It’s only Day Three of school with the students and I feel exhausted. The pace of teaching is obviously so very different from the pace of a laid back summer. It’s only Day Three and my antennae are already up about three (maybe four, maybe five) of my students. Tomorrow night is Open House with the parents who will be following a shortened schedule of their child’s day and visiting all of their classes. I will need to drink a lot of coffee to sustain my energy.
It is only Day Three, yet I can tell with which students I will have a strong bond and those with whom I will have to work extra hard to make connection. I can see which students will be diligent and others with whom I will have to work to be more organized and more motivated about doing their work. I can see which students are skillful and which need to make their skills a lot more solid. I already know who are the risk-takers and who the shy, careful, fearful ones. It is only Day Three and I am already responding and improvising to the needs of the group while balancing (and honoring) the individual voices in the room. This choreography takes enormous observation and lots of in-flight correction, as well as a great deal of energy.
It has only been a few days, but the spirit and the heart of each of my students are beginning to flesh themselves out. I can already tell it’s not going to be an easy year (is there ever such a thing?), but it will be a year of auspicious adventure with intense and playful interaction, complete with set-backs, obstacles, and frustrations, as well as progress and triumphs, not only for the students, but also for myself.