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Observations from Day 1

1. Good Indicators

I left early this morning so that I might get a few final things done in my room. The commute was fine, even though it’s outside the county. Indeed, the drive time is less than half my previous daily commute.

As a bonus, I didn’t have butterflies which seemed a bit odd. I just felt calm… and a smidgen curious.

As I got close to the school, there were students with backpacks and headphones standing along the road waiting for the school bus. There were blooming rain lilies along edges of the parking lot.

Good indicators, all.

2. Just Checking

During fifth period, the teacher next door poked her head into my room. (We both have a conference period then.) She’s been helping me for days. Yesterday she helped me with a mad rush to get some things printed on copy machines that were groaning under the strain of the day before school.

As she peered in, she asked if everything had gone ok.

Just checking up on me. 

3. Tardy Fail

Earlier in the day, during second or third period, a kid had arrived well after the tardy bell. The classroom door was locked, as per school policy. I told him he needed a tardy slip. Ten minutes later, he returned — with the principal. She leaned in and calmly said, “We’re not doing tardies today.” 

“Got it,” I said.

Massive fail.

4. A Good Place to Be

At the end of the day, the principal came by. I smiled and shook my head and said something about that tardy fail. She laughed and told me to stop shaking my head. She said she was thrilled. 

“You have no idea how many people I’ve told that story to,” she said. “I didn’t announce a special tardy policy for today. You had no reason to do any different. You know how I’m always asking folks to just be consistent. I’m telling everyone about my consistent teacher.”

She smiled genuinely. We laughed. Yet you know she was just making sure I didn’t beat myself up. And that, my friends, is the best thing that happened today.

This is a good place to be.