It was the first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year. Our school, situated in and amongst rolling hills was oddly in upper altitude, like it was located in the mountains. There were many very tall, old trees and the scenery was beautiful.
It was the first day of school yet the time of day was in the late afternoon, early evening as we were all preparing for the return of our students. I walked from my room to the two adjoining rooms (although in reality there are three adjoining rooms) so that I could say ‘hello’ to Jody and Kim and welcome everyone back for the new year. Jody’s lights were off which of course I thought to be odd, so I proceeded to walk further into the next room, Kim’s.
Kim was there, and her husband whom I have never met was with her helping get everything ready. Outside Kim’s room on the far side the terrain slopped downward and her side room patio was on the slope with a cantilevered yet foundational supported ‘upstairs’ patio above. In essence, she had two outdoor patios. One which had floorboards and a guardrail so that students sent to work outside would have an available elevated workspace. The second patio was entry-point to the hillside playground. So therefore, the farthest most south facing side of her classroom became multileveled due to the hillside grade.
Kim and her husband were standing outside on the lower level and under the upper level patio and there were many kids playing beyond the classroom out on the ‘playground’. This playground was almost forest-like, but not too densely populated with trees.
The sun was in it’s early stages of setting for the evening and yet we were still anticipating the first day of school which was soon to begin.
I asked Kim where Jody was and she casually said that Jody decided to take the day off. Of course I thought this to be very odd being that today was the first day of school. Who does that? Kim said that Jody just wanted another day before coming back and that since Jody took the day off, she was thinking of doing the same even though she was already on campus. None of this made sense to me.
So I went back to my room, this time not on foot, I was floating. On the way I passed through Kim’s room, which was empty because the kids were playing outside, and then Jody’s room which didn’t even have it’s lights on and there was no sign of a substitute teacher. Then I floated into my classroom and although everything was set up, I didn’t have kids congregating outside my door. Odd.
After a short time I floated back to Kim’s room only to find that she too had decided to take the day off and so she was already gone. Kids were still outside playing before the Start bell so i don’t know what will happen once school actually begins since Kim did not have a sub present either.
While again returning to my classroom, the morning bell rang and I prepared to open my door to welcome my new students. There were none. No one lined up for my class. I had no idea where my students were so I floated to the office to see if I could make sense of the situation. The office staff also did not know where my students were, but they were really busy with first day of school parents and all that encompasses a first day of the year.
So I floated around campus, just waiting. The angle of the sun had now produced a blue-like filter through our wooded campus and full visible clarity was not possible. My floating state was now a flying state as I was able to elevate higher and enjoy the moment.
After some time, perhaps an hour or so, I returned to the office to ask the office staff for advice on what to do since I had no students. While in discussion Juleen walked into the office with a class-load of students, who were in fact mine. Turned out that she had taken the lot of kids to the movies so that I could have ample preparation time for my returning first day. Yikes! I thought. Brave woman to take 30-something kids, ranging in ages from 11-12 years old, to the movies. Entry cost alone would break the bank, and then there were the typical movie snacks and junk food that needed to be purchased. Oh well, they were returned to me now and we could go to class and ‘begin’ our day.
The kids followed me on foot while I slowly flew and led the way to our room. Jody and Kim had taken the day-off, and there were no student in the adjoining classrooms. Mine was empty and cool in temperature. I opened the classroom doors, turned on the heater and invited my students inside. We were now ready to ‘start’ our day.