Students arrived on Wednesday.
As a teacher, I was so intent on getting to know the kids, building our class community and getting off on the right foot that I never even knew what was going on outside my room on day 1.
Well, this year I found out. Our community is amazing! PTA hosted a Coffee Meet & Greet in the amphitheater. Sipping coffee, sharing summer activities, signing up for PTA sponsored events for the year and just generally happy to be back at school. A buzz of anticipation was in the air and parents were just as happy to be seeing their friends again as the kids were.
Kindergarten parents lingered outside the door either peeking in periodically or chit-chatting with a fellow parent. I checked in with our K’s and not a tear was seen. Smiles, shy glances, fingers playing with the hem of shorts, bold announcements and hardly audible sharing… so Kindergarten!
I did feel a bit ‘not in my own skin’ walking into classrooms to say hello to new and returning students. Boys and girls, this is Mrs. Haugen, our principal… It all came very natural. Welcome and hello. A wink at kids I already know and a special welcome to our new students. It felt warm and fuzzy but not in the way it has as a teacher. Different.
The permanent smile didn’t leave my face all week. I enjoyed it all–checking the sound system for our first all-school assembly next week, responding to emails about a missing textbook order, helping with Kindergarten dismissal, counting heads as they walked on to the Boys and Girls Club bus. It was an amazing first week.
I am officially 18 days on the job. My cup remains half-full to overflowing. I haven’t hit any major challenges yet, but I’m taking each day as an opportunity to connect with students, parents and staff. I spread myself thin to be available in a way that I wished all my principals were. I know reality will curtail that spread as the year really gets rolling. But for now, I’m solving problems, building relationships and enjoying the moments.