My throat is throbbing and sore. My feet are achy. I’m basically a walking zombie. Why do I feel this way?
Monday was the first day of the school year.
This is my 24th year of teaching. And every opening day I have to brace myself for the amount of energy I’ll need to pull the day off. I only have one hour to do much work with each group of 35 students.
The first day with students sets the tone for the rest of the 179 days. My tradition is to shake each of my student’s hands as they enter the classroom, look them in their eyes and greet them with a smile and warm greeting, “Welcome to Sophomore English.”
I constantly walk up and down the rows of students. I want them to feel special in my room and to know that I expect high standards both from them and from me. There’s not much time to do much work. And I intend to make the most of the precious minutes I have with these young minds.
Teaching can be easy; teaching well is not. I’ve always said that what is remarkable is not that there are bad teachers in America, but that there are exceptional ones. There are few rewards in the teaching profession. To make a difference in young people’s lives is a trait that one either has or doesn’t have. You can’t teach passion in teacher training classes.
Now, if I can only muster enough energy to play catch with my sons.
BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher. He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.