Most teachers like to get out of their classrooms during their break. They go to the library or an empty specials classroom or the cafeteria to get work done or to do something that is not at all school related. I, however – and this is the homebody in me – love to be in my classroom. I make a home away from home in my classroom. A place where I feel safe and confident and sure (and in control, I must admit).
Last night I was dreaming about what I want my classroom to be this year and it was everything it was last year. A place where my students and I feel safe, confident, sure, and in control. A place where it’s okay to make a mistake and it’s okay to make a mess (as long as you clean it up). Other teachers would laugh at us sillies in 1A last year because we often had our shoes off. We were comfortable! Students would work on the floor or in the corner next to my desk or at the centers tables or – let’s get wild – at their desks.
Well, today was the first day of school and so far, so good. Already today in first grade we laughed and loved and danced. We might have even learned something already! We are already looking out for each other, making mistakes, making messes (and cleaning them up!), and getting comfortable. Today during our cutting and gluing activity some students worked at their desks, some worked at the centers table, and some worked at my desk. When one student wanted to give up, a friend stepped in and helped her get it done.
At the end of the day my overwhelming feeling was GRATEFUL. I was literally tearing up walking home from school because (I am emotional and dramatic and also) I am so grateful! I love my students so much last year and by the end of the year we were so close, that I was a little nervous to meet a new bunch. I was a tiny bit afraid that we wouldn’t click in the same way; that our classroom wouldn’t feel the same.
But it does! They are all beautiful, brilliant little biddies, just like my students last year.
Of course, I have to give a public shout out to the wonderful, magical, patient, kind, wise kindergarten teacher, Ms Melanie, who teaches these beautiful, brilliant little biddies how to be thoughtful and kind before they even get to my door. More gratitude.
School is supposed to be fun, amen? I want to have fun at my job.
We had our first dance break today. We danced to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling from the Trolls soundtrack. It’s a first grade classic. I was so pleasantly surprised when the majority of the students hopped right up and started dancing right away. There were a few who preferred to stay in their seats laughing at the rest of us bozos, but that’s okay, too.
My feet hurt. The fluorescent lights kill my eyes. On Wednesdays I only have 45 minutes free in an eight and a half hour day. There are 16 different personalities and bundles of needs in my classroom. And I wouldn’t change a lick of it…Well, I might change the fluorescent lights if I could. 😉
Thank You, God. Thank You, thank You, thank You. May I love these children half as well as You love all of us.