What August means to me…

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I feel like my whole life has been spent in and out of classrooms. I always feel like August is the beginning of the new year for me even more than January. As a child August was a bundle of nerves and excitement. It meant going back to school. It meant seeing my friends and classmates that I didn’t see over the summer. It meant a new year to learn and grow. It was also the start of soccer, dance, swimming and all the other sports and activities I did growing up.

As I got older, it meant changes in schools, meeting new people and more learning. It meant new clothes, new backpacks, more nerves and more excitement. I changed high schools between my sophomore and junior year. This was a year of even bigger nerves, and even bigger changes.

When I was in college, August meant moving away from my family. It meant buying bedding and books. It meant new friendships and freedoms. My sophomore through senior year I was an RA at the college so August meant meeting the new freshman. Setting up all the fun activities for my floors and preparing for the craziness of all that college entails.

I went straight from undergrad to grad school. I also lived there full time. August meant a new school, new campus, and new jobs. I worked 2 jobs, had a full class load and assisted in their on campus day care. I loved the challenge of this year and trived, but I didn’t know that in August, I just knew it was going to be busy and tough.

After that August meant preparations. August meant a new class of kindergartners. It was a time to set up my room, prepare lessons and get ready for helping children learn. I always loved meeting my students for the first time. It is the love of life and learning that you see in a kindergartner’s eyes that makes August fun. For some this is their first learning experience, for others it is the first time they are not in a day care setting, which makes it totally different.  As a kindergarten teacher, you never know who will walk through your door in August, you just know it is your job to show them the path to learn.

As a parent August still means change, it means the boys go back to school. It means the sleeping in, late nights, and lazier days are done. It means back to school shopping for supplies, clothes, and so much more. It means new sports, meeting new people and hoping that the kids get the right teachers. It’s crossed fingers that they remember to use their manners, to show respect and to learn. It is the need to know that someone will be there for them when things go right and things go wrong. It is knowing that you’ve given them roots so they can spread their wings.

The years that I’m just mom and not mom and teacher are harder for me I find. When I’m getting the boys ready for school in the craziness of getting a classroom ready and preparing for my next adventure, my Augusts are chaotic. But, I love it!  Summers like this year where I’m not going into the classroom myself, I always feel like I’m missing something. Don’t get me wrong I know that taking this year off is the best thing for my family. I know that I would be nuts to try and start a new job, get the boys settled into a new school, and oh I don’t know… move in the end of Sept into a brand new house would be more than I could handle.  I know under no uncertain terms that I had to take this year off, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the hustle and bustle of preparing my classroom and getting ready for my next class.

So for this August, I will focus on my boys, on getting ready for the next move, on being wife, mother and Lori.  Next August, who knows… I don’t know what my next work adventure will be, but I know no matter what August will be a new start!

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