- High School
- Middle School
Jenny Trafalger is currently reluctant to resume being Miss T. It has been a fabulous summer. She travelled with her college roommate to Montreal, she hiked in the Adirondacks, she even spent some time at the beach. Her time is about to not be quite her own anymore, and she is in pre-mourning. She picks up her room key from the school office and opens the door for the first time in two months. It smells clean, but all of the furniture is piled in the middle of the room. She takes a breath and starts to put things in place.
Julio does not like change. He was comfortable in 4th grade, had all of his friends around every weekday, was entrenched in a healthy routine, then summer came and it all went away. His home life is not structured. His parents each work two jobs, and his big sister is mostly in charge. He has settled into a summer routine, though it took time to get there. He is stressed about going back to school again. Who will be his teacher? Which friends will be in his class? Will the rules still be the same? The doorbell rings… it’s his new teacher, making home visits and saying hello.
Bisma is joining the 2nd Grade team, teaching at Jefferson Elementary School. She moved here over the summer for her wife’s job- thank goodness she, too, found a job in the community. She is unpacking all of her teacher belongings, sorting out what stays and what can no longer work in this new district’s curriculum. She is replacing a rock star teacher who retired last year - big shoes to fill. Will the staff forgive her for not being Mrs. Knowlen? She is used to feeling successful in her job, but will her style work here? Will she find her “peeps” - people who will welcome her, who will laugh with her? She continues to write student names on stickers, placing one on each desk. She has 25 students and 30 staff members to win over, starting tomorrow.
David is an only child. He has been the star of every room, the focus of all attention, the receiver of all love. He is stepping into his Kindergarten room on the first day of school. Where he has always had quiet, there is now chaos. Where he has had the focus, he is now sidelined by screaming kids around him. He starts to scream, too. His mother bends down, picks him up, and gives him a big hug. But then she puts him down and leaves. A large man, who he will soon learn is his teacher, greets him by name and shows him where to put his backpack. The man calls all of the kids to the carpet and starts to read them a story. The man is funny, and David is distracted for a moment.
Shawna is about to start college. She graduated in the top 80% of her high school class. She knew how to do high school and was pretty good at it. She had worked her way through several schools in her hometown, staying in the district, though moving around a bit. Her teachers talked alot about being ready for college, what skills she needed to develop in order to excel, what habits to create and continue… but here she is in her dorm room for the first time. She’s looking at a piece of paper they just gave her, something called a syllabus. She has never heard that word before and is starting to understand what it is: a lot of work. She can feel the stress in her gut and takes a deep breath to try and ease it. That’s one habit her teachers taught her that will help a lot.
Jorge is the principal of a middle school. Last year, their test scores took a bit of a dive. He can point to all of the good work they did all year. Everything was geared toward tracking student data and holding all stakeholders accountable for moving forward. It didn’t work. He is blaming himself. He also knows that the staff is blaming themselves, which breaks his heart, because all of this blame goes exactly against the school culture he wants to foster. He has plans in place to make a difference this year, but will they be effective? He is committed to enrolling the team in an exciting new vision, but will they get on board? The first all-staff meeting is tomorrow.
Sheila is a custodian. All summer her agenda has been her own. She had weeks to do a job for which she had plenty of time. No one was around to stop her in the hall and say, “Hey, when you get a moment could you please...” There were no spills to clean up, no body fluids to be concerned about, and when she cleaned the bathrooms, they stayed clean. Tomorrow, she needs to be generous and smiling again. Today, she is listening to her podcasts.
Al is a teacher with workaholic tendencies. When his schedule is full, he’s a happy camper. When he has too much time on his hands, he gets depressed and anxious. He has been deep breathing all summer, visiting friends, having people over, enjoying his time as best he can. He has been hiking, going to museums, working on projects around the house, balancing work with not-work. If he’s honest, he has been enjoying the break from teaching, but enough is enough. It’s time. Next week, school starts. :-)
You are starting something new. You are reluctant to let something go. How are you intending to turn that “no” into a “yes” this month?
- problem solving
- Social Emotional Learning