Getting Started

Today, the first Tuesday after Labor Day, is my “Teacher Anniversary.”  The true celebration begins when the bell rings.  A new class of children will be invited to learn with me and to love the world with me.  It is the blind date of all blind dates.  It is an arranged marriage that turns into a love match every year. We will be together for 180 days; at the end they will tell me that I seemed strict at first, but that it turned out I wasn’t.   They will say that the writing was hard at first, but that it turned out it wasn’t.  They will say that they wish we weren’t done.  And I will remind them that we don’t have to be; Lindsay, who is doing her senior internship with us, was once a third grader in Room 204.

I will be the matchmaker of books and children; they will learn to trust my choices and then they will learn to trust their own. Their stories will unfold and be written and shared and told. They will leave as deep readers and writers.

Thirty-three years ago, on the Tuesday after Labor Day, I walked into my own classroom for the first time. Twenty-one of those years have been in Room 204 at William Fox Elementary.  Fox  has its own big celebration today: it opened its doors one hundred years ago. We have a lot to celebrate.  A new group of third graders is invited.  It starts when the bell rings.

About Annie Campbell

Annie Campbell is a National Board Certified teacher and loves her work. After a forty year career in the classroom, she continues to support teachers. Annie enjoys cooking for family and friends; she likes to lose herself in a good book; she loves discovering new ideas, restaurants, perfect picnic places, and movies with her husband, Ben.
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11 Responses to Getting Started

  1. Deb Day says:

    Great slice. I love the first paragraph and how you compare the perception with the reality of your room. But I really love the line “I will be the matchmaker of books and children; they will learn to trust my choices and then they will learn to trust their own. ” Because if we can do that in our classrooms, we have done our most important work.

  2. Linda Baie says:

    Congratulations to you for all the years of hard work & dedication, & to your school. What a fun year you will have! I loved the way you wrote in anticipation of the students, “the blind date of all blind dates”, & “arranged marriage that turns into a love match”. So true. Best wishes for a lovely first day!

  3. Stacey says:

    Your students are so fortunate to have a teacher with an incredible zest for life and a deep love for the profession of teaching. Happy new year!

  4. “I will be the matchmaker of books and children…” What a wonderful line! Happy start to your new year!

  5. Barbara says:

    I can’t wait to hear their stories unfold!

  6. Congratulations! Let the fun begin!

  7. So much to love about your slice! I’m with Deb, your line about being a matchmaker between kids and books really grabbed me. I also loved you picture. Perfect compliment to your piece.

  8. jen says:

    This may be one of my favorite slices that I have ever read. I just want to be a part of it. You have written my dreams on paper, and you have made them come true for you. You have inspired me to continue making them come true for me, too! I love knowing I am not alone in my quest to nurture the relationship between students and literacy, as well as students and myself. It’s SO much MORE than a job. 🙂

  9. Nora says:

    Your slice was very inspiring. I liked your repetition in the beginning. I never thought of teaching a class as being in an arranged marriage. Enjoy the next 180 days.

  10. mozhdeh salour says:

    hi Hi Mrs. Campbell. This is mozhdeh salour, Isabel doppenberg’s mom. Thank you for a great start.. we are so excited.cant seem to be able to send you an email…

    could you please add me to your contact?


    Mozhdeh salour

  11. Richard Day says:

    Wow! Just reading your opening paragraph, you are well paired with the words we speak, but more than that, you use them like art, to entice greater interest in those words. Luke is a bright young guy, and yet a bit wild. We have a journal at home that is full of the funny and quirky things he and his brother have said since they first began speaking as toddlers. Liam may get the better grades, but Luke says the funnier and more inciteful things. I can hardly wait to see what you can draw out of him. I know it’s in there.

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