Me with my former teaching buds! I love all of you, good luck, and share the love with each child you meet. 💜
Back to School
In my mind today, I'm thinking about the first day of school. I have many perspectives: child, teacher, parent, and retired. I remember when my mom would take me to get back-to-school stuff. I remember the smell of new clothes and shoes. I swear I could run faster and jump higher in those new sneakers. I remember going downtown to Ben Franklin's store for school notebooks, pencils, and the horrendous stenographer pad for weekly spelling tests which I failed consistently. #icantspellwell Oh, I distinctly remember having to get a pepto bismal pink phonics workbook with some plaid design on the cover. Let me tell you phonics and being from the bottoms of West Tennessee with a thick Southern drawl spells for a disaster. #FFFFF #redpenpuke So, like spelling, phonics was not my cup of tea because every vowel is long and pronounced looong! Believe it or not, I still have one of those workbooks and chuckle when I flip through it. Ah, school days, they were some of the best times mixed with a bit of anxiety.
Boo! It's over! Where did my summer go? I was just here. I'm excited but a bit nervous. I'm really trying to stay awake and glean something from inservice while freezing to death, missing my own kids, secretly working on lesson plans, and trying not to grumble that I desperately need to be working in my room preparing for my next generational adventure. Sound familiar? Yep, this is the teacher in me and many fellow teachers before school begins. I miss this part. I miss having a whole new adventure each year. I miss my students so much it hurts sometimes. I know I've moved forward. I'm on to new adventures but once a teacher, always a teacher.
You really need what? You spent how much at Target? Hey, my pepto bismal phonics book was under ten bucks. Holy moly the expenses of back to school! Let's all bow our heads and pray that we have money for food by the end of the month, really! Oh, my! This is the first day of school for struggling, working parents. Check out my Twitter. Some of this is not fiction. Back to school with one girl is exponentially more expensive than with my boys. Hey, but it's the price I pay just like my wonderful mother did. Why? I think one of the most important things my mother ever taught me was the importance of an education. It's important to have the proper materials in which to learn. So, here I am getting the essentials to help my children go forward and hopefully be smarter and have a better life than I have. Remember, we are the bows and they are our arrows. Education is key.
I'm admiring the well watered plants and beautiful blooms in my yard. I'm reading, writing, and reflecting. I'm starting an online course. I'm being visited and visiting friends. I'm planning the 2017 Autumn March ALS race. I went to a MATTHEW 25:40 meeting to help serve the needs in our community and provide back-to-school materials and essentials for the would be students of mine if I could teach. How? I am now retired. My plants now live until first frost when before they we dead by the first weekend after school had begun. I have time and I thank God for it each morning. I'm not out to pasture; I'm creating a different chapter that can hopefully mimic my altruistic teaching years.
Wherever you are on this spectrum of life, enjoy it. Life is just your own personal autobiography. Savor each chapter because blink and you will miss it. If you are a student, respect your teacher and classmates. Learn your short and long vowel sounds. Don't forget to study. If you are a teacher, stand tall! You are so important to the future. Remember to build up your students and colleagues. There's no room for pettiness. If you are a parent, thank you for your wonderful child. Help to promote education and know that teachers are on your side. Remember you are a bow. Be strong and the best version of yourselves. Your arrow will go straighter and further. If you are retired, stay involved. Be a philanthropist with your time and treasures. And enjoy the second, uninterrupted cup of coffee at nine am when second period bell just rang. I will.
Sarah Anderson Alley
Dedicated to the first day of school everywhere.
Quotes of the Day:
"Waking your kids up for school the first day after a break is almost as much fun as birthing them was."
"The most important day of a person's education is the first day of school, not Graduation Day."
"Describing her first day back in grade school after a long absence, a teacher said, It was like trying to hold 35 corks under water at the same time."
"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."
Thanks to the wisdom of Kahil Gibran and his poem the "On Children."