As a teacher, setting up the year has to be one of the worst parts of the job. I mean it. I don’t like it. At. All.

I like that point in the year when things are already moving. I think it would be nice if I could have some sort of assistant, maybe a clone, who started up the year for me, and then right when everything was running smoothly, I come in and get to the part of teaching I like most.

Think about it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could walk into your classroom and . . .

  • The seating charts were made,
  • The grade books were set up with a few assignments entered,
  • You already know all your students’ names, and
  • The students already know all your quirky procedures?

Yes, that would be lovely. But it won’t happen through magic, sleight of hand, or ethically ambiguous science experiments. The real thing that’s going to get my classroom to the point of running smoothly is my leadership.

It’s hard work, revving up the course, learning the students’ names, and getting everyone familiar with the way things work within the four walls of the classroom. And even though it’s one of my least favorite parts of the year, I still love it. I love learning about the young people that enter my world. I like to see the discomfort register when they aren’t quite sure if they should laugh at one of my jokes (they probably shouldn’t). And I really like imagining how the year in front of us will play out.

So, here’s to that moment, when the classroom is finally set up and running. May you come quickly this year!

What is the most challenging part of the school year for you? Tell us in the comments below.

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