Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Fear of School and Why

Summer vacation is never long enough.  Who can recover from the school year in only ten weeks?  Tomorrow school would start again and I wasn’t happy.  My stomach felt queasy, I had knots in my neck, and my hands shook.  I kept worrying about my next year in school.

What would I be facing this year?  I had learned so much about math, English, science, social studies, health, physical education, and other subjects.  There was always something more to learn.  Would I be able to answer all the questions this year like how far away from the earth is the sun?  I had that question last year and now I couldn’t remember the answer.

Lunch was always difficult.  I just couldn’t open those milk cartons.  What about recess?  Would the kids be nice to me or would they be mean?  I really had trouble with buttons and zippers sometimes and boots could be a real headache.

Why did we have to go to school anyway?  I know everyone needs to learn to read, write, and do math in order to function in society.  But why couldn’t there be some other way to learn besides school?  Maybe computers would be the answer!  Each pupil could have his own computer at home and if he answered incorrectly, or if he didn’t understand, the computer teacher could help remotely.

What I hate most about school are the kids who goof off or make noise and bother the whole classroom.  There is always some kid getting in trouble.  It is very embarrassing and the interruption is painful for the teacher and the pupils.  Did I have to go through another year waiting for the class to be quiet before we could do our work?  I hoped we could do fun things. Science experiments, plays, folk dancing, and art would be more fun than detention.

All the interruptions during the day made it difficult to concentrate.  There were special speech classes, different reading classes, eye exams, and other non-learning events every day.  When kids would come back into the classroom after their individual class they don’t know what we are doing so there would have to be several explanations of the same assignment for each one.  Sometimes the principal or other visitors would come wandering through the classroom.  I worried that they would pick on me for some reason.

Then there was the ton of work after school.  There were stacks of paper and books—so much material to cover and not enough time to cover it.

These were some of my thoughts the day before the first day of school.  I glanced out the window and saw my mom drive into the driveway.  I ran out the door and complained, “Why do I have to go to school?  I just don’t think I can go through another year.”

“Just take one day at a time,” my mom calmly replied.  “Look forward to all the new experiences, and just remember Thanksgiving vacation will be here soon. And, “ she continued, “many people have walked those hallowed halls of learning and survived, and you can too.  Also, all those kids are looking for you to be there, so it’s a good idea if you show up for the first day of school—especially since you are the first grade teacher.”

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