August 27, 2010

Might seem like small potatoes, but...

First week down, and here's how I know we're on the right track:

  • The kids knew exactly what to do when they came into the classroom this morning
  • They also knew exactly what to do after lunch
  • When I took them out for an afternoon recess, they started lining up IMMEDIATELY when I raised my hand as the "time to go back inside" signal
  • The floor was clean at the end of the day again today
  • Everyone turned in their homework 
  • They paid attention and giggled through a 2-chapter read aloud from Sideways Stories from Wayside School (I could barely have last year's group sit together on the carpet because they'd always be "bothering each other")
Here's how I know I'm doing my job:
  • When I told one kid I still hadn't seen the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, he told me he owned it and offered to bring it in so I could borrow it
  • I got a paper cut during lunch time and had two students in the room making up some homework.  One is a student who I know will be a challenge this year.  He has had a great first week, but I know that he has some emotional problems and has had both a tough life and a history of behavior problems (the latter being due to the former).  Anyway, as I was grabbing myself a band-aid, this student looked up from his work and asked, plain and simple, "Is it okay?"
^That may not seem like much, but it made my entire day.  This child has been at 8 schools in the past 5 years, comes in late frequently and occasionally stays home for no reason other than that he doesn't have a family supportive enough to make sure he's in school, and I'm sure has a million other things going on that neither can I understand or imagine.  And he's making sure my paper cut is okay.  3 simple words that show we are on our way to building a relationship.  I teach for moments like this.

This is going to be a good year.

And now I'm off to lay on my bed and read, all I want to do (other than sleep) this entire weekend... :)

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