Today is the first day of school. To be honest, I haven’t been too excited about the start of school. School means alarm clocks, endless lesson planning, infrequent bathroom breaks, gulping my lunch, and having to wear real clothes and shoes instead of t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops.
But last night I had a wake up call as to why I teach.
Last night was Back to School Night when parents and kids come to school to meet their teacher and drop off their school supplies. I am a Title I Reading teacher and I offer a Reading Workshop for parents and kids during the evening. Kids have some “make-it and take-it” projects to do while I provide parents with information on how to help their children become better readers.
I had several parents come with their kids. While I do enjoy talking to the parents (really!), I have to admit I like the kids a wee bit better. (No offense, parents!) The kids just crack me up.
Most kids, even if I already know them (which I usually do because we are a small school), come in my classroom a little shy. But it doesn’t take long for them to warm up as I show them pictures of my family and pets and ask them about their new teachers and school supplies. Backpacks are an important topic, especially to the younger kids. By the way, Transformers and Frozen seem to be tied for first for Most Popular Backpack. (And for those who aren’t up on popular trends, Frozen pertains to the newest Disney animated movie, not the temperature).
The kids soon are very comfortable in my classroom as they explore my reading tent (a $3 garage sale find!) and my stuffed book characters such as Clifford, Curious George, and Horton ($5 Kohl’s finds!). They are soon informing me of such things as to how their baby sister eats dog food and the like.
I had two new young friends who colored beautiful pictures and then bestowed them upon me as gifts, which will proudly be displayed by my desk so I can look at them during the year.
Kids. That’s why I teach. I can handle the early morning alarm, the necessity of wearing clothes I have to iron, the reduction in the amount of coffee I drink because I don’t know when I’ll get a bathroom break, and all the politics that seems to overshadow education these days because of the kids.
Kids are funny, forgiving, excited to learn, and are just happy to be in the moment. Isn’t that the way we should all be?
Happy First Day of School, everyone!
The Caffeinated Ginger with her kindergarten teacher on the first day of school.