Two days down. I can hardly believe it. The day in kindergarten is SO SHORT. I feel very blessed to be half day though because even 3 hours is tiring, and I can't imagine doing it twice a day. I have 29 adorable kids. Kindergarten is great because I spent the first week of school doing one-on-one assessments so I met the kids, got a sense of where they are, AND met their parents. So when I went to pick them up yesterday for the first time, I was able to greet maybe 20 of them by name. I didn't even have any criers! The parents are GREAT, so helpful and giving. I also have a fantastic aid, so 29 really doesn't seem that overwhelming. I was worried about a couple, but I really feel that once they get the hang of school, they'll be awesome.
I also love Sego Lily. It's a bit of a drive, lots of gas (I miss my carpool from last year), but the staff is excellent - so friendly and helpful. Russ noted that I seem a lot more confident going into it this year, and I really credit the other teachers and principal at my school for that. I also feel empowered by being a "second year teacher" since I think a few parents were worried that I am so young.
Cutest quotes from the first two days:
Me: "How old are you?"
Student: "One whole hand!" (aka 5)
(While reading a book to the class)
Student: I REALLY like you.
Other students chiming in: Me too!
The hardest things I've found so far are:
1. They get super hungry, tired, thirsty - even though school is a little less than 3 hours.
2. We've been working on raising our hand, so I'm sure to call on people when they do, except when they say something totally random, half the class yells out their own story (example... While talking about the letter M, a student raises his hand and says, "We are probably going camping on my brother's birthday" .... 20 kids at once shout out "I've been camping" or "My dad is taking me camping today!" or "I love going camping", etc)
3. With first grade, walking in a line took practice. In kindergarten, we are just working on the concept of what a line IS! It's so hilarious. They start in a line, but all just bunch up to be the first one through the door when we get somewhere.
Now about my classroom. I added it up and think I spent at least 80 hours there (in the month after I got hired) getting ready. It was so dusty, dirty, overrun with clutter that I even convinced my mom to fly out and help me. I'm so glad she did or it wouldn't have gotten done. I also had help from Bonnie and Tyler and Russ. Just to give you a sense of the room - there was not a single horizontal surface that wasn't covered, we found posters and other books from the 1970's and we took 2 carloads to DI. So with that in mind, here are the pictures of the finished product:
|FIRST DAY (Russ was playing with the camera) :)|
|The view from the door|
|These next few pictures just go around the room|
|Their tables and chairs are so little!|
|The classroom is seriously at least 2.5x BIGGER than my apartment!|
|Those black storage bins took me FOREVER to organize, but they look GREAT now|
|This is my reading corner that will one day have a little "Lion's Den" cave which Russ will build me :)|
|My favorite part of this picture are the 0-10 cards I made.|
|Calendar bulletin board and more organized shelves|