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And the Countdown Begins

In less than two weeks I'll be starting another school year in a new well-lit classroom with a new group of students. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm ready.

I'm ready to focus on my students and maintain that focus throughout the year. I am ready to stay calm and not just during the easy times. I have always marvelled at how during summer vacation I am less agitated and more relaxed. Housekeeping chores seem to get done with relative ease and I read a ton of books. I try to sustain that feeling by remembering the sights and sounds of summer. I'm always confident that I can do it just by "remembering". I'm able to "remember" for a short while and then by the end of the first month of school, it's gone. It's a gradual leaving and before I know it I've developed amnesia all over again. Of course, I know that the carefree attitudes and practices of summer are difficult to sustain during the school year. Yet, I am always hopeful that I will have meditated long enough on this so that this time it will stick.

This school year I'm determined to stay at peace with myself and others, family included, by taking lots of deep breaths before lunging forward blindly. Simple technique but it does work. We always talk to our students about controlling their impulsive behaviors but we rarely take that advice ourselves. Because I know it works for me - I've had several opportunities to prove this theory myself - I am going to practice it more often this year. I know it won't be perfect but I know it will help when things go haywire in the classroom or when relationships with colleagues are on edge. When I've practiced deep breathing and/or counting to ten before speaking or acting I'm amazed that whatever had been driving me crazy a short while earlier is no longer that important. And, then there are no regrets!

I wish everybody a happy, restful, and exciting start to the school year. Let's keep it that way.
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