She stood in the front of the room, surveying all the hard work and hours put into the scene before her. Anxiety crept into the pit of her stomach like a drop of food coloring infiltrating a cup of water. It fought with the feeling of excitement that had been there all summer as she had spent countless hours laminating, cutting, arranging, sorting, alphabetizing, and planning for the 24 individuals about to enter her classroom.
This was it. The chance to make a difference. The chance to let all her hard work pay off. The chance to make a kid smile or feel confident. But it seemed like the carefully decorated walls were about to cave in during the last five minutes before the bell rang. And then, it rang. Twenty-four excited, smiling faces entered the room with anticipation of what the year would bring.