Last night was the the third annual back-to-school block party for our small, little town. We set up in the parking lot of the bank on Main Street, and wait for the families to come out and see us. The school provides music, free hot dogs, games, and prizes. It's also a great chance for the kiddos to come and meet their new teachers.
I only got to meet three of my kiddos last night, which was a little surprising. Usually, I get to meet several of my kids, but they either didn't go or avoided me. Either could be a viable possibility. I did get to see some excitement from one of my new kiddos, who happens to be a teacher's daughter. She was very excited when she found out she was going to be in my class, and that made me happy. Of course, she knows me, so it's a little easier for her. The other two kids were a little nervous when they saw they were on my class list. But, I was also relieved to see the same level of nervousness on other students who met their new 4th grade teacher. And, I didn't have anyone cry.. so that's an improvement from last year. HA!
My favorite part of the block party is seeing my kids from the previous years. Now I have two years under my belt, I have two classes worth of kids that I like to see. I am never in short demand of hugs from past students, and that's the part I love the most. My new students don't know me yet, so they are a little scared and unsure. My kiddos from previous years know me, and tell me how much they miss me. There's nothing sweeter than that. And I'm sure that at next year's party, I'll be hugging the kids that were so nervous to meet me last night.
Our entertainment was provided by a Hispanic youth-oriented rap group. They sing and dance to kid friendly tunes in both English and Spanish, and the kids LOVE it. I got up and shook my tail feathers for two of the dances, and it was a great time. I never pass up a chance to dance, even if it is in front of the entire town. I don't mind making a fool of myself, it's kinda part of the territory of being a teacher.
Peanut got her face painted with one of her best friends, Butter spent his time hanging out with some of the boys from school, and Jelly floated around playing the games and jumping on the bounce houses. She was even lucky enough to win a back pack full of supplies. I felt a little guilty letting her win, but she's a student at the school just like the rest of the kids. I've already bought her some supplies, but I'm sure her teacher will be able to use the extras.
Half way in to the party, Peanut left with two of her friends to go to the Jesse James festival that was being held one town over. After we were all done with the block party, I took Butter and Jelly over there to have some fun. I ended up buying arm bands for them to go on the carnival rides, but that was a mistake. There wasn't enough rides there for them to get a good amount of money's worth for the armbands, and I was too tired to sit around for them to go on rides over and over again. But, oh well, they had a good time and that's all that matters. I just loved the fact that I could go to a town festival and know so many people.
Which is one thing I'm quickly becoming accustomed to. Knowing the people in the county where I teach. I may not live in that county, heck I don't even live in the same state, but that's really where my heart is. I feel so at home when I'm around the people I work with, the families, and the kids that attend the schools. I can feel safe knowing that my kids can wander off a little ways from me, and there's always someone I know that's keeping an eye on them.
Peanut's friend ended up coming home with us last night, and today we're going back to school shopping. My usual destination for that is the mall located a few towns over from us, but Peanut has decided she wants us to make the trek to Joplin, instead. That's about an hour and a half drive for us, so I better get to getting if we're going to get much shopping done.
I hope everyone has a great Sunday. It's my last day off from work...tomorrow I go back for my first official day. I'm excited and ready.
Bring on the new school year!!