The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for teachers and students alike. As teachers, we never know what will walk through our classroom doors. And both students and teachers are usually filled with anxiety over what this year will bring. Who will be in my class this year? Will it be a good year? Am I prepared for the first day? Questions abound on both sides.
But, as teachers, one thing we can always count on at the beginning of the year is meetings. And lots of them. At the end of each school year we are expected to pack up our entire classroom—move desks away from the walls, remove bulletin boards, stack textbooks, etc. Then, when we return a few short days before the start of school, we are expected to put our rooms back together in between nonstop meetings.
Now I’m not downplaying the importance of getting the school or district staff together to go over new procedures, but how many meetings can we have? While meeting about a new language program, grouping students into math classes, special area schedules, team-building exercises… I’m simply not there mentally. My mind is on my classroom, which is where every teacher would rather be. Well, that or the beach. I’m expected to attend meetings that have no bearing on me whatsoever so I usually spend the time taking notes on what I want to get done in the precious moments I will actually be in my classroom.
I don’t understand administration’s need for meetings. It’s almost as if our time must be filled with something to justify us being at school days—or even weeks—before the first day. Do administrators not remember all that goes into putting together a classroom?
In the end, the school year starts whether you’re fully ready or not. My time to go back is coming soon… I wonder what my first meeting will be about?