First day of school!
Today I began my 8th first day of school as a teacher. At this point in my career, first days are slightly less nerve-wracking than they were when I first started out...but only slightly. I still talked too fast, looked at my first day notes more than at my students' faces (of course, having 15-minute classes on day makes their faces a blur anyway), sweated profusely, and choked on my words because my throat was dry.
The main difference this year is that I'm part-time and don't have full homeroom teacher responsibilities. I didn't have the "are all of my kids behaving and making me look like a good teacher?" anxiety during convocation. I didn't tune out the speaker (good thing, since it was my principal!), thinking about everything in the handbook I need to point out to my kids in the next half hour. I could just relax and enjoy the beginning-of-the-year celebration.
Part-time teaching has already been an adjustment. I was planning to sleep in a little this morning (because I could!), but when I woke up at 5, I gave up on going in to school "later." I wanted to be there this morning with all the anxious and excited energy that flows in a middle school on Day 1. It's exhausting, but I love it.
I even found myself staying for an hour after school let out to prepare for tomorrow. Did I need to stay that long? Probably not. My body was telling me to go home and take a nap. I was physically exhausted (and warm. Like, REALLY warm. This baby is an oven, I'm telling you.) I eventually left and crashed, like I normally do on Day 1.
But tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I really won't need to be at school before 10, and I'll get to leave before everyone else does. Reality will start sinking in that I'm part-time. I don't get to teach 7th graders anymore; I'm not even teaching a drama elective this semester. I have one prep. ONE. And that's awesome! But still a little sad, since I loved full-time teaching. I loved knowing 5/6 of the students in the downstairs hallways. Now more of them will be strangers for longer.
I'm reminding myself that it's ok to mourn the loss of full-time work, even if it's what I have chosen. I'll miss being crazily caught up and absorbed with teaching. I know I'll still have plenty of school work to do, especially when our kiddo arrives and our lives are turned upside down (for the better). But today, I'm just going to let myself miss my old full-time job.
So, goodbye, full-time teaching, until we meet again.