The Night before the First Day of School

Tomorrow I will experience my 29th first day of school, and my 13th as an educator. This one will look quite different than the others as I begin a new job at an elementary school as an assistant principal. My morning will not be spent holding my breath in a high school hallway, waiting on all students to find their classrooms for first block, thus affirming that I built a good master schedule. It will not be spent with nerves and butterflies as round after round of teenagers come into my classroom, strangers. Rather, it will be spent in the bus port, in the cafeteria, in the front office, and in the hallways helping nervous children and their nervous parents find where to go. I will visit classrooms and make sure teachers have what they need to do their best work. I will probably spend most of the day on my feet, easily tallying 10,000 steps on my Fitbit (which is taking over my life…but that’s another post altogether).  And sometime between 4pm and 5pm, I will drive half an hour to pick up my baby girl, hold her tight, and tear up at the thought of her first day of kindergarten. Becoming a mother has made me a better educator. I think differently as I listen to parents’ concerns about their child’s schedule, or about the mean kid who is picking on their son. Every time I see a parent with his/her child in the hallway, I think, “That’s their baby.” I know they see their second-grader as their baby because I am certain that I will always think of Elizabeth as my baby. So tonight as I go to bed, I will probably sleep through the night, unlike when I was in the classroom and the jitters kept me up all night, but I will wake up tomorrow with the mindfulness that 1050 parents are trusting me and my colleagues with their babies. I promise I will take the best care of them that I can.