Going to sleep on the night before the first day of school is nearly impossible. My brain runs a million miles an hour — at least — reviewing and revising what I’m going to say, what I still need to take care of, what I’m going to wear — and sleep does not come easily. Then I wake up before the alarm goes off, tired but ready and excited for the day’s adventures. It’s much like children trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve.
This morning I overslept by an hour and a half. Last night I could hardly keep my eyes open long enough to get into bed. There were few thoughts of tomorrow.
I don’t know whether my alarm malfunctioned or whether I slept through it; I use a buzzer AND music in order to get myself into a state of relatively full awareness, so how could I have slept through all that? When my eyes opened and I saw the time, I was stunned, but not panicky. I got up, decided to have coffee after my shower, and just went about getting ready for the day. I knew I could make it to school in plenty of time.
It’s all good.
It was great to see the returning eighth graders and meet the incoming seventh graders. There were lots of mix-ups and schedule mistakes, but no one got upset, and everything was fixed quickly and easily.
In all of my classes I talked about boredom vs. curiosity, and the desire to learn, and I told my students about why my son and daughter-in-law have chosen to home school their children: they want their kids to be able to ask all their questions in order to foster curiosity and motivation to learn. Researchers say that in public schools, most students get to ask less than one question a day. My goal for this year (well, one of my goals . . .) is for my classroom to be a place where curiosity can grow. Room 241 will be a place where all students are accepted, where all questions are important and deserve consideration, and where discoveries can be the link to new adventures. No one laughed at my musings; no one made any negative comments. Some kids raised their hands and asked questions. Middle school kids want to believe that anything can happen.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it really can.