I WASN'T SURE I WAS GOING TO MAKE IT TODAY! It is getting close to 10 p.m. and I just got home. Tomorrow is the first day of school, and we hold a Meet the Teacher event. That event ended hours ago though.
I was back at my post staring at a street light, willing it to light up. This time I wasn't alone. I had about 8 or 9 students, some fellow teachers, my principal and vice, principal, many parents and siblings and a small film crew. Our school has been in a documentary this year, and tonight they filmed the last shots. The filmed a street light turning on while a small crowd of determined kids cheered. It was pretty awesome.
We filmed earlier in the day, too. Around 1 p.m. today the most wonderful city workers I have ever met came by school, and re-enacted fixing those street lights over and over - so our film crew could document it. They even drove up in the truck a few times, while our kids pointed - just so we could have it on film. It was really wonderful.
I'm feeling kind of sad now, because I've come to adore the people on our film crew. They are kind, generous, encouraging people who I am always happy to see. I know we will continue to be in touch as the film is edited and put together, but they won't be in my classroom for days on end like they used to be. Having a film crew in your classroom is exhausting but also really awesome. Every teacher should have a crew bearing witness to the ins and outs of a classroom. Between classes, they would say things like, "That was great the way you encouraged that kid," or "I like how you were able to calm that girl down." Everyone needs that; someone pointing out the good things you do.
School starts tomorrow. Everyone will be nervous and excited - students, parents, teachers - that's how it goes. By the end of the week will all settle back into the familiar rhythm of school. I will have to make sure my own kids have their homework finished and INSIDE their backpacks. I will have to pack lunches day after day. I love a new school year -- with so many unknown days stretched out before us. I hope they are filled with joy and love and excitement. I hope they are filled with encouragement.
For now, it is bed. I am happy that I won't have to sit in the school parking lot tomorrow night - waiting for a light to turn on. If you drove past our school earlier this evening you might have wondered why a crowd of people were staring at a street light. The sound of our cheering might have caused you to look at us like we were crazy, as we all shouted, "It's on!" It was a wonderfully warm communal moment, and I pray our year is filled with a million more just like it.