I spent the past couple of weeks loading boxes in and out of my house, running around my classroom like a chicken with no head, stood up and down off of chairs, bending up and down with piles of books...and NONE of it caused this amount of after effect. But, apparently, standing on my feet and leisurely walking around the classroom for 7 hours is what I needed to make myself feel like I had a great work-out. Go Figure.
But, you don't want to hear about that. Yes, I'm sore... but I'll take it. I'll get used to it. I'll cherish it, in fact. Because my first day as a teacher was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
My day started by helping kids find out who their teacher is and corralling them all in to the gym. It made me laugh at the amount of kids that looked at me with that "who are you?" look on their face. Once the majority of kids had found out where they needed to be, and were in the safe hands of the people in the gym... I went back to my room - and waited outside. Cup of coffee in hand. Ready for the first glimpse of the mass that would start to head down the hallway that leads to my room.
It didn't take long for my classroom to fill up, for my kids to look at each other and wonder who I was, and for them to sit there silently. Yes, silently - without even being asked.
I got through attendance and lunch count with no problems. I had the kids start working on their back to school activity stuff for a little while. And then it was time to get to the real fun - classroom procedures. I deliberately held off telling them anything about myself - except for my name - because I had made a fun questionnaire where the kids had to guess stuff about me. Before that, though, we went through the expectations for arriving in class, what they would do every morning, and how we would start our days.
Then, while the kids worked, I had a couple come up at a time and unload all of their supplies. It didn't take long for my neat, clean, organized classroom to be bombarded with stuff. I had to find places to store mounds of paper, Kleenex, and Germ-X. But, I figured it out.
Once that was out of the way, I was finally able to start interacting with the kids. They shared some information from their student interest surveys, they guessed answers to questions about me, and we discussed some of the expectations they had for me for the year. That all broke the ice - and gone were my silent, scared 4th graders.... and the personalities and excitement came out. So, I figured that was a perfect time to talk about class expectations and discipline management. Might as well scare them again right after they've calmed down. I kid, I kid... they weren't that scared once I assured them that if they do what's expected, give me their best, and get along with each other - they'll be just fine.
The whole day seemed to fly by so quickly. I didn't get to half of the stuff I had planned. But, I covered the important stuff - so that's all I care about. I would much rather have too much stuff planned than not enough.
And if I had to pick one highlight of my day, it was journaling time. I had each of them write their first journal assignment... and I was amazed at how much they all wrote, how neat their handwriting was, and that I didn't have a single student utter the words "I don't know what else to write about". Music to my ears! I suppose it isn't hard to figure out that writing is my favorite subject to teach. So, when it appears that I have a class full of natural writers? HALLELUJAH! OK, so I haven't read any of the journals, yet, but from what I saw - I was impressed.
What they don't know yet is that eventually, many of them will get to start working on my favorite passion: Blogging. Oh yes, I'm going to have a classroom blog - and my kids are going to write it. Unfortunately, none of you guys will be able to read it - I don't think - but their families will be able to.
I ended the day with reading to them... which is how I plan on ending the day every day. We are starting off the year with my favorite author in the whole wide world: Roald Dahl... and being that I have just about every book he ever wrote - I'm thinking that we may spend the entire school year reading his books at the end of the day. It was my introduction to Roald Dahl in 4th grade that lead to my utter love of reading. I had a teacher that made Roald Dahl's quirky books come to life for my class each day. He would read the books in funny voices and crazy enthusiasm, and it didn't take long before I made the decision that Roald Dahl would forever be my favorite author...and I would forever read books for enjoyment. And, so, of course I hope that some of my kids fall in love with reading the same way.
Today, we will be starting our "normal" routines. We're starting math, and science, and social studies. And, I know it will take some time to get "normal" to be just that... but I know we'll get there. I can already tell that I have an amazing bunch of kiddos in my class - and this is going to be an amazing year. They have no idea how special they are to me - and will be for the rest of my life. They are my first class. They are the foundation that I will probably base the rest of my teaching career on. And I will do everything in my power give them the best school year of their lives.
Till next time. ;)
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