Ohh first day of school..we look forward to you, dread our summers end, worry about you and then finally you come up like a sneaky surprise!
My first day with my students was today. I was super prepared for 18 students. Florida state law says we can only have 18 students. Two of my students didn't show up for meet the teacher which isn't normal for my school so I assumed being prepared for 18 was being super prepared.
Always be prepared for more...why haven't I learned this after years of teaching?!
8:45-17 students come in, sit down, and get ready for our morning routine. Everyone is listening nicely, I'm feeling great about the day, my students are all polite, nice and I'm thinking wow what a great start.
9:55-Number 18 comes strolling in late with all of his supplies, parents, etc. wanting to talk (this is what meet the teacher is for...I called you about this) He gets into the routine of things though and I have time to set him up/prepare him for the day. I was expecting 18 so things are still going well, children are listening, we've already learned so much about reading, I'm feeling good about the day.
11:01- Number 19 comes in with a ruler in his shirt, some supplies, oh and parents want to talk of course but I have lunch at 11:03 and was getting my students ready to go. I get new student number 19 to put up his backpack and jump in line. I have 2 questions for the parents 1. Did you bring a lunch or set up an account for your kid at school to eat lunch? 2. How does he go home? Well guess what the child didn't have a lunch, the parents didn't set up an account, and ohh sorry I don't have any cash to give him to eat. (HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU SEND YOUR KID TO SCHOOL WITHOUT A PLAN FOR LUNCH!?) Well kids always get lunch at school we don't let them starve but really parents come on. Turns out they are foster parents but really people that should not be an excuse. Oh I also didn't have enough desks so during my lunch break I hunted down our custodians to get a desk and chair for my new little one.
11:38- Writing time where my little ones complain and ask when we're going to recess. I told them to look at our clocks and that it would be soon.
12:00 Recess everyone played nicely.
12:15 Math time where I didn't have 19 books only 16 and had to frantically print copies even though I had put in for copies to be made Friday. Apparently the copier broke because the office staff is usually super great about getting copies done. I'm kinda flustered about this because I thought I've have the copies ready at lunch time.
12:30 Still doing math but my kids are working independently now! I'm thinking things are starting to look up. The class is participating nicely, their engaged in our lesson, and they are learning! Then one of my kids throws up all over himself. Thankfully my wonderful para professional that works with him took care of him, got him to the bathroom, and then down the hall to the nurse. I really don't know what I would have done had she not been there. Probably thrown up too. So now I'm feeling relieved that I have a para that can take care of this situation so I can focus on my other students.
12:45 Lots of complaining from a few kids about how much work first grade math is and when are we going to do play centers. Hmm guess they zoned out during our talk about our schedule that day. I had to put on a tough face and tell them we don't do play centers and we work hard all day. At this point I then catch one of my students cheating. Yes, on the first day. She was copying answers from the student next to her and then just had him complete her work for her on her paper! She sat their smiling. I had to talk with both of them about how this is not okay and since she knew what she was up to she had to move her clip. I know this sounds super mean for the first day but she had already been given several reminders about following rules already and this just kinda did it for me. Hopefully that lesson is learned for her.
1:30- We are cleaning up from doing math puzzles, games, and flashcards. I didn't get to science...our math takes awhile especially when they are just starting out. Everyone is cleaning up well and getting to their seats. All except one student who thought it would be cool to run and jump on the beanbag. So yeah I had to move another clip down. Expectations have to be set and this is not going to fly in the class especially since most of our morning was spent going over rules.
1:40 Specials for my kids! I finally get a moment to check my email, write in binders, and get ready for dismissal.
2:25 Snack, going over dismissal.
2:50 Dismissal. Somehow one of the bus riders that is supposed to come to me gets lost in the hallway and gets mixed in with 2nd grade bus riders. We didn't know that at the time and her teacher and I were frantically trying to find her in the hallways. Thankfully she knows what bus she rides and found her way to the line. Meanwhile my beanbag jumper from before starts hitting people with a ruler. I take away the ruler and put it back in our room. Then he throws a fit like a 2 year old screaming, crying, and throwing a fit while I'm trying to get 4 classes of first grad bus riders outside and to their bus safely. After gently coaxing this student by his backpack, because he sat down in the middle of the bus pavilion not wanting to move, he finally got to his bus. I did bus duty and went back to my room with a big sigh.
Don't know if this was sigh of relief or what but it was a big sigh. The day was done. I put away more supplies, paper work, and suddenly is was 5:00. How does the time just fly like that? I had to toss in the towel for the day and remember tomorrow is another day.
I think this has to be my hardest first day besides my first year when I had to dismiss 16 Kindergarten students for a hurricane evacuation by 11 a.m. I feel pretty overwhelmed about my students right now and I'm longing for my old ones who seem so grown up and big. Were they ever this small? I'm sure they were. Does anyone else feel this way sometimes after the first day? I hope so.
I just have to keep telling myself these kids were put into my life for a reason. I'm to teach them all and they will all learn. Everything will not always be prefect.
Now a glass of wine, Chinese, and Pinterest are awaiting for me to start unwinding. Here's to an interesting start to the school year!