Ah summer, it was just too brief. It was wonderful to be home at the monastery with my sisters, but August sends us back to our places of ministry and service. I've returned to the big city and school.
The staff and faculty have worked through three days of preparation and inservices, and tomorrow hails the first day of classes! I've unpacked into a lovely new office space I share with another theology teacher, tweaked & photocopied all my syllabi, and re-read and re-wrote the beginning of my lesson plans. Still, nothing prepares me totally for our 7:55 bell for first period and 20 boys trooping into my classroom.
Speaking of the boys, it was wonderful to see them at the school Mass and picnic on Sunday. I floated along with the school staff throughout the families and their students. The fun in such a gathering is to find out what they had been doing over the summer. Most of the boys were already trimmed up and ready for school, but a few were still quite scruffy around the edges...this offers us a chance to tease them a bit without any need for demerits or detentions. What surprised me (and always does) is how many will walk up to the teachers to ask us how our summers went.
Back to 7:55 tomorrow morning; even though all I plan on discussing is my syllabi and general issues, I'm always a bit anxious about that first day. In preparation, I've been doing a bit more than keeping the school schedule and working on my lessons; I've been praying for my students and me. A few extra petitions in our Liturgy of the Hours, a chaplet or two...it all helps remind me that it isn't just my boys and me in our classroom, Christ is in the midst of us all.