Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's That Time Again!

Almost all the kiddos around here are back in school. I know that other parts of the country started much earlier, but this is actually early for us. It was traditional that schools opened the Wednesday after Labor Day; however, this year, Labor Day is the latest it can be (and landing on my b/day, again.) So, most schools are starting this week instead.

When I taught, we always had our faculty orientation on that Tuesday, and it was a full day of notes. The PTA always prepared a beautiful luncheon, and we were excited to begin the new school year. My classroom had always been finished several weeks prior to that day, but several teachers spent that Tuesday afternoon decorating theirs. During my teacher days, I had seven different principals, and every one of them had different meeting styles. I tried to take all the good parts for when I became a principal. The guy principal we had was the best – he hated meetings as much as we. So, he’d hand out copies of calendars, notes from the superintendent's office, and general rules and regulations. Then he’d ask the teachers about their concerns for the year. Many times those issues involved our drop-off and pick-up procedures. We had an awful time with that. Some teachers discussed petty or trivial matters, but for the most part, it was a good preparation meeting.

When the kids arrived the next day, I introduced them to classroom procedures, assigned tasks at random, and handed out books. I always sent home a parent letter, too.  In it, I’d welcome them and outline expectations for them. The kids went home that day with tons of school forms, and I never gave homework those first few half days – just a reminder to return the forms. My reputation preceded me, and the kids and parents knew I meant business. Teaching was hard work, but I loved it. Now, I sorely miss it.

Being a principal meant that I was the one preparing that meeting. I always had a bagel tray and donuts ready, along with coffee, tea, and water. I prepared multi-pocket folders for the teachers and went over procedures. We broke halfway through and had everything wrapped up by noon. I’d order a hoagie tray and salads with desserts and drinks. After that, the teachers were free. I miss that job, too.

My last  faculty meeting!

I try to stay positive when I reach this point each year. I think about all the free time I have. I wallow in the fact that I can sleep in. I grin because I can read normal books or watch daytime TV. I still miss it, but I no longer obsess over it. It is what it is.



  1. ONE day of pre-opening meetings...I am super impressed and super jealous that there is such a thing out there.

    1. Yep, one day. New teachers had to attend a full-day orientation with other newbies, and new principals had ongoing meetings throughout the year, but each school had just one meeting the day before school began. I didn't know any other way existed. How many meetings did you have?