A new year

This week marked the end of summer for us, which is good because this summer seemed to be long and trying. We both started meetings at our new schools---Nate will teach high school choir at Omaha Burke and I will teach English 11 College Prep, English 12 College Prep, and Dual Credit Composition at Gretna High School to a little over 100 kids (my biggest load yet!). I also have the great privilege this year of helping facilitate some staff development for middle school teachers in my new district through the Nebraska Writing Project. I think it will be a great way to get to know more people.

I'll admit though, I was not particularly excited to start a new school year. All of the junk that's gone on in our lives in the past two months has overshadowed the excitement of starting a great, new job. But after a few days of learning about my new district, my excitement is growing. Of course, I'm anxious. I always worry that I won't "fit in" to my new environment---that my teaching colleagues will find me incompetent or that I won't know how to connect with my new students. And though it was time to leave Ogallala Public Schools, I miss my kids. I always loved the first day of school because it was fun to reconnect with kids and see how they changed over the summer. I feel like Nate and I had some great relationships with kids and families in Ogallala that took a few years to build. While it's cool to have the chance to start fresh again, I do miss the familiarity of Ogallala. I'm sure with time we'll build that familiarity in our new schools. For know it's just a bit uncomfortable. But at the start of each year, I always tell my students that if they remain in their comfort zones, then there is no room for growth...I guess it's time to put my words in action.

Today I have a break from meetings. It is my last day of summer. I slept in until 6 and took advantage of the 55 degree weather by squeezing in a morning run before I drove Nate to work (one of our vehicles broke down yesterday). I plan to spend my last day of summer cleaning, responding to emails that have been neglected all week, working on course documents, and I might squeeze in a trip to Barnes and Noble to spend a gift a card I won at our new teacher meetings. Tonight we're headed back to Ogallala to spend time with some of the greatest people we've ever known. I'm looking forward to a bit of downtime with the familiar before we run full force into the unfamiliar.

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