I have always loved the days leading up to the start of a new school year. I remember opening the mailbox to see a letter from my new teacher in fourth grade. I read and re-read that letter trying to decipher if the new teacher was “cool” and what kind of year I was in for. Next, I tried to make my mom understand the list of supplies I’d need to be a successful fourth grade student. There was no way I was going to show up with a 3B pencil when the letter clearly indicated that I needed a 2B pencil. This wasn’t the third grade. This was serious.
Somehow my mom managed to take all 6 of us kids shopping for supplies without “accidentally” jabbing a 2B pencil into one of our arms. Because of her, my stockpile of school supplies grew into a mountain of coloured pencils, pens, rulers, binders, dividers, and shoes (outdoor AND indoor). I arranged and re-arranged this pile many times before school started, often sitting atop it like Gollum protecting his precious. When the first day of school arrived, I descended the mountain happily, dressed myself with the clothes that had been laid out for days in shape of my body, and ran to the bus stop excited to start another year.
Flash forward two decades.
I am a fourth grade teacher and it is fun being on this end of the fourth grade experience. I still love the days leading up to the start of a new school year. I still love setting up my supplies and setting out new clothes. Yesterday I placed 16 small envelopes in our mailbox each addressed to the students who I will have in my class. I wonder how each student will read their letter and I hope they are as excited as I am to begin classes in two weeks.