Well, I'm not sure where that summer went to. But for those of us in our part of the woods, school starts tomorrow. And that's why I'm writing this instead of cleaning my classroom.
I'm well aware some of you started your new school year a month ago, and for that you have my condolences. Us traditionalists out here in the Pacific Northwest are fortunate that we get to experience the full six-weeks of back to school shopping ads that became moot to you in August. But we tend to not have as long of breaks throughout the year and get out a bit later. So fair's fair.
But this is my lucky number seven when it comes to teaching. Seeing it in writing makes it no easier to believe, but clearly time flies when you are having fun. In fact, further reflection realizes that of my last six years, I have been able to blog here on Communities of Practice for half of it. Half of my teaching career. I don't know if that makes me well-established to some of you or woefully young.
The good news is, I've blogged about the better half. Your first years as a teacher are like middle school - everyone needs to get through it, and at the time you don't know any better, but once you get through it you realize you'd never want to go back. Even moving jobs wouldn't be the same. There is something magical of making it out to years four, five, etc. Trust me, probies, it's worth making it that far. And beyond.
It's amazing what you can pack into three - or six - years. I've not been the most prolific of story tellers, but it is most enjoyable to scroll back up the posts and see where we've been, to realize how far we've come, recognize some terrible one-liners, and reaffirm I still have a long way to go - and I'd better pace myself accordingly. There are times when it flies by, and times when you just have to find ways to entertain yourself. There are days your students amaze you, both with their hands-on ethic, or their answers on tests, and those students who have come and gone. And then there are the days that require multiple pairs of pants.
It's been a journey, both down the road with kids as well as with fellow ag teachers, both in business and friendship. But I'm not saying anything you don't know if you are already in this game. And to those who are coming in - welcome. Work is easy when you love what you are doing. Nothing can compare to the people I've worked with and the students I've had. It's been work, but as wise men say, it's work worth doing.
It's a trip I'd take again twice, and am just glad it isn't close to ending. Although I'm not sure I'll be so lucky to drive some of those roads again anytime soon. But maybe I'll head that way for a bit longer next time?