Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Year Eight - Day One

As far as first days go, this one was rather uneventful. The kids are sweet - albeit a bit talkative - but no drama, no tears, no behavior problems (yet). Based on last year's roster (adjusted for transfers and new students), I have a tentative 26 names on my class list. However, only 18 of them have officially registered. Usually I wind up with almost the same amount of kids on the "expected" list. This year seems to be different... unless a whole bunch of parents show up tomorrow to register. It's possible that I'll only have around 20 this year. I've got 26 desks set up, 26 folders labeled, 26 sets of workbooks in 26 cubbies... because you just never know what to expect. We'll see.

However, it was nice to see some familiar faces today. My very first students are in SEVENTH GRADE this year. I can't believe how old they are! I have to dig out my photo album from my first year and see all their little innocent first grade faces. In my room this year, I have the younger siblings of several former students. I remember when some of them were babies, tucked away in car seats and strollers during parent conferences. Time certainly flies.

One of my brand new boys is already putting a smile on my face. Today he announced that he was the "best, best reader" in his last school. I asked him if he could find any words in my room that he knew how to read. After looking around for a few minutes, he walked over to my map of the US. He pointed and read, "Alaska," then pointed again and read, "New Mexico." Certainly impressive, especially since he correctly identified both states. I don't know if he learned about those states in kindergarten, but even the fact that he remembered them was impressive. After reading First Day Jitters, a cute story about a teacher who doesn't want to go to school on the first day, I told the class how teachers sometimes get nervous too, even though we're older. My new friend asked how old I am, so I told him: 29. "Oh," he said. "You're older than my dad. He's only 20-something." Gotta love it. :)

While all is well in my classroom, the school itself is falling apart. In addition to losing our Pre-K and our art teacher, we're now also losing our librarian. She's only staying until the end of September. That's another 45 minutes a week of break time down the drain. And our 8th grade teacher (who's been with us for about 10 years) called last week saying she needs to take a month off for medical leave... effective immediately. So now the fifth grade teacher who just retired last year is back as a sub until Mrs. R. returns. It's a rocky start to the school year. Hopefully we'll be able to make it work.

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