Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The First Day of School

So tomorrow is the first day of school.

Which means, of course, that I will not be able to sleep tonight.

I don't quite know why. It's not like I am new or anything. This will be my eighth first day of school as a teacher. Hard to believe, actually. I began teaching a few weeks after I turned 22. It seems so long ago now...like that girl is a whole different person. I've learned quite a bit about my profession and grown up a lot, so to speak. Thanks Oak Hills High School, for rolling the dice with me, and letting me spend my first year teaching in room 310.

And for that matter, I've had 24 consecutive first days of school. Every August, since I was 5 years old, I have had this night. And every night, I can't sleep.

As a student and now as a teacher, I think I have some of the same emotions. The first day of school marks another year to grow.

To me, it means many different things. All of which are exciting in their own light.

To me, there is nothing more exciting than an empty classroom the day before school starts.

It means another shot at hope and redemption, potential and fear, excitement and anticipation... wonderment and amazement and respect for the responsibility that room holds. I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the chance I have to spend the next 183 days in that room with 130 people that I will meet tomorrow.

It's the closest I can come to putting into words what it feels like right now, 18 days before I do Ironman Wisconsin. I am having a hard time explaining it in words, but this feeling I have for tomorrow is a little like what I'm feeling for my race.

Right now I wonder if I could have done more. I am excited, I am amazed, I am petrified, I am in awe, I am hopeful, I am confident, and I can't believe it's real. I have to trust that it's real.

I have to trust that I'm real.

Today at work, a few teachers were asking me about the race and training. One, who inspired me to do my first marathon, asked me, "But how do you know you can do it, if you've never gone the distance before?"

I told her the truth.

I don't.

Until I cross that line, until I hear the words, "You are an Ironman," it's still just a dream. So all I can do, is trust that I have the potential and the ability to do what that day demands of me. It's what I ask myself to do every August in this empty classroom.

So I will hope, and I will pray, and I will remain amazed, excited, and petrified for the next 18 days.

And for the 24th consecutive night before school starts, I probably won't get much sleep.


Mojo said...

You seem like such a positive person. You see the cup half full. I bet you make an awesome teacher! It's great you are excited about seeing your new students.

I know you'll be the coolest, hottest Ironman in your school.

Scott said...

I can't get my head around school starting in August... starts in September in Canada. You must get out earlier?

All the best for the coming year Sara. I look forward to reading all about it ... after you hear them call you an Ironman of course.

Wes said...

Keep the home fires burning T. You are the R-E-A-L thing.

Jodi said...

I used to have nightmares that I would get to school and wouldn't be wearing any shoes. It was so embarrassing and I would get yelled at in gym class. :)

So I totally understand the night before first day of school insomnia. You'll be great, and they'll love you, I'm sure!

Eric said...

Good luck at your first day of school.

Not only will you be an Ironman, but an IronTeacher.

She's going the distance.

Donald said...

I suspect that you do, in fact, know you can finish. Or at least you're 99.999% certain. You've earned that confidence.

Chris said...

After your students find out that they're dealing with an Ironman, they'll never give you any lip again!

I've got no doubts that you'll finish your first. Following your journey thus far, I can say that you're ready!

Have a great "first" day of school!

E-Speed said...

exciting stuff!!! I can't wait for you to cross that Ironman finish line! I will be rushing home from the River Run half to check in on you!

Matt McSkimin said...

Good luck with school Sara! Stacey just had her fifth first day today, and she said it is starting out alright. That might change tomorrow, but at least she is one day closer to the end of the year.

RunBubbaRun said...

Your such a positive teacher, I wish you can be my daughters teacher when she grows up a little more. Stay strong and confident in your training. You are ready, stay active and I have no doubt, all of us from WIBA will hear those IM words when we finish.

Kim said...

"Anything is possible, but you have to believe and you have to fight."-Lance Armstrong - Sar, you are a strong, positive, and motivational Ironwoman, teacher, wife, daughter, friend. You are going to excel in all aspects of life.

Rice said...

I hate that question.. “how do you know you can do it?” It amazes me that people that ask this question managed to live in this world as long as they have.. Ok maybe that’s a little harsh but come on people..

Good luck with school



Spandex King said...

Just think of the not sleeping as part of your training. How well will you sleep on Sept 9th? Less than you did last night, I bet.

BuckeyeRunner said...

Hope your first day went well, Teach!

JeffM said...

The way you write, I'm sure you're an amazing teacher. A little over two weeks from now you'll be one of a very special group. Good luck!

Cliff said...

Boy, 24 consecutive first days of school...that's a lot of schooling :).

If we all know how we will do, life will be so boring...hmm...love and hate the unknown..u will do great on the first day (which was yesterday) and great on IM....

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