There's something special about the first day of school, for students and for teachers, that's hard to replicate at any other time in the school year. Sure, it's a little hectic and a tad stressful, but that's all overshadowed by the wonderful freshness of the day. We're excited to see the kids and to have them enjoy the rooms we worked so hard on, and we're eager to throw ourselves into reaching our curricular and personal goals.
That newness is what's going to keep the effortless smiles on our faces today and afterward, and it's what will help get us up and off to work each morning (resting up over the summer doesn't hurt, either). Unfortunately, though, the newness doesn't always last. That's when the stress of teaching and work can start to weigh us down. We have less energy and we become less effective teachers. We can become more irritable and more cynical.
So take a moment today to get a mental snapshot of your First-Day self. Take it with you through the year and check yourself against it. Are you finding ways to keep things fresh, or are you getting stale and stressed? And remember to take advantage of your colleagues, supervisors, and support staff, who are always here to support each other.