Fun & Games!

My first day of school was yesterday, but my first real day of teaching was today.

Where to begin?

The morning was crazy. They switched up our schedules for the Junior Academy (middle schoolers), and everyone was trying to figure out who needed to be where, how to transitions multiple classes across the building within our five minutes of transition time, and how a handful of confused teachers could keep all the confused students in order in the hallways. Later, some of the fifth grade teachers switched specials, and didn’t tell the specials’ teachers. Etc, etc.

Once we got ourselves situated in the right classes, we got to face the realities of mixed classes separated by gender. A room full of about 30 seventh grade girls? Interesting times.

“Don’t smile until Thanksgiving,” my colleagues tell me. Some say to wait until Christmas. I was thinking that being strict was going to be harder; during student teaching I don’t think I ever lost my temper. Most times I am raising my voice because I need everyone to hear me, not because I am genuinely frustrated. Today in some classes, I yelled. It’s not how I wanted to start out.

Average class size is 30. Some have as many as 37. Most classrooms are not air conditioned; I was literally dripping with sweat for most of the day. (Which was funny because a kindergartner hugged me and said “I like your smell.” Well, someone did at least?) I don’t have any of the supplies I ordered. I don’t have my laptop yet, which means I also do not have a printer or copier code. The homeroom teacher for my 2nd grade class last period had a family emergency, and no one showed up to take over the class for her after me, so I took them outside for dismissal… but I had no idea where to go, or who the parents were. People came and picked up kids; all I can do is hope they were their parents. A girl got pushed and I made two phone calls home, filled out my first “incident report,” cried in my office for a bit, and drove home to pass out for two hours straight.

A few pros:

  • Kindergarten in general. A lot of little short people with even shorter attention spans, but they are cute and pretty much suckers at that age.
  • Trying to form a circle with five-year-olds. Okay, of fifth graders, too.
  • Singing songs with the kids. I need to add to my repertoire of songs.
  • Getting to know everyone: the 5th graders were making lists of things they liked and didn’t like. As an example, I said I didn’t like liver. There was a flurry of commentary – “Ew, liver!” … “Liver is delicious!” … “I hate liver!” …and then one girl in the back yelled in righteous indignation: “Stop talking about liquor, it’s not appropriate!”

I’m already dreading going back. I don’t have any regrets… this is still where I want to be, and I still plan on teaching for decades to come. But the realities of tomorrow, specifically and realistically, are exhausting to think about.

However: When I got home today, in my muddled state of exhaustion I at least noticed the three packages on the porch before the rain came. It was some Spanish picture books and number flash cards… things from my “teacher wish list” that I found cheap online.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen this handy link unabashedly on my blog for a while, my birthday is coming up in a few months… or maybe you just love me… or maybe you might be lucky enough to run across some Spanish books at a garage sale? 😉

Some other items that I would use if you had them taking up valuable space:

  • English/Spanish dictionaries
  • Crayons, pencils, etc.
  • Scrap paper
  • Heck, any kind of paper
  • Puppets

These have been your shameless requests (& some miscellaneous whining) for the day. Stay tuned.

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One Response to Fun & Games!

  1. nkelber says:

    Kindergarteners are evil. They are basically babies. They have no understanding of anything and, while amusing at times, are uselessly distractable. I just make them color. That is the only thing that can hold their attention for more than three minutes. Subdue the beasts.

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