Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reflections on the First Week of School

It is noon on Saturday, and I've had enough decompression time to start to contemplate the activities of this last week.

Walking into my classroom, before dawn on Monday morning, it was quiet. It was that kind of quiet that comes right before a storm comes, but there was to be no storm that day. It was still in my room, and I opened the windows to grab all the cool that I could before the sun rose with its August heat. I was ready for the day, with just a few odds and ends to work on.

The first bus arrived and students began to also arrive by car. We have so few students this year, that I knew that the playground was going to seem empty, even after everyone had arrived. A few kids poked their heads in my room to say good morning, and everyone seemed happy to be back.

I have ten students this year: two girls in 8th grade, three girls in 6th grade, two boys in 5th grade, and two girls and a boy in 4th grade. Most are returning students, so introductions are not necessary; we just fall right into the conversations we were having as school let out in June. It is a comfortable situation. I do have two completely new students in 4th grade, and they seem to be very nice people.

We put up bulletin boards, decorated desks, made up some classroom rules, played some games, and the day slipped by quickly for all. It was the smoothest first day of school I've ever had!

As the week progressed we had a few glitches, minor stuff (No one turned on the server when we got back to school!), but my impression was that this could be shaping up to be a dream year of teaching. All of my students are well behaved, caring kids, and willing to work. They get along well together, and can be counted on to help each other, a necessity in a multi-grade classroom. My aide, Dee, fell right back into the routine we had established last year, so, after a day, we were nicely in sync, moving among the subjects and student groups easily. I'm sure, as the weeks progress, people will get grumpy, and all of my kids will be kids, negative or positive. That is normal. Yet, I'm betting on first impressions. This is going to be a much better year.

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