Today we had Open House. I spent all day making sure my classroom was clean and colorful and ready to welcome 60 new students. I must say, this year is already much easier than last year. I know the adults around me. I know how Open House works, how to set up my room, and who to call when a schedule goes missing. I love knowing these things.
As I welcomed parents and students into the room, I was reminded of why I love teaching 7th grade. Shy students, loud students, students who wanted a longer summer, students who can't wait to see their friends - all of them filtered into my room. Some families brought translators. Everyone was polite. Parents offered to donate supplies, offered to volunteer, promised to be in touch. For those 2 hours, students were the center of things, and I was reminded of how the world looks through their eyes - if it's awkward to have your traditional Palestinan parents follow you around, if it's annoying to have your brother trail behind you, if it's exciting to see the boy you had a crush on all summer long. I looked at my classroom and saw it as a microcosm of the much bigger world, and I loved being a part of it.
A few students from last year stopped by, and that meant the world to me. I was so happy to see their new haircuts and hear their summer stories. It reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place - I love people. I love kids. It's immensely humbling, to see 60 lives you will touch each day for the next year and know that you are entirely inadequate to help them with everything they will face - puberty, drama, break-ups, divorces, abuse, bullying, pre algebra, and the oh so unique process of becoming yourself.
It is my prayer that I can somehow be enough. Or if not enough, that I can at least truly be the best I know how to be. And as I posted bulletin boards, typed a syllabus, planned discipline procedures, shook hands, and heard tales of summer, I felt sure that it's going to be an incredible year.