As students and teachers across the country gear up for the first day of school, we’re taking a moment on our Front Porch this week to reflect on back-to-school rituals with Elaine Roberts’ “Teacher Back to School”:

Back to School by a bored chica via Flick CC

Elaine Roberts


It’s September and I have to adjust to
school days,
Thinking of children and learning things,
Being back at school again.

A list of new names of children to enter
into grade books,
Hoping to know their true characters by
the end of September.

Oh, there’s so much work to do! Testing
and investigating their learning skills;
planning work to hold their interest; trying
to keep them alert and smart; communicating
with the parents to keep discipline
in order.

Students studying and learning classroom
Practicing the procedures to follow.

Trying to act intelligent at all times,
Making sure they follow their classroom
rules each day.

School days, school days!
Off we go, into classroom wonders.

In this piece, Elaine takes us through her preparations for the new school year. She shares her anticipation, anxiety, and excitement for her incoming students and herself. What memories do you have of the days leading up to the first day of school, either as a teacher or a student? Any specific rituals that stick out in your mind? If you’re still in school/teaching, do you have a special back-to-school tradition?