Thursday, August 14, 2008

The First Day...

Well, I did it! I survived my first day of school! This is officially the fourth time I have opened a new school year, and it was definitely the most eventful! Okay- I lied. The most eventful would be my first year when I had a student throw up everywhere. So this was my second most eventful first day!

This is me, first thing this morning. I was wide awake and ready to go! I always dress up a little for the first day. Tomorrow will be a different story! My husband just had to take a picture, because he so rarely sees me out of my pajamas!!

So every school year has its ups and downs, and this school year will be no different. I'm only a day in, so the course the year will take is still somewhat of a mystery to me. But as any teacher knows, you get a good idea that first day. Here is what I think so far:


I have 32 students in my classroom. My 32nd one was added five minutes before the bell rang. My first year of teaching, I had 18. My second year I had 22. Last year I had 25. So let me tell you- 32 feels like A LOT of kids. They are so close together in my room that seven table groups looks like one big long table when they are all sitting down. Wow!

They will not stop talking. When I am giving instructions, or doing a lesson, they are really good at listening and staying with me. The minute I ask them to do something- get out a notebook, put something away- they immediately start talking. Right now, I am 99% sure that the reason is because I let them choose their own seats this morning. I know- GASP!! I figured I would give it a try, since my team teacher does this with her fifth graders. I have news for you. I am NOT my team teacher. I must have order, and not chaos. Tomorrow I will promptly be adding name tags to each and every desk and assignning their seats. Maybe next quarter kiddos!


I have surely got to have the best students in the school. Okay, so there are a few that I already know I need to keep under my thumb, but overall, these kids are great! My class last year was so difficult- I stuggled all year to keep up with management. This group of kids is helpful, and polite, and they still hug me! Okay, I know what you're thinking. Wait 'til the "honeymoon period is over," right? We'll see, but so far I think they're great. And the fourth grade teachers said they were great. And teachers do not lie to each other out of the earshot of parents and students!

I knew almost every single one of my kids today. Last year I was so new I barely knew the other staff members, let alone any of the kids. This year I knew them before they showed up- partly from being here last year, and partly from all the awesome things we do to kick off the year. It was great. I was able to greet them by name as they walked in the room. And since I knew all the returning kiddos, I was able to focus on learning the names/faces/personalities of my new ones. It felt really good.

One more thing you won't believe:

Okay, so remember that big scary tornado thing that happened in Windsor this summer? That happened on my last day of school last year. So I officially ended the school year by huddling in the student bathrooms.

Guess where I kicked off the year? You got it- huddled in the student bathrooms! Allow me to start at the beginning.

After school today, I walked outside to see the kids onto their buses, and I saw some really ugly clouds in the distance. I said "ooh, scary skies!" I've really got to quit saying that, because it never goes well from there! Anyway, there I was standing in the hallway, begging my team teacher to hang out with me until the big bad storm went away, when another teacher came running up the hallway. We had gotten a call that a tornando had touched down by Northridge High School. Northridge and my school share the same property! Talk about running in the halls! I was booking it to the bathrooms!

Okay, so it was totally a false alarm- there was no torando. Why anyone would think there was and alert us, I don't know. But don't you think it's ironic- I started this school year the same way I ended the last one!

The good news?

After the roughest storms come the most beautiful rainbows!


Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

32 is a lot of students!!!

you "think they're great" they just talk a lot :)

maybe you learnt a lot about management
that will help this year

pleased you had a good day.

hope it continues and do write again about it
I found it interesting
I have a lot of time for teachers and over the years some of my best friends have been teachers

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Glad you had a good first day, all things considered. At least the tornado warning was a false alarm this time. Here in Arkansas we have them literally year 'round, though Spring and Fall are the peak times.

The student/teacher ratio is rising all the time, and it's a shame. Hope it works out for you without too much stress and hair pulling.

Have a great 2008-2009 school year!

Love and hugs,


Lynne said...

I agree - 32 is a big class. I'm sure you'll do fine.

Have a wonderful school year!

Barb said...

Thirty-two! That's a big class. But I know you - you'll handle this large class just fine. I know it means more of everything, especially more papers to grade every night. But you're good at managing and you'll do fine.

I would imagine that, like all the students before them, your kids are going to love you. I would.

Well, I mean, I'm you mom and I do, but I'd love having you for a teacher. All mine that I can remember were a lot older than you and most of them were kind of scary. LOL

Please don't tell me any more tornado stories.


Gretchen said...

Cute picture, Mandy. Thanks for sharing your first day. I can't imagine handling 32 kids, but I'm confident you'll do so and they'll thrive just by how I've seen you post. You're what great teachers are made of. And...I'm so glad you started with gripes--nice to know you're human. :)

Michelle said...

Glad your first day went well! I would definitely start assigning those seats or they may never stop talking! : )

Tracey said...

32 WOW! I have never had that many and I've been teaching for 18 years. I know what you mean by needing order not chaos...I am right there with you...mine are talkers too and I ALWAYS ASIGN SEATS!!! Good luck...I'll be following along.

Bev said...

The first day is the hardest surely. I know those kids are blessed to have you as their teacher. Won't it be nice when everything is running smoothly, you know the kids, etc. xoxox