First day: Busy.
Yes, that’s a lame title, but hey, it’s the truth. My co-teacher and I were busy throughout the entire day that I didn’t have much time to think about it.
However, I can give three bullet-points pro and con about the start of the new school year!
- Class speaks well/sweet: My class of 30 (31 by tomorrow) inspired me with their ability for most of them to speak clearly. At least one-third of my students felt comfortable on the first day of school to stand up in front of their classmates and tell all of us what they did during the summer. That’s, in a word, awesome.
- Eager to learn and participate: 2/3rd of my class wanted classroom jobs and were really eager to help us pass out material. I do a decent job translating that into classroom participation, but either way, it’s a good sign. I feed off an engaged audience and I’ll have that in spades.
- A routine!: I thrive off of one. Rebuilding a routine can be difficult, but even coming back into one makes life a little easier for me. I was able to finally work out without a hitch after school for the first time in two weeks. The summer destroys any kind of routine in my life (except when visiting It’s Not Lupus) so it’s awesome to get that back again.
- Special education reform craziness: So basically, as time goes on, due to the new special education reform madness, I may not have one solo classroom to work in due to the “new mandate” that any CTT classroom must have 12 students or more who have special needs for me to stay with one class. For me, even the prospect of being split between two classes reduces my effectiveness by, yes, 50%. Having a consistent presence in the class makes a big difference. It will hopefully not be an issue now, but this new “reform” is just a huge confusing mess for everyone involved.
- Some behavior concerns bubbling at the surface: That happens every year, so it’s a consistent con. I sense some attitude problems, some hyperactive problems, and some problems concerning poor motivation. This is a standard though… but a classroom of 30+ means I need to be on top of my game along with my co-teacher to be ready to handle those concerns.
- New lunch period: From 11:50 to 12:40, all the third grade classes and most of the fourth grade classes will have lunch at 12:40, the latest lunch period a class can have. This is a change from the fifth-graders having the latest lunch. I have mentioned this to administrators already, but this has got to be one of the silliest ideas I’ve ever seen completed. I have seven and eight-year-olds who are accustomed to eating at 11:00 am! I don’t think I need to go into the motivation of children when they are hungry. Heck, even I had difficulty today, trying to muster up the energy to power past noon with nothing to eat.
I’m sure we’ll all adjust to it and be “fine”, but this was an easily preventable concern and frankly, a concern that makes no sense to change what has been the norm. I am very close to instituting mandatory snack time and not just for the students.
Second day’s tomorrow. More chaos, more craziness, more busyness, but honestly? More fun.