Today was my first day back to school for the 2019-2020 school year. It was the first day of planning week; the students return on 8/14.
I was very anxious yesterday and last night. I had trouble falling asleep and I didn’t sleep well. I’ve been pretty ok about not getting the back-to-school jitters. This felt like something completely different. It felt like I was returning to a new school.
I woke up five minutes before my alarm went off. I hate when that happens. I checked my email and made my leisurely walk to the shower – as if I didn’t have somewhere to be in an hour.
We have a new principal this year. She’s very nice and really enthusiastic and energetic. She began her teaching career at MSD. She really wants to do right by us and help us work toward healing as a school and community. There is the thought that with so many new people, there will be lots of new changes to the day-to-day way things have been done. I know that the saying goes just because it’s always been done a certain way, doesn’t make it the right way. I also know that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A lot of things as MSD are broken – mostly the people. I know that things have to change, to try to get back to a place similar to where we were before 2/14… I just don’t know if any of us know exactly how to do that, or if it’s time yet.
It’s not just a change in overall leadership. It’s new assistant principals, new guidance counselors (including my friend from my last school), tons of new teachers and support staff. It’s also not seeing the friendly, familiar faces I’ve grown to know and love during my first five years at MSD. It’s clearly a place I recognize, and yet, I don’t entirely.
I pulled into school cautiously optimistic.
The day started with a data meeting. Every first day of planning week starts that way. The difference is our situation. We don’t have data on some things because of what happened at school, so our numbers are skewed. Listening to our scores and how well we did, in spite of everything that happened and how it clearly impacted the students’ testing and the teachers’ teaching, was refreshing. It was also like we’re still under a microscope and have additional pressure to improve these scores with a junior and senior class of students deeply impacted by 2/14.
After the meeting was over, we were given time in our rooms. I was happy to set up my desk and feel like I was back in my space.
After lunch, we sat in a safety meeting, which brought up issues for a lot of people, and a lot of questions. I certainly don’t envy the administrators who have to present this information. They’re doing what they’re told, and don’t have answers outside of what’s district policy. They’re in this with us, and know how these policies make us feel, and that the district can’t have MSD-only policies. It would be nice, though.
I then had a short department meeting, packed up my bag, headed down to guidance to check-in with my friend, and we walked out together.
I left school around 3:30. I didn’t get anything done in my room, other than setting up my desk – which I guess is the most important thing.
I went to get my children from my parents’ house. They spend the day with Nana (my mom). We then came home and I went in my room to watch tv, crochet and decompress.
Today was a long day. I didn’t do much (physically), but it was mentally and emotionally draining. I’m sure I’ll go to bed early tonight. I’ll be back at school bright and early tomorrow morning to set up my room and meet with my yearbook editors and staff. No adult meetings on the schedule.