Monday, August 18, 2008

You only have one first day...

Pin It One of the best parts about school today was a comment I got from a fellow blogger who said, “Those fifth graders only have one first day of fifth grade. You only have one first day of your 8th year of teaching....how cool is that?”

It got me to thinking.

I thought about it all the way to school.

When the kids came in and the day began, I said something like this; “I want to know if any of you are like me. I don’t want you to raise your hand. I don’t want you to shout out if it is the same. I just want you to think about this, and decide if we’re a little bit the same…

"Yesterday, my sister and I had dinner and I thought about school.
We watched a few episodes of “Smallville” and I thought about school.
I went to bed, thinking about school.
I stared at the ceiling for a long time thinking about school.
I think I had a nightmare about school.
When I woke up and took a shower, I was thinking about school.
I went down for breakfast and thought about school.
I brushed my teeth and made my lunch thinking about school.
As I got into my car I sat there with the engine running. I thought to myself, once you pull out of your parking space, summer will officially be over and you’ll be back at school.
I took a deep breath, I smiled, and drove to school.”

Several of the kids nodded.

“I also felt just a little bit scared and excited at the same time. Scared because today is not only your first day of fifth grade…it’s my first day of fifth grade too. I’ve taught 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades, but I’ve never taught 5th before…we’re all in 5th grade for the first time together.

“I also think that some of you are a bit scared because you are at a brand-new school with new kids you still haven’t made friends with yet.

“Some of you are scared because you don’t know where the drinking fountains or bathrooms are…or if you got lost, could your find your way back to room 18? There’s something which scares us all with not knowing where we could find a bathroom if we really needed it, after all, what if you were about to explode? I just want you to know that I know what you’re feeling because I had those same feelings too…but you know what? I know where the bathroom is now, and that makes me feel a lot safer here. We’re going to take a little tour of the school to find out where these things are, so you’ll feel better too…those of you who have been at this school for years, I’m asking you to be patient as we show the new students to the school these places—after all—you’d want to know where they were in a new place as well.”

I could go on for pages about the first day, but I won’t. There’s no need to bore you with the various and sundry details which make up an entire school day.

Suffice it to say, a comment by one of the kids summed up the day, “Whoa! It’s already lunchtime? This day has flown by!”

Time flies when you’re having fun.

9 comments:

Farscaper said...

My kids handle the first day of school (at a new school none the less) much better than I do. They're beaming about their new lunch boxes, new backpacks, new shoes. They seem oblivious to what they "should" be scared about. I hope they always keep this upbeat - "Happy, no matter what" type attitude.

I stress about the drop off and pick up. Trying to get in and get out alive! It's organized chaos!

Now that my sp. needs son goes to school with my other kids I can't just swing open the door and say "Have Fun!" and have a comfortable feeling that everyone will make it to their appointed classrooms.

Don't get me started on the chaos we had today during pick-up.

Gerb said...

I'm glad all went well. I figured out quickly that I was more scared for my kids in a new school than they were for themselves. They were just excited to get away from their slave duties at home, I guess.

cari said...

Yeah, I'm glad it all went well also. Max had a great time playing at recess with you. Thanks for including him. I think this new school will be great.

Meg said...

Aw. That was nice of you to give a tour. I was always the new kid and I was always lost.

annette said...

"There’s no need to bore you with the various and sundry details which make up an entire school day" Are you kidding? That was too short. My daughter told me about the games you played, the rules, the new friends, and the HOMEWORK (ugh- her words), only she summed it up in like, 5 min. Just not enough.

I'm glad the day went well. I love how you related to the kids and put them at ease.

Anonymous said...

First Days...I really wish Shantel could have had her first day of fifth grade in your class. I know she feels the same way as I do. I am always trying to pump up her new school and finding new friends, but inside, we are both having feelings that we are trying to deal with.
You should have been a fly on the wall in my class room the First Day! Teaching preschool is harder then I thought!
I am deffinately going to be needing some of your Poo soon! It would make me feel a lot better! I just love it so much I can almost smell it!
You are a wonderful teacher and put so much into making the school year unforgetable for the students.You truly got what it takes to make a difference.
KJ

Kris said...

I do know how you feel. At least I started in the summer so I knew almost where everything was...I just had to learn who the kids were and how to handle situation...like the fire alarm going off the second day of school.

Bee said...

Amen to that one! I'm always zapped by the end of the first day because of not getting sleep the night before, or if I do having nightmares. This year I took Tylenol p.m. beforehand. Worked like a charm:)

And I'm glad your first day was so awesome!

jacs said...

woohoo! i knew you were dealing pharmaceutically! my nightmare involves the preschool burning down..or closing, but i digress. 2 questions. question #1 did you have time to eat your donuts and question #2 were there any hate issues with the room setup?

PS DON'T FORGET--4 pm, then i start texting--NO MERCY

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