Monday, August 29, 2011

Settling in...

As I write, the 4th day of the school year is winding down and I'm again awed by how time flies. Today, I finally felt like I was settling into a routine I could embrace. With morning Freshmen Orientation over and done, today was the first day where I was able to fully enjoy my 1st period prep time before a full day of classes.

I have to say, I feel like this 50-minute chunk of my day will prove very important to me this year. It makes so much of a difference to show up at school at 8, knowing that I still have an hour and a half to get organized and finish preparing for the days' classes. As I sat in the Business Office making copies of articles about Christopher Columbus (was he a hero? Or a genocidal maniac?), I realized that this was the most relaxing school-morning that I'd had in ages--usually if I make copies in the morning, I have to wait in line for one of the two copiers. There really is a morning rush to make copies before the bell rings and though it's not violent or sour, it's most certainly competitive! Being able to make copies at my leisure while thinking through each class one by one was a blessing I'd never had before... I liked that feeling!

Another cool moment today (and it was a pretty good day, so picking highlights is tough): Yesterday I'd taught the freshmen that "history is now and we're living it." I told them to tattoo this truth onto their brains. Today, I opened class by announcing "history is now" and before I could finish, the kids all chimed in, in unison, "and we're living it!" Then they started cheering and clapping. This happened twice in a row, 4th and 5th period--two different sections. I couldn't help but smile--such a different story from the last time I taught freshmen world history two years ago. Truth: you can be a genius and have the best perspective on history in the world, but if the kids don't buy into your vision for the class, you are out of luck as a teacher. I am so incredibly thankful for the buy-in.

I know it's not me--no, I remember all too clearly how the school year went two years ago. This is God working through me. I'm excited to see where the kids go, and what they do this year as they come to terms with this exciting realization that they are part of the grand historical drama.

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