35-ish to go.
When I was planning my teaching units, I decided to google how many weeks were in a school year so that I could get a good balance on what to teach and when. Google says 36, so that’s what I’m going with.
This week has been exciting, and fun, and frustrating, and overly exhausting. But has left me pretty hopeful for the rest of the school year.
First of all, my kids are the cutest things. Like literally, their little faces are so cute it’s insane. I just wanted to smush their cheeks. I won’t! I promise! I’m a professional!
And when they are in their cute little uniforms, it’s even more cuteness overload in my room. I get lots of hugs first thing in the morning, and random ones all day long.
A few of them (all boys) I thought I’d have a problem with right from the start, just from their behaviour during church the first day, but most of them have turned out to be sweethearts. In fact, it’s the girls that I have the most problems with.
They are energetic and comfortable as a class. Since this is a private school, they have had the same classmates since nursery school basically. They are all very good together. There are some mean words and things but we’ll just throw in a reading of “Can you fill my bucket” and hopefully that will do the trick.
For the first week, I took the bold move to not teach anything. Like we did a few book readings and talked about math and science and what they love about it, we did a few crafts, we have tried independent reading, and we did a math diagnostic. But no real lessons. I wanted to see how they worked in the space, what they gravitated to and such. It was a good week. I sent home surveys to the parents to see what they had to say about their child – learning successes, places they wanted to see improvement, any other comments they had for me. It was a really awesome thing to read.
I have two sections. A few of you have been confused by this so let me try to fill you in: I work at a private community school. I think one of a kind actually. So they students have half their lessons in English and half their lessons in another language. At lunch time they switch rooms. They also have French lessons as well a few times a week because we live in Canada.
My morning section has less students, and they are quieter. They can read independently MUCH better. They are also better behaved. They can rock the walk in the hall outside to recess, coming back in is a little bit of a struggle.
Afternoons has more students, and thus is louder. They also need more call backs to settle down, and more reprimands. Most of them can’t read independently without causing a whole heck of a lot of problems. They can’t walk in the halls without going bananas. They need lots of “back to your seats, we’ll try that again.” They have also had the very first “sit at your desks and put your heads down, no talking.”
After a week of these two classes, I have killed my throat. Last night it felt like I was swallowing razor blades, so I was taking cold medicine and drinking LOTS of water, like waking up every two hours to go to the bathroom, drink another glass of water, go back to bed. Fisherman’s friends lozenges are my best friends right now.
Now that our schedules have been approved and handed out (just on Friday for the students) we are going to start our actual lessons. This weekend will be spent planning out my next week’s worth of things. I have some birthdays to celebrate and lots of activities to plan. I also am considering changing from having the students in groups to having them in pairs to try to contain the noise a little bit better.
Overall, I’m super excited for this year. This time last week I was terrified!! But with the support of the other teachers and administration, the super kind words from the parents I have met, and now having met the kids, I know this is going to be a great year. I can’t wait for it to really get going!