The night before school starts feels a lot like the feeling I get when the ten second countdown starts at CrossFit. I have read the strenuous WOD (workout of the day) and warmed up appropriately. Once the timer goes off my body sets into motion, working to complete the challenge set before me. And before you know it — it’s over. But the ten second countdown gives me butterflies. I suddenly feel like I should escape while I can, run to the bathroom, pretend to faint. The butterflies are screaming what I'm silently questioning— Am I truly capable of this? Deep down I know the workout will push me to a new limit. It will require strength and perseverance I’m not sure I possess. And honestly, some days I don’t. The time cap hits and I'm not finished, I have to take weights off the bar mid WOD, or I have to pause to barf or wipe the blinding sweat out of my eyes. But most days — I do finish. It comes at a price. There are moments that are excruciating, humbling, and painful for days. But guess what- I'm starting to enjoy the feeling of proving that I'm stronger than I believed.
This is what it’s like to be a teacher. Just like CrossFit, each day is different. The night before the students come back — I get those questioning butterflies. Am I truly capable of providing what my students need to learn, to grow, to achieve??? Each year brings new limits that I have never attempted to overcome before. And just like many of the workouts, I question if I possess the strength and perseverance to face the challenge. Unfortunately, there will be days that I won’t. The class will end and I won’t have finished the lesson, I'll have to reteach mid-lesson to reach the objective, or I'll end the day in tears feeling like I have no control over my classroom. But most days- I will finish strong. It will come at a price. There will be moments that will be heartbreaking, humbling, and will require work taken home for days. But I have to remember — it’s going to feel so good to prove that I'm stronger than I believe. And lives will be touched and changed for the better because of the fight.
So, if you are like me — you have diligently prepared for those sweet kiddos to come back to school tomorrow and you are ready to attempt the new challenges each day will bring. Don't worry about the butterflies. You are stronger than you believe. I hope you enjoy the feeling of proving it to yourself.