As a music lover, there was nothing greater than rushing out to buy a new release on Tuesday morning, peeling the shrinkwrap off, tearing the blasted seals back (in pieces of course), popping the cd out of the jewel case, and putting it in the player to listen to for the first time. I would spend the time perusing the jacket to read lyrics, marvel at cover art and photos inside, and take in the wonderful sensation of new music. This has obviously changed with digitization of music. Instead, I pre-order my albums from various sites, hoping that a cd jacket is included so I can still waste copious amounts of time learning the words that are put to the newest arrangements of sweet notes.
As an educator, there is nothing better than mapping out how your classroom will look and feel for the new school year, moving furniture around to try it this way and that, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls to create a new mood, organizing materials for the year in a new manner, and dreaming of how this year will be different. My first year of teaching certainly looks different than this year. As it should. This change comes from my own learning, and not just because I’ve seen how I can or can’t handle little ones based on classroom design. Instead, my awareness has made me see that the notion of “school” that I know and that I even followed in my first few years of teaching is nothing to be replicated any longer. I’ve heard amazing speakers tell me how today’s students learn differently, I’ve learned the importance of relationships with students, I’ve made mistakes in front of students, I’ve challenged students to be global citizens, I’ve outlined my mission, and I’m more aware.
You see, the beginning of a new school year is much like that fated new release Tuesday in many ways. I anxiously await its arrival – usually so much that I never sleep the night before it begins. I consume it in its entirety – you know it’s bad when you stay later than the custodians, new ideas wake you from a dead sleep, or multiple evenings are spent planning and that doesn’t bother you. I hold it precious – because new is new, whether it’s a cd or a school year. I spend a lot of time with it – it never leaves my thoughts, ideas, or dreams. Lastly, I share it – because what good is it, if you don’t tell others?