I have had a lot of the-first-night-before-school nights. Some as a student, but more now as a teacher. This year will mark my 15th first-night-before-school night.
I’ve been thinking about the ones past.
The first one, with my very first class, that graduated in 2012, was riddled with giddy excitement. I had been at this school for two years, and this was finally my big break – year one of grade two! Fourteen more years would follow.
The second one was riddled with anxiety. It was a new school in a new town. I knew no one. I was in my classroom until 9:30 pm the night before second grade that year.
Later ones were riddled with a mixture of anxiety, excitement, purpose, and fresh energy. I don’t much remember specifically those nights but they are there, in my memory.
After getting a few years of experience in second grade, that first night before the first day was just normal anxiety. I knew what the first day was going to look like, sound like, feel like.
And I know that every year, on the first night before school, it was hard to sleep. Excitement, nervousness, just wanting to get that first day behind me. People never believe me, but I am an introvert and new situations are uncomfortable for me. I need to settle in, not jump in. The first day is definitely jumping in!
Tonight, I do not know. I am tired and I know that I will sleep.
Tonight, it’s a little like being new all over again.
I know I can do this. And I know it’s going to be an awesome day tomorrow.
The reality is, I’ve had 15 first days. They just happened to be in the same grade level. First Day #16 is a grade level lower, and it’s going to be different. But I’ll figure it out. I always do.