot of fun. It was nice seeing kids that I haven't seen all summer.
I was very surprised how different the kids act after being away for three months. Some acted like they had never met me before in their lives. Other's acted nervous and a little shy around me. Others, like my summer school kids, met with open arms and big hugs. And some of the kids that found out they are going to be having me as their teacher seemed just a little scared.
In all honestly, that part really hurt my feelings.
I know that I come off a little scary to some kids. Mostly because I am a strict teacher... a strict teacher that likes to have a lot of fun, throw parties, and celebrate hard work and achievement. In any shape or form. If there's a reason I can celebrate success in my classroom, it's going to happen. But, it appears that information wasn't shared throughout the population of kids coming up to 4th grade next year. They just heard about how strict I was. How much I expected. The high standards I set for all of my kids.
It's OK, though. Because this time last year, I had 20 kids who had no idea who I was or how I'd teach. They were all scared and nervous about having the "new teacher". And despite all of their fears and worries, they left me at the end of the year loving me...sad that they were leaving me...and ready for the adventures that 5th grade has to offer.
My new kids will be the same. They may be scared and nervous coming in, but it's my mission to focus on doing the best I can for them before they head out. Motivating them, inspiring them, pushing them, and showing them that strict doesn't always equate to mean. They will have fun with me, I know it.
I will also make sure that the kids in this class write letters for the kids that will come to me next year. Because maybe then, I won't be confronted with a set of kids that are scared to death of me before we even start. That just makes me sad. I don't want to be the scary teacher - I want to be the teacher the kids are all hoping to get. I'll also make sure I spend some time getting to know this year's 3rd graders, so they are a little more familiar of me once it's their turn to step in to my classroom.
All in all, though, it was a great night. I was able to dance a little, show off my fun side, and sweat my behind off like nobody's business.
To celebrate my returning back to work "officially", I'm having all of my family over today for one last summer hoorah. After over a week of not being able to use the pool because of the buckets of rain that have fallen from the sky each day... we're going to use it today! Hubby spent all day yesterday vacuuming and clearing out the debris that the rain brings. There's still a tinge of cloudiness to the water because of all the cleaning.. but it's usable. And that's what we want. I just hope the sun stays out today and the rain stays away.
But, before anyone can step in to my house, it needs a deep cleaning. I have been pretty vigilant about keeping it clean... but I always feel the need to clean again before anyone comes over. Cat hair on rugs and furniture doesn't work for me. A few specks of dirt here and there on the floors doesn't work for me. Bathrooms that aren't clean enough to eat from don't work for me. It has to be spotless. No matter who it is coming over. That's actually one of the benefits of finally living in my dream home, I'm always willing and wanting to show it off at it's best.
I got up nice and early this morning, so that I'd be ready to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight in order to get up early for my first day back to work. It will be kicked off with a district wide breakfast and meeting, then back to our buildings for more meetings, and then meeting with our teams to plan for our first few days back. I still have a few things left to do in my room... before open house Tuesday night... but with how much I've done over the past couple of weeks.. I know that it will be easy.
I really am prepared and ready to go.
So, here's to another year. Another set of adventures. Another set of new faces...despite how scared they may be on their first day.
Have a great Sunday!! I know I will. :)