School starts tomorrow. I am more or less ready, though my schedule changed three times today and I picked up a new class. I keep telling myself, I can handle this. I am an experienced teacher.
It doesn't really worry me that I've been out of teaching for seven months; I stayed home with babies for longer than that, and found it wasn't hard to go back to the classroom. But I am nervous about how it will be to have students coming from all different schools around the world; students who were here after the earthquake; students who are coming from other schools that were damaged or destroyed; students who just moved to this country in the last few weeks. In some ways it feels as though we will be rebuilding our community from scratch. And as in the case of rebuilding Haiti, this provides opportunities but is also scary. We'll never have exactly what we had before; that was comfortable and we were used to it. It's up to us to make sure we have something better.
Ready or not, here they come...students who are ready to be back together, students who are starting afresh, students who are afraid of their new school. There will be kids I missed, kids I haven't met yet, kids who have lost their comfortable world and are working to find out what their new lives will be like. Each one is precious, irreplaceable.
I'm ready. I'm scared. I'm praying.
2 hours ago