I got to meet all my students tonight. Since I didn't leave work until 8...I'm making this short but they were great! Having taught 5th and 4th grade students before who have to warm up to me before going in for hugs...I got tons tonight - from my students and their siblings! I also got lots of good solid, eye contact handshakes. Looking good :) I had kids just in awe with all the books. Most kids ended up sitting on the pillows or in the chair reading. One student even took a book home to continue reading. I saw students taking care of their siblings and showing them around helping them read a book or recite the alphabet from the rug. Students were excited about the technology - interactive whiteboard and laptops that they were going to get to use themselves! I had Smarties in my estimation jar and one of my ESL and very shy students came up and asked for some smarties...not for her, but for her little brother. There were hugs and more hugs. Parents were taking pictures of the classroom and of their child with me. There were smiles and laughter as students saw they were in the same class with some of their friends. I know I will have my challenges in teaching students to read, write, spell, problem solve, and calculate, to ask for help, to support one another, to monitor/regulate their actions, to think for themselves, to live in one classroom together for 185 (state legislature just extended it from 180...thanks) days. On days when that gets tough, I will go back and read this post and remember that they are just 7 and 8 years old and they have all the potential in the world to be great!
Update...Day 1 was very long and exhausting...just like every other year that I have taught. I went back and read this post and feel better now. I'm working on remembering the really positive things from today - the student who raised her hand in the middle of the spelling inventory to share that I was nicer than last year's teacher. The student who struggles so terribly with his behavior but took our talk of the ideas of realism vs fantasy and the use of exaggeration from our reading lesson and extended it out to art class. The student who seemed to hate me more and more as the day went on as I corrected his VERY off task and disrespectful behavior but I managed to give a positive note home. He smiled so big when he got it out of his book bag to give to mom and grandma. They need strict expectations but also lots of love. This weekend I will go buy snacks so they don't have to keep telling me they're hungry and I will buy binders so they don't have to tell me again that their parents couldn't afford supplies. I will work to give them time to take a nap when they keep falling asleep in class. I will remember the good and the positive which they all have.