This past week I experienced part of "it gets better." While I knew that I would see a lot of my students from last year, I was much more focused on preparing myself to receive my new students than to interact with my old ones.
The eighth and the ninth graders were both brought into our multi-purpose room where they were going to be called out by their first period teachers to be brought upstairs. When I walked into the room I was met not by my new students but by a dozen of my students from last year. There reactions were more than enough to loosen me up and get me excited about the year. Much to my surprise, all but one either said or very clearly showed they were excited to see me.
If that was not enough, my new students saw that my old students were excited to see me. I had old students coming into my room and asking to come back to my class who literally had to be pushed into my classroom last year.
Are you kidding me?! Students who I fought and struggled against and sometimes with for ten long months now indirectly convincing whole classes of students that I'm a good teacher (however true that is). Backed up by a lot of structure and increased self-awareness, it's no wonder that my students listened to me for at least three days.
The most important part of the year is certainly not over, however. This next week is going to be incredibly important, as I'll have to show students that I can actually back up what I said this week. In spite of that, the tables have turned considerably. Perhaps now my students and I are on the same side? That would be cool.
As for home field advantage, last year my students had it. This year I have it. And that's awesome.
Today's Wine: Really a wine from yesterday and my favorite of the fifteen or so that I tried. It was the 2005 Merlot from Roanoke Vineyards. I bought a bottle for $45, figuring I would splurge at at least one of the vineyards. Generally I don't drink that much Merlot, but this one really was exception. It was also a great tasting room and our favorite staff.