During this time I think back to when I was in elementary school and how badly I wanted to please my teacher at all times. I actually remember thinking, "I hope she thinks I'm cool." I remember the week before school, the class lists were posted outside the school windows on large posters. My family would drive by the school multiple times a day to check and see if the list was finally posted. I could barely stand the anticipation of not knowing who would be in my class. Would I have the pretty, nice teacher that all the kids talked about? Would I have any friends in my class? Would my teacher like me? Butterflies would immediately rise in my stomach the moment we drove by and finally saw the colorful posters lined up against the windows. I would race from the car to find the spot where my grade level was posted and then search through every class list until I came across my name. Then I would go through the entire class list and assess the other names on the list. I would count how many friends I had in my class, how many cute boys, and of course, I would take note of any new names that I did not recognize from the year before. Will we become best friends? What are they like?
The night of Meet the Teacher, I would always dress my very best and fix my hair to look as nice as an elementary school girl can. I was always anxious, nervous, and excited when meeting my teacher. I am not and never have been shy. Even if I was nervous before I walked in the room, no one would know. I would turn on my confidence, walk up to my teacher, smile at her through my crooked 8 year old teeth, hold out my hand to shake hers and say, "Hi! I'm Carol Ann." If there is anything my Dad taught me, it is to always have a firm handshake and look people in the eyes when you talk to them. I remember practicing this at home with my parents from a very young age. A firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile tells people that you are confident.
Tomorrow night as I meet my new students, I will remember how I felt when I was in their shoes. I will make sure to shake hands, smile, hug, and tell every single child that I am SO glad that they are in my class and that I am glad they will be part of our "family" at school this year. I am making it a personal goal for each kid to walk out of my room with a smile, feeling confident about being a 4th Grader in my class, and looking forward to the first day of school.
Being a teacher is the best. :)