I meant to post this picture last time I wrote. It went into some black hole in my computer and I couldn’t find it. I took it with Erin’s camera (she set it up…I’m not that good) one evening when it had rained all day (not normal for Florida) and we didn’t get to the beach until after supper. Still missing those Texans.
Lana and Calli start school tomorrow. I hope they love it. I hope their teachers love them. I hope they find friends to sit with at lunch and play with at recess. I hope they don’t get blisters from new sneakers. I hope they aren’t overwhelmed by all the new routines, new rules, new expectations, new demands. I hope their teachers are skilled and kind. I hope they work hard and are kind. I hope Declan doesn’t miss them too much (he doesn’t start until after Labor Day) Most of all, I hope they come home happy and excited about going back for the second day of school.
So many of you are teachers and I know you know how hard that first week is…when you want to establish some kind of order, start building a community of learners, make sure everyone is comfortable (but not too comfortable). Kindergarten is the hardest…trying to let them know you’re in charge without scaring them silly, beginning to teach them that they are going to need to take turns and share and you can’t hit someone just because she annoys you.
I don’t envy the teachers or the kids. Just the leap from slow-moving summer days to the insane pace of school, homework, after school activities, trying to catch your breath–it is so hard. Better you than I, my friends. Best advice I can give (like anyone asked) is to first take care of yourselves (whether you’re a teacher or a student) Make sure you rest, make sure you laugh, make sure you carve out time each day to do something for YOU…a walk in the evening, a good book or TV show, some kind of exercise…whatever it takes. Then, take care of each other. Be kind to your friends (and those you don’t know so well) Everyone is feeling a bit stressed…kids and teachers. Smile, be friendly, ask how it’s going. And finally, for teachers, after you’ve taken care of yourself and the teacher down the hall, you can begin to take care of those kids who will be yours for the year. My sister, Paula, told me once that the teachers who made the most impact on her were the ones who saw something amazing in HER and told her…not the ones who taught her amazing things about the world around her. So go find something amazing in each one of those kids (some will be easier than others, right?) and tell them.
I’m almost finished reading All the Light We Cannot See. I think it might be the best book I’ve read this year. I just love it.
Feeling good…extra long days on turtle patrol these days and I’m not coming home totally exhausted (just partly exhausted) All’s well.