Don't get me wrong, it was NOT a perfect day: we worked through two major blow-ups, and one of them lasted over an hour. There was whining, manipulating, sassy-talk, and even a little mild violence.
On the other hand, I saw "higher order thinking", considerable extra effort, and smiles caused by work satisfaction (not revenge).
I'm feeling the inelegance of these first weeks slip away. I actually feel lighter, more open. Less tentative.
It's education's universal truth, a reality often forgotten in the moment: The crazy-paced and mind-numbing challenges of the beginning of the year are short-lived. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes,however, I let the long path through the tunnel get me down. But for now, that dark trip appears to be ending.