I don't make a great first impression. I'm aware of that. Fortunately, enough people stick it out with me that I have real friends. I still don't love meeting new people - especially lots at once.
The start of school involves lots and lots of new people.
Another positive is that my students are stuck with me and have a semester in which I can win them over if they don't find Rhett and Link's "Dope Zebra" video funny on the first day of class. It's an integral part of my curriculum. However, I only have eight minutes with their parents the day before school starts, and I find that introduction to be the most stressful day of the whole school year.
I could spend this post complaining about how the past two weeks already involved lots of meetings with tons of new people and finding how I fit back in with the new dynamic my old friends have created with those who arrived while I was gone and that I've got this parent night ahead of me, but I'm not really interested in being a whiny pants ever in my life.
Instead I'm going to celebrate that after the exhaustion of meetings that were various levels of draining on me, I was able to skype BFA alumni on three different nights last week. One of them was the precious child who I convinced to give up complaining for Lent during his senior year, and the habit stuck much longer than 40 days. I can also celebrate that that same alumnus somehow convinced his little brother I'm cool, so while I've never taught any of the students I'll see at opening ceremonies on Wednesday, at least one of them will be excited to see me. I also have my first quarter mapped out for both classes I'm teaching because I'm a lesson planning champion, so while my physical energy stores are always low, I've got this precious resource ready to go to keep myself holistically healthy in the coming weeks.
I couldn't walk every day this week, but I spent some time on my exercise bike, and I'm working hard not to neglect my body when work takes up so much time.
I know there's lots of growth ahead in this next season for me, and I'm eager to see the fruit after hard labor. I also know fruit doesn't show up overnight, so I might not have any great stories of progress next week after just a couple days of my new teaching and recovery routine. I don't know what every day will look like as I integrate walking into working, but I hope you'll pray with me for stamina and energy as I enter into these opening days of my new season.