My heart goes out to teachers everywhere tonight...since 36 times, I had to face the Sunday-night-before-the-first-Monday-of-school feelings. I hated it. I hated everything about the opening of school. I never got comfortable until I got the students (and bus riders) trained to my way of doing things. And that didn't occur until early October. Then a natural flow of the day would commence as both kids and I developed a comfort level with each other.
Now all I do is drive a school bus full of talented and gifted girls to their leadership school, and it's an absolute snap. No quivering stomach, no lesson plans, nothing to do but concentrate on driving the yellowhound safely. And that is a big item. I never forget that I've got 40-45 precious children on board, children who mean everything to their parents just as my kids do to me. So I pray about safety every day...not just about protecting my riders, but in making sure that huge hunk of iron I drive doesn't ruin anybody else's day, too.
I also hope (and pray) that I can toss a little sunshine into the path of a kid or two on days when they're down. Since I spend a lot of time with them, it's fairly easy to pick up on when they are upset, depressed, sick, or worn down by life. All of us can remember a teacher (or maybe even a bus driver) who took the time to cheer us up on a blue day and get us to smile a bit. I'm in the unique position of seeing the kids twice a day, and often they board the bus in the morning upset with something at home - or hop aboard in the afternoon after a tough school day. There is a lot I can't undo...but there is a little I can do, and I pray to be alert and wise enough to recognize opportunities and then to say precisely the right thing. It pretty much has to be a Holy Spirit operation, since I am totally unable to craft the correct words on my own.
So let's get started. I have 15,000 miles ahead of me between tomorrow and the end of the school year!