A student comes in this morning and hands me a daisy. A big fat, not just picked off the side of the road, daisy. However, he hands it to me and says, "Here teacher! I put it in my backpack and all the yellow parts fell off". Thanks. A petal-less flower. He was so proud of it. Maybe you had to be there, but it was the best gift I've gotten all year (and trust me, I've gotten lots of weird things so far).
I honestly don't remember much about my own 1st grade year, and I'm hoping things will be much the same way for my students because I feel like I'm not the kind of teacher I thought I would be. I find myself doing worksheets or just having them color a picture for no reason (but I am working on being more "intentional" with my teaching). But I do it because managing a classroom of 20+ students has just turned out to be a LOT bigger deal than I ever thought. Plus, I don't think I was prepared for first graders. They are so small and so many things are so new to them! It's surprising how often you have to say and re-say and RE-SAY things.
I feel like no one told me teaching would be hard. Or else people told me but I just thought, "No. It'll be different for me." Wrong. TEACHING. IS. HARD! Mostly because management is hard - especially at the beginning of the year. I am happy to report, however, that it gets easier each day. Teaching is great because every day is a new day. You can try a new management tactic, the crazy kids haven't gotten in trouble yet, you can look at things with a fresh perspective, etc.