Friday, August 31, 2012

Whew! Friday is finally here!

I always feel a sense of accomplishment as the students leave on Friday afternoon of the first week of school. As I am sitting here typing this, my first thought is, "It wasn't so bad." But, as I think deeper, the first week was crazy! I think that God plays a little trick on teachers, as he does on mothers. If you're a mom, you can relate. You know how horrible it is to give birth (now, don't get all "giving birth is wonderful" on me...the result of giving birth is wonderful, but the actual process IS NOT)? But then, soon after, you're brain somehow forgets all that, and you think to yourself, "Oh, that wasn't so bad." If your brain didn't forget all that, we'd never reproduce. Well, as teachers, our brains forget how bad that first week is too. It is one of many factors that keeps us coming back year after year.

In reality, my first week went well, aside from the first day (that is always crazy). I have a great group of kids, and I'm so excited to work with them this year. We took it very slow this week, as we started to learn and practice all the routines and procedures of our classroom.

I truly believe that the classroom should be pretty much empty when the students arrive. Then, it is up to the teacher and students to create a classroom together. After all, it's not MY classroom, it is  OUR classroom. Some students questioned why the class library, the shelves and walls were empty. My response was, "We will build our classroom together in time." And, we are starting to do that. During the week, I introduced the rules, we practiced them, and now they are posted. We discussed the use of the class library, I introduced some math themed books, Kevin Henkes books(author of month) and a few other categories of  books through read alouds and "book commercials". These are now displayed in the class library. Some kids get impatient with this slow process at first, but then they get it. This classroom is a place for them.

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