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Today is my first day back teaching

I have to admit. It felt strange not posting on my blog for the first time since April yesterday. Yet, it was relieving to be able to edit my Neighborhood Watch book. I was able to get a few pages and a number of edits in, so that felt good. I said I wouldn't stop posting here altogether, as the need to write keeps bringing me back.

Today is my first day of school. You would think that I would be nervous or stressed, but I am anything but. The last couple of weeks I was a big stress ball, working my butt off to convert all of my lesson plans electronically and making sure that I was ready for one the most unique school years ever. But now I feel that today is like taking a ride on Six Flags' The Giant Drop. The last two weeks were my ascent on that ride and the waiting at the top. That's the most nerve-wracking part of the ride. Today is the exhilarating drop, where you can feel the wind gush through your skin and hair and you scream with joy.

If I didn't put all that work in for today, I probably would feel nervous. Yet I feel at peace as I write this just a mere hour before I have to get ready for the school day. I am also reassuring myself that I am going into my seventh year teaching and that I taught remote in the spring already. I've been down this road once before.

Today is also a half day. There is not much to it besides getting to know my kids and reviewing the class with them. It's an easy start for the both of us. My mom used to say that worrying is a waste of time. She couldn't be more right. There's nothing to worry about here. Remote learning this year will be a series of trials and tribulations. What also calms me is that I'm hearing from teachers elsewhere that their remote learning experiences are going well so far.

Perhaps the hardest part of the next couple of months will be getting to know my students' names. I usually learn all of my kids' names by the third day. I do this by sitting them in assigned seats, reading their names off the seating chart, and greeting them at the door as they walk in. However, now I don't have a seating chart, but just a randomized grid view. I will have to work that much harder to remember names of students I can't physically see. So we'll 'see' how it goes. All I can do, like every other teacher right now, is to try my best.

It's all about routine. I got into a routine in the spring with the kids that I already knew, and I'll get into a routine here with kids I'm just meeting for the first time. It won't be easy, but it's an exciting challenge. There's no need to worry about what's beyond my control. I'm not worried about today. I'm excited for taking that free fall on The Giant Drop. Here's hoping this leads to a better 2020. Good luck all my fellow teachers. We're all in this together.

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