Well, here we go again. Tomorrow’s a teacher “work” day — I hope it’s more work time than meeting time– and then the kids start Thursday. What am I going to do with a 2-day “week”? How are we going to establish a groove in 2 days?

I know, I know. I should be happy for short weeks like this. But at the beginning of the year, we are trying to establish some routines: homework into planner on Mondays, pink sheets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, vocabulary on Wednesdays, and so forth. Anyway…

This year, I waited the longest time ever before going in to school. I went in yesterday, and of course I’m mobbed almost instantly. It’s like those Intel ads, where they say, “Our rock stars aren’t like your rock stars,” or some such, as the inventor of the USB (or at least an actor playing him) struts through the Intel offices amid oohs and ahs and adulation. Well sort of like that. Not.

“Desiree needs her LCD projector to work, and Mr. Cheese can’t print, and I need you to tell me what Anna needs for her computer. Also, Julee’s computer has locked up and IST has had her on hold for…” And etc. After all this time, I should know I can’t just waltz right in and start putting my room back together.

I checked class lists on Powercheese. Most classes @ 26-28, with 31 in the biggest. The counselors know I can’t go past 32, due to a limit on clickers. The numbers are up from last year, and that’s a good thing. When I started here 16 years ago, our school had more than 850 kids. I think we were at about 700 and change last year.

I scanned the names, and of course recognized many. One of them I have to ask about. I think this is the 5th one that I have had from this family. But it might be number 6, which would be a new record for me, so I have to check. OMG. I also have a brother of a kid I had 16 years ago when I started here. OMG squared.

Here we go again.

People who don’t know from teaching like tell to me that it “must be easy when you been teaching the same thing for so long. ” They seem to think you can just pull out last year, and rerun it without doing a whole lot of anything else. And we sort of do. But the challenge every year is to make it better than last year. After almost every class, you think of 1 or 2 or 10 things you might have tried or should have done or wanted to say but spaced. The key becoming a good teacher is remembering those things and making sure that next time (or the time after that or the time after that) you actually try and do some of them. And keeping track of which things worked and which things didn’t.

I can’t wait to do it all again.