I survived the first day of school! This is one good thing in and of itself. Every year, I wish we could fast forward through the first few weeks of school to a point in time where I know my kids and they know me. Alas…I just keep telling myself that it gets better, which I know it does. 

Today I was telling one of my calc classes a bit about myself. At the end, I asked if they had any questions for me. One girl, whom I know from last year, asked, “How are you doing today, Mrs. Peterson?”

It was so simple–but so sincere and pure–that I had to clear my throat and compose myself before answering. 

Because let’s be real: I really wasn’t doing all that well. 

We all have those days where we are doing well just to show up. The beginning of school is like that for me. I put on a happy face for my students, but inside I’m exhausted by all these new faces, all these child-adults that I’m responsible for. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of learning 152 names. And not just their names but their stories. I read all their letters tonight and, honestly, I’m both humbled by their backgrounds and worried that I won’t be what they need me to be. 

And then a kid asks how I’m doing and I about lose it. 

And I remember–even in my exhausted state–how cool teenagers are and how much we’re going to learn from each other this year. 

And, on the days that are long and hard and exhausting, I have my selfie-loving baby to come home to. 


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