Friday, August 24, 2012

And so it begins...

Oh My Goodness. I think any other teacher any place in America feels my pain. I’m so exhausted that my brain is a bit fuzzy. The first week back is under our belts, I adore my students, I love my colleagues, and I need to sleep.

Each year it is the same. The first week arrives. I marvel over how tiny the kids seem. How they struggle with transitions. How it feels like the time allotted for all of my classes seems to have shrank. I lament to any teacher around that I don’t have enough time in reading class. And then, time passes and it gets easier. Not that it has yet, but I know that’s coming.

I get used to the old class. The one that knows me and knows my routines. How we can quickly fly through “check-in” at the beginning of reading class and be teaching the mini-lesson within a few minutes. (Today it took ten. TEN!) But, I look at these smiling faces. I listen to them whisper in awe to their neighbor, “I read for an HOUR last night! This book rocks!” and I fall in love with my job all over again.

This week I got the chance to spend three and
½ days with my new students. I have twenty-four in my own class and another forty-seven in my other two reading classes. I think I know probably thirty-seven of the names down pat and am working on the other ten. I’ve learned what they like, the books they are crazy about, that they are a funny and chatty group. They know I like chocolate, reading, and taking photographs of them. They are already groaning when I whip out my camera like old pros. I’ve got some great photos to share of them but that will have to wait until parent night next week when I have permission to post.

After 15+ years of teaching I know this beginning of the year exhaustion well. This year it is compounded by allergies that are horrid and a younger son who has returned to waking up in the middle of the night and needing mom. (Why don’t they ever call out Dad in the middle of the night?) But the great part of knowing this feeling is knowing that it is temporary. I will be a bundle of energy again soon. I will be posting here but forgive me if it is a bit less than during the summer. I’m getting my teaching legs back under me and it feels great.

Just for fun, books shared this week in my class were:

·      Wonder by R.J. Palacio (class read aloud)
·      What You Know First by Patricia MacLachlan (class read aloud)
·      I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (class read aloud)
·      Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake (book talked to class)
·      Love, Aubrey by Suzanne M. LaFleur (book talked to class)
·      Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (book talked to class)
·      The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (book talked to class)
·      Love That Dog and Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech (book talked to class)
·      Babymouse by Jennifer Holm (book talked to class)
·      Lunch Lady  by Jarrett Krosoczka (book talked to class)

And so many more to individual kids. Favorite part of the week? Matching kids to book. It doesn’t get much better than that.