I walked into my classroom.
The room seemed bigger than I remembered it.
I sat at my desk and started writing my to do list. It was filled with paperwork that needed to be organized, things that needed to be cleaned, materials that needed to be made. So like all highly efficient people I decided to start on the least important and the most fun item on the list…the creating and decorating!
I looked around the room skimming the walls and pausing to look at the bulletin board. What was I going to fill that space with this year?
Would it be filled with the tech ninjas again?
Maybe a visual of gamifying my classroom behavior modification system?
I looked at the space some more. Nothing. No idea. No sparkle of inspiration. No use of idea….Nothing. Instead my bulletin board shouted, “Decorate me! Make me pretty. Make me inspirational. Make it colorful… do something at shouted!!!”
I had nothing…
The first day of school arrived and the bulletin board hung, black space.
I spent the early days of the week, welcoming this year students to my classroom. My students and I shared our first days of nervousness, new expectations, new routines and excitement. The bulletin board took every opportunity during my plan time, during each time I had a chance to think, during each spare moment to whisper what about this idea or maybe it could be that.
Each time I would answer to myself. Nope, that’s not it.
The days turned into a week and before I knew it it was Friday.
By Friday my students and I finally began falling into a routine. Each lesson began to be filled with new questions, answers, learning to take notes, learning the ins and outs of being a middle school student, showing them new tools and introducing them to new technology. The bell rang for class to end and I stood in the middle of my classroom fresh off a great lesson (pretty darn great for the end of the first week of school).
I smiled at myself (yep, that smile).
I finally understood.
The empty walls and black bulletin board were not blank because I was not inspired, because I lacked creativity or because I had lost my creative mojo. They were blank because they were waiting to be decorated, waiting to be filled and waiting to be designed by a new group of students. They were waiting for a new group of students that would bring their own personalitiy, their own strengths and their own pizzaz. They were waiting for a group of new students who would leave their own mark. Last year was the year of the tech ninja (oh my they hold a deep deep and wonderful place in my heart).
This year will be the year of ? I have no idea.
I do know that I can not wait to see what they’ve got. I can not wait to see what new risks we take together. I can not wait to soar with them on new learning adventures. I can not wait to see what they bring. I can not wait to show them all they are capable of. I can not wait to see what ideas they share that will inspire the walls and fill this black space.
I can not wait.
Most of all I can not wait to see how this group of students enriches my learning, how they make me a better teacher and how they inspire me!