This week I had to enter the school to get back at it after a most splendid year off. I’d be lying if I said I was ready to dive back in, but as they say, “all good things must come to an end” and my year of leisure is no exception. I need to get back to work to start saving for another go-round.
What I did notice was that so many changes happen and don’t happen at the same time! The seemingly little things that changed to staff in the building can seem large to someone who has been away! But then again, my staff is still wonderful, my room is still in it’s spot, my department office has not moved, and neither did the photocopier or fridge.
You forget I wasn’t here when the building lost staff members to transfers or redundancies. You forget this is a new principal and vice principal to me. You forget that the attendance procedure is different. You forget I wasn’t around when subtle markbook changes were made and the demonstration of learning came into effect. You are used to these things now, but it all seems new to me.
Granted, they were all new changes to you at some point last year, but maybe they didn’t all come at once! I’m coming back to work after a year off and every time I turn around it seems something new or different (to me) is happening.
One thing I really noticed was my rusty fingers. Well, truth be told, I’ve been OVER active on social media while off, so I’ve posted more than my fair share of pictures and anecdotes and personal blog entries. What I wasn’t on the cusp of was new apps and webpage tweaks and updating my (now) dated class room pages.
Wow. I have forgotten passwords, log in or usernames, email addresses, how to use the address book. I was staring at webpages trying to remember how to edit and add in links. I ended up doing a lot of clicking and *hoping* this was the correct way to do things. I had to review “shortcuts” and think when I could add a link or needed to embed. It really didn’t take long to forget all these things when I didn’t use them regularly.
My other version of rusty fingers came in my actual printing and writing. I used to have great “teacher” writing. I could glam up my chalk/white board with the best of them. I ruled chart paper. Muscle memory people. I am an advocate of the physical act of printing and writing. My first attempts at some welcome back posters with a personal (dare I say) creative touch looked a little emaciated. I blame the markers.
I know it won’t take long until I’m back in the swing of things, but I certainly can empathize with my students who may be struggling to remember the basics. I imagine their rusty fingers might be locker combinations, cell phone digits, and their login and passwords, too. I’m not alone in needed to familiarize myself with routine.
So as I welcome back my students and exercise my patience, I know they will be needing to give me the same courtesy as we look at each other and wonder, “ya, how do we do that?”