Day 1 – August 9, 2022 First Day

A hot day in July 1993 was my first day as a teacher in my own classroom. I was teaching at Montview Elementary in Aurora, Colorado. It was a year-round school in the northern part of the city. It was the oldest portion of the city and had a high transiency rate.  I vividly remember standing at the door waiting to open the door. I was 45 seconds late after the other rooms on my side of the building. Our classroom doors open to a kindergarten playground. Students lined up along the wall and were ready to enter the class. Our paraprofessional made sure the students were lined up and ready.  My fear had frozen me when the bell rang. I still feel the butterflies as I write this. The only thought in my head was “am I the kind of teacher the kids deserve?” I have had the same thought for the last 5,133 class days. That works out to 1,593 class days in elementary and 17,700+ class periods in high school. Conservative estimates indicate that I have made over 50,000 decisions in teaching over the last 29 years. I run those numbers to highlight that the most critical decision was to open that door on the first day.

I am starting year 30 and will add to those numbers. I think the second hardest decision will be to close the door on May 26th at the end of this year. It will take me much longer than 45 seconds, I am sure. Many people view teaching as a job but I see it as a crusade. To go back to that first day 30 years ago, it is funny to think about the looks on their faces when I emerged. For most of them, it was the first time they had ever had a man as a teacher. I also remember that it was much easier to get down on the floor. These stories will be short but hopefully fun to read. Not to give too much away as a spoiler, but tomorrow includes nudity…….