It’s Friday evening. I’ve had some pizza. I’ve had half a glass of wine (it never takes much). I’m feeling pretty good. Overall, I’m pretty amazed at how smooth this first week back at school has been.
Normally, there is always a class that makes me go, “ugh.” It’s either full of underperformers or has some special “gems” that love to challenge me. This week I didn’t have any of that. All of my classes are good and have positive energy. I do have some students who like to toe the line, but they are easy to rein in with little effort. There were a few that I had to have a “chat” with about not turning in work, but they turned it in the next day (half credit, of course) and there was one sacrificial lamb (but he quickly redeemed himself and has been wonderfully well-mannered ever since).
What I am most amazed by is my growth as a teacher. This is my sixth year, and every year it gets better, but I am still amazed by my confidence. I can convey to the students that this is “my classroom.” I don’t have to worry or be sarcastic; I can be firm and matter-of-fact. Last term I didn’t lose my temper once (a record, really), and I feel like I can do it again. Because of this confidence, they are less likely to challenge or question me. A teacher’s confidence breeds good behavior (not always, but mostly), and kids need to know that someone’s in charge and has their best interest at heart.
I am looking forward to this term and discovering what new things it will bring. I am looking forward to knowing where these kids are now and seeing how far they can go. I am looking forward to the challenges I can bring them and the challenges they, inevitably, will bring me.