The first week has passed, and with it, these events:
1) The debut of Friedrich, B-5's air conditioner. He manages to keep my classroom below 80°, no small feat when the room is made out of cardboard, surrounded by blacktop, is stuffed with 36 people, and it's close to 100° outside. I am no longer slick and shiny and moments away from heat exhaustion when I leave school. I love you, Friedrich.
2) I have no heavy burdens this year in terms of behavior. Last year The Powers That Be saw fit to give me my third most challenging classroom combination right before lunch. Everyone was friends with everyone, and everyone thought everyone was hugely entertaining, and only about three students had a record of academic success. Through sheer force of teacher will and mother prayers (yes, I had my praying mom lift this class up on the daily), things held together most days and there were even some success stories. But this year everyone seems willing to learn and to come ride my crazy academic pony with no hard coaxing (or threats). Is this the power of Friedrich? An exceptional group of kidlets? I don't care, I'll take it.
3) I had a special delivery of amazing cookies on the first Friday--spectacularly delicious. I think my favorite were the Reese's Pieces/peanut butter cup/Butterfinger kind, but the Almond Joy white chocolate and Oreo cookie's n cream gave them a run. A former student (on my wall of fame for other reasons, but I shall add "Gourmet Baker" to the list of accomplishments) had them sent to me and my hips. All of us are grateful.
4) As the bell finished ringing period 7 on Friday, R. stayed to make sure all the chairs were on the tables so the custodian could vacuum, generally straightening books as he went along.
"Do you need help with anything, Miss M?" R. asked.
Smiling at his middle school boyishness, I looked around at the classroom: "Not today, but how kind of you to offer. I so appreciate that."
"Because I want you to know that even if I didn't have your class at the end of the day, I'd still come over here to help you after school."
And that, friends, is why I know I have the best job in the world.