I love the first day of a new school year. Everything is new. Pencils, paper, scissors, rulers, backpacks, clothes, SHOES, shoes with shoelaces that I have to tie about a hundred times each day. (Velcro is my friend!) But wow! Just wow! I'm the luckiest human being alive to get to re-live this feeling every year. Re-live it for the 24th time.
Do you realize what this means? It means that today was the 24th time I have waited outside for my students to be dropped off by smiling parents.
This is a three generation photo. I taught Jessica when she was in third grade...now
I'm teaching her son Zack.
My 24th time to hug each of those students and reassure them that everything will be okay and that their siblings who are leaving with their moms will not be going out for ice cream or cookies but will, indeed be going straight home to watch PBS.
It's the 24th time I get to give a tour of the classroom and the school.
Our classroom...notice the personal space tape!
The 24th time to explain that glue sticks do NOT make good lipgloss and that scissors are only for paper. That each student has his/her own personal space marked off by two pieces of yellow tape people. Don't pick at the tape OR draw on it! The 24th time I get to write the rules with the class. (number one rule of course is "No Whining"). Also, no tattling...oh my! I just KNOW that is why I have dimples in my thighs from students poking me and saying "teacher, teacher, teacher" followed by a riveting tale about a classmate using the wrong pencil.
The 24th time I "get" to teach them how to pick up a lunch tray, fill it with at least three items, get a napkin a fork/spoon/spork, stop at the separation bar ("No you can't keep going down the line to pick up more cookies"), AND to remember their lunch number, to stop at the blue line until the lunch lady says it's ok to go sit down, how to sit down, how to take the tray and leftovers to the magic window where it all disappears, and finally, which door to head out to recess. My 24th time to reassure them that I WILL be back to pick them up after lunch recess. "But where do you go?" "I need to eat too my dear!" "Oh!"
Memorizing lunch numbers.
My 24th time to try to explain the proper use of playground equipment through demonstration. One year a first grader said "Sister Anderson, I can see your unda-weah when you swing like that!" Ya, now I pretty much pick someone as my "special helper" after that one.
No sliding face first. No pushing. No running up the slide. No clogging the slide. No throwing wood chips. Be friends with everyone.
Chloe correctly using the playground.
My 24th year to tell children how to care for a space in their mouths where a tooth used to be. And, how lucky was Katja to lose a tooth on the very first day of school?
I don't think I've ever seen a child jump up and down so high after losing a tooth.
Just thinking about it being my 24th first day of school makes me feel old. At an average of 24 student per year (some years I've had 35 and last year I had 18) that makes approximately 576 children who have crossed my path. Wow! Now that's humbling. I hope I made a difference. Even if it was just to remember the part about the glue sticks!