Stewie, You Suck

5 Reasons Why School Opening Day Sucks / Rocks

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Stewie, You Suck

Stewie, You Suck

Technically, most of America had their first real day of school, so in Internet years, I missed the first fleet of boats. NYC will have students in tomorrow morning, many rested from an extended break, others restless and yearning to see their friends who they may not have seen all summer. For teachers and administrators here, many teachers only started getting ready today, and with some of us wearing many hats, we haven’t had the time to really look at the important things in life, like classroom decor.

In other words, my classroom’s a mess.

Thus, here are 5 reasons why opening day sucks:

1. Summer? What’s That?

Summer vacation almost seems too good to be true mid-July … then it really is too good to be true when you step into school. I can go from the sunny, blue skies of Ocho Rios, Jamaica to the tepid temperatures of  my school in NYC. You can’t get a sunburn from the inside of a no-window auditorium now can you?

2. What Does First Day Look Like Again?

Even those of us who have been doing it for 20+ years tell me that they completely forget what first day looks like, because that was about 365 days ago. It’s like having a year-long break from that very job.

3. Nightowls Become Daydreamers

For those that know me personally, they know I stay up till all hours of the night creating and talking. Now that my mandated bedtime shifts from 1am to 10pm, I don’t always get to come up with the madness that only comes with the clock striking 12.

4. Exit Jose, Enter Mr. Vilson

It usually takes me anywhere from 5-8 days to regain my modus operandi. I need to whittle that down to maybe a day or two. It’s an exhausting process.

5. If You Mess Up, You Really Can’t Get That First Day Back

I try my best to make that first day flawless and uninterrupted. It’s important for things like rigor, instruction, and self-importance that everything go exactly as I say … or else.

… and that leads me to 5 reasons why it rocks:

1. Meet The Students … All Over Again

If you really love the job, you get a little nervous, but you really just want to jump in and do the best job possible. Except if you suck as a teacher. Then, I don’t know what to tell you.

2. Every Day Actually Means Something

There are very few jobs that pretend to have structure like teaching does. One can never predict what may or may not happen at any given point in the school building. That could easily fall into the last category, but I like a little spike in my orange juice.

3. It Reminds You Of Your Humanity

We can plan every little minute of that first day, but we know something’s going to happen. Once we realize that our plans CAN fail, it becomes easier to decompress and just let the day ride.

4. You Never Have To Do It Again

Day #2 – 180+ are a bit more flexible than that first day. They also tend to be the days we need to exert more consistency and make our students believe what we said on the first day. (:: points at self::)

5. There’s Always Next Year

Even if I can’t remember what I did first day of school last year, I know I’ll have another opportunity, and another one, and another one …

Jose Mr. Vilson, who really just postponed his website to do 3 other ones …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

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