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The Day Before

It is the day before students arrive - Sunday - and I sit at a little desk in my home office.  The two days of back-to-school-learning-and-acquaintance for my staff are complete, and went so fast that I haven't even had the time to sit and reflect on them.  Did I do enough to motivate my new faculty?  Did I give them enough about me so they really understand why I do this?  Do they feel ready to start the first few days and weeks ahead?  Time will tell, and if there is one thing I know after opening a school year as an administrator for the last 12 years, it's that nothing can ever really prepare you for the first days back with kids... except actually being there with kids.

I know that teachers won't sleep much tonight.  I know that some will even go in to school today and look around the room, move desks around one last time, erase the welcome message they had written on the board and replace it with something more meaningful they thought of saying last night, look over their carefully drafted plans one more time... just to be sure they are overly prepared because we all learned it is better to have more than enough material than not enough.  And boy, do they have enough material to cover.

I think of what I will say to my new students - all 950 of them - as they walk through the doors of their school tomorrow; I think of how they will receive me, their new principal; I think of what I will say as I prepare to deliver the first morning message of the year over the intercom; I think of how I will interact with my new students as I pass them in the hallways and see them in their classrooms and sit with them in the cafeteria at lunch.  This new year carries with it much anticipation, much excitement, much to be thankful for, much to look forward to.  It is the mark of a new start for many, myself included.  What I would hope adults and students walk away from this year with, is the excitement that they were able to try something new, the courage to keep moving forward despite what life throws at you, and the overwhelming feeling and knowledge that they are cared for deeply by those of us who are unable to sleep the night before being with them because we are so very thrilled about what we have chosen as our life's work.

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