Getting Started

I unlock my classroom door, and as always, the papers I didn’t finish grading the day before greet me. And as usual, I jog down the hall to make photo copies and my daily battle with my arch nemesis the copy machine ensues, as it devours and single handedly destroys my main copy, and then screams and beeps at me to fix the damage it has done. I’m annoyed; I’m tired. I get fed up with the never ending pile of papers. I want a copy machine that doesn’t break down every time I look at it, in a copy room where there isn’t a lineup of people waiting to use it. Needles to say, I’m not a morning person.

I have my coffee in hand as I greet my students at the door, and I sigh with annoyance when I hear, “Ms. C., I forgot my homework and my book, and also, can I borrow paper and a pencil?”

But then there is always that student who goes out of her way to ask how my morning is going and that student who has something that he wrote the evening before that he just can’t wait for me to read. Their genuine sincerity begins to rejuvenate my sleep deprived mind.

The majority of my students are eager to please and truly want to do well. They are emotional and passionate, and many of them are just finding their voices. They are kids in big bodies, often misunderstood by people who don’t have the privilege of working with them.

Class begins, and without fail, they have me laughing over some antic they’ve tried to get away with or some silly remark someone has made. There is so much humor to be found in each day when I allow myself to forget about the trivial things, like the pile of paperwork and the evil copy machine, and appreciate what a truly lucky position I’m in to work with middle school students. My students are used to hearing me say, “I could work with adults all day, but this is much better.”



    1. Thanks, Mary. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by all of the extraneous details in our profession. But you’re right…connections with the kids are what really matter.


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