This morning was a blur as I rushed around, getting ready for school. I thought it a miracle that I had managed to shower, dress, get my breakfast and lunch together and still make the 7:15am bus. It wasn’t until I arrived at school that I realized that I left my breakfast in (thankfully turned off) oven and my lunch in a bag on the couch. There was an apple in my bag and that was it.
I was nervous, and hungry, as I put the finishing touches on my classroom and tried to assure myself that I was ready. I went to the window to turn on my air conditioner and saw a coyote in the field across the street walking South. I was amazed as I had heard about coyotes appearing downtown and other parts of the city, but never on the South side.
It was beautiful and I immediately felt calm, like everything was going to be okay and today was going to be a great day. In Native American folk tales, Coyote is a trickster and, for a brief moment, I wondered if rather than have a good day, like my initial feeling, chaos would reign. Then I realized, that my initial gut reaction was probably right. And even if it’s not, in that moment as I watched the coyote trot away, I knew with absolute certainty, that I could handle whatever was thrown my way.
You see, I have an affinity with tricksters. I’m not worried about chaos coming to shake up and transform my life. I’ve gone through a lot of shit in my life and so far (*knock on wood*) I’ve managed to not only survive, but thrive (and may it continue to be so). Even if I get freaked out, I tend to take things as they come. I don’t let it break me. And, today, I believe that Coyote was there to remind me of that and, perhaps, to wish me luck. Tricksters can be good teachers, after all. They show us what we’re made of and they teach us how to survive.
When I left the window, I went downstairs to the auditorium. There was a short assembly and students were dismissed to their homerooms.
My homeroom was kinda obnoxious. The students were mouthy & some of them blatantly stated they felt that I didn’t know anything ’cause I was so new. One student refused to tell me a question that she had & asked someone else. Turns out, I did know the answer to her question & I told her so.
Things were a bit chaotic because I wasn’t given all the supplies I needed. I had a copy of student’s schedules to give them, but the combination locks for the students weren’t in my room. I was also supposed to have school agendas, but they weren’t in my room. Before the students left for 2nd period, the locks came, but I never got any agendas. Oh well…
The rest of my classes went smoothly. There was a bit of a chit-chat problem in a couple of them. I’ve made mental notes to shuffle a few students around. In general, my students are great and many of them really want to learn Spanish. I also noted some of the obviously queer ones (my FAM!).
I was exhausted at the end of the day, but happy. I had a good day and I hope and pray to have many more.
Tomorrow, my sister gets her kindergarteners. She’s an elementary teacher at a charter school in Detroit. This year, like me, she will have her first full time teaching job. It’s a family thing.
Now that I’ve survived Day 1, I’m feeling more confident and excited for what’s to come.
In honor of this lovely day and as a tribute to all my teacher friends, both known and unknown to me, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite teacher poems. If you don’t know who Taylor Mali is, you should find out.