When I was a first grade teacher, the end of summer always made me reflective (actually, it still does). If there was going to be change, it was going to happen in the sun-drenched days of September.
Like the first day of school.
The intoxicating smell of new.
Scents of wool sweaters with price tags barely clipped off and the fine shavings from freshly sharpened pencils. You know, the big old black ones that 6-year-olds could grasp in their pudgy fingers?
On the first day, I walked along the rows of tidy desks, placing a flat box of Crayola crayons on each one. Even today, all I need is a whiff of that heady wax scent and it takes me right back to the classroom.
Those, and the rectangular pieces of modeling clay that reeked of oil and stained your hands in one of three butt-ugly colors: Army green, chocolate brown or steel gray.
Most kids had the first day jitters. Giving them some clay kept them busy working to soften it—so busy that they forgot about their fear.
They were full of fears, yes. But I learned so many things from them. One of them was how to blog.