Sunday, September 16, 2012

Last Year/This Year

Last year, I started a theatre class for our middle school students.  I had 30 minutes a week to pull off a one act play with 10 sixth grade students.  I was told not to attempt it. I was told it couldn't be done.  I did it anyway.  The kids worked hard.  They learned new things.  They had fun.  I would call it a success.

This year, I have 17 sixth and seventh graders for 60 minutes a week.  In addition to acting this year, they will be responsible for set design, props, lighting, sound, some costume work, and anything else that pops up along the way for our two one act plays this sememster. 

Last year, I pulled off what they said couldn't be done.  This year, I double my time but multiplied the goals by four. 

What can I say.  I love a challenge.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Family Lessons

Ahhhh....Saturday.  After the long week (who decided having our back to school night and our fun run back to back was a good idea anyway!), I had planned on devoting the day to as little movement as possible.  And then I was invited to go on a hike with the two little gals pictured above. 

I got dressed and followed them through the wooded area.  They were full of sassiness and giggles.  They had stories and jokes.  They turned a simple walk into an adventure.  And the lead the way the entire time.

It's impossible to describe how much I love my three nieces and my nephew.  Being their aunt is truly the most important, most rewarding, most fulfilling role I will ever have in my life. 

It also makes me a better teacher.

I have pictures of my nieces and my nephew in my classroom.  They aren't there to make me think of them.  I think of them all the time.  They are there as a reminder of the person I need to be. 

Every second I spend with kids in my classroom with kids, four of the most important people in my world are in classrooms with teachers.  I want those teachers to love them when they are hard to love.  I want those teachers to see the looks in their eyes and know what they need.  I want those teachers to embrace the quailities that make them special.  I want those teacher to know that every story (true or not) is important.  I want those teachers to just make them feel loved and respected. 

I look at their pictures and I am reminded of all the things I want for them.  I think of the two special boys in Colorado.  The sons of two of my cousins who are in kindergarten.  I become inspired.  I try each day to be the teacher that I want for the members my family.  There are days when I'm not going to succeed.  But my nieces and my nephew, the boys in Colorado, and the 35 individuals in my classroom help me to strive to be more.

So thank you, E and little b, for leading the way today.  No one loves you like I do!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The First Two Weeks

I've been back in kindergarten for two weeks.  Two very exhausting, very trying weeks.

The first morning brought me 17 little darlings.  They came in with their smiles, their excitement, and their take on the world approach to life.  They were followed by 18 equally wonderful bundles of energy in the afternoon.  And they all looked to me for everything.  The "where is" questions, the "how do I" questions, the "when can I" questions, and the "how come" questions.  I did my best to answer each and every one, but I'm sure some went unanswered.

I teach in a rather small school.  I am the only kindergarten teacher.  I am the only one who interacts with these kids daily.  I know they depend on me for all of their school needs, but I don't know them yet.  Unlike the other teachers in my school, I can't go to the teacher before me and get infomation about my kiddos.  More than the academic stuff.  The important stuff like what can turn tears into a smile and what makes them giggle. There is so much to learn about each and every one of those 35 kids.  I know it takes time.  I know it takes work.  But I want to know now. I don't want to waste a day.

We've learned a lot during the first two weeks.  They know my name.  They can now find their favorite toys.  They know where their math journals go.  They know what to do when they finish their work.  I know what books are their favorites so far.  I know who needs more time.  I know who needs help but won't always ask for it.  I know what some of the looks on their faces really mean. 

So, I've been back in kindergaten for two weeks.  Two very exhausting, very trying weeks.  And now the foundation has been set for a fantastic year.