Today was technically the first day of my 13th year as a middle school teacher. I use the word technically because no students were at school today but our hallways and classrooms were filled with colleagues buzzing about getting ready for the arrival of our scholar activists. It felt really good to be back.
Usually I end the summer reluctantly. Of course, I’m happy to return to school but who doesn’t want just one more week of summer? Strangely, this year feels different. I was ready to come back. Looking forward to it actually. I can’t pinpoint exactly why. Regardless, it feels good to want to return to school, to want to see my colleagues, to want to meet my kiddos.
Maybe it’s because I really love my school. It’s a place that’s not perfect by any means but a professional environment where I feel safe, respected, and welcome. Maybe it’s because I have such wonderful colleagues. Some have been in the classroom for over 20 years and others are starting their first. Maybe it’s because this year we are returning to a Reader's and Writer's Workshop in our English Language Arts classes. (Can I get a what what?!?!) I am jazzed that we are returning to structured time for students to simply read, write, listen, speak, and think critically. I’ve missed it so! Maybe it’s because I adore the south Bronx. I love my communities of Hunts Point and Longwood where there is passion, culture, fire, family, success, struggle and endless potential. Maybe it’s because I am getting married in less than five weeks and something inside me makes me think that this year (the lucky number 13!) may just be the year that I find a work/life balance. (I’m hopeful that Teaching Channel laureate Crystal Morey and her #TchWellness work can help me with that too!) Maybe it’s because I am a member of the most influential, intellectually challenging, rewarding and joyous profession.
Maybe that’s it. I’m looking forward to returning to school because at my core, I am a teacher. I want to learn. I want to grow. I want to get better and I want my kids to join me for this lifelong journey.
I am hopeful that with this year the "burden" of teaching will be lifted off of my shoulders and I can return to the joy, the process, the discovery, and the rewarding growth that come with spending my days teaching and learning from some of the most beautiful, creative, curious, passionate, loving and lovable people on the planet – my middle school students.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I am committed to posting a blog at least once a month on whatever is happening in our world and maybe even starting an #AskMsDeBose monthly video series inspired by Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr.’s #AskOdomJr series.
I’m looking forward to a year full of beauty, deep breaths, and breakthroughs. I meet my kids on Thursday. Send us love.