Monday, September 03, 2007

The Top of the Coaster

There is that moment, shortly before the roller coaster goes over the peak and shoots down the first drop, where your brain hits the infinite capacity to fathom everything about life, and yet, at the same time, it concentrates on what is to happen in the next few seconds.
That's how I feel right about now.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the school year. The students will climb on their buses, the teachers will double check their lesson plans, and I will walk into the world's hottest building and begin schooling the next generation of kids.

Sure last week was rough. We lost two teachers during the prep week. That hurts, but teachers are a tough breed (sorry, Mr. Tinsley, but we are), so we bounce back.
Still, I have that trepidation. However, unlike the last two years, my fear is not about my job. Honestly, I'm not afraid of them firing me like I have been for the last two years. This is not to say that they may end up firing me.
No, my fear is actually about me. I'm slightly worried that I don't have the strength to get through the year. My son is one, walking and talking, and will soon be knee-deep in the terrible toddler times. My wife is dealing with her own issues at work (Go layoffs!), and then there is the fact that all of my classes are with freshmen. No adult conversations for me.
So here I sit. I'm on the peak of the first drop on the roller coaster. I'm nervous, and yet I'm still excited.
Don't get me wrong, I am worried that I won't get tenure, but that's not the chief concern anymore. I'm not even sure that at this time next year I'll still be living in Minnesota. No, I just hope I can give my son the love he needs, be the rock my wife needs, and still give the energy needed to be the teacher I am (I can't apply good or bad labels to my teaching as it varies from kid to kid).
Just remember, boys and girls: some of us could use some help. Some of us have already spent close to $1,000 of our own money and school hasn't even started yet. Be nice to your teachers.
And if you have a kid in my class, understand that I do not reward stupidity.
Of course what do I know? My teachers used to hug my mom with sympathy. I could be wrong.

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