Day one went too quickly to say much about it. It's too early in the ball game.
I'm still putting in ten-hour days, it seems, but it makes a difference when half of your team is there, as well.
Trying not to feel overwhelmed with whether I'll be able to manage them into procedures, and being a family unit. And then there's the whole curriculum side to tackle.
All in all, a better day than my first day at high school. Probably in large part to the people that are there, and seeing some old students of mine.
I had two criers in the morning, but both calmed down after a while and with some assistance from the aide. One never rejoined us (they only go till twelve, the first week, which is nice), but I didn't force it. One has already shown that he likes to do what he wants to do, and two more may cause some mischief between them. But they're my kids. For the whole year. I find that exciting (and, again, somewhat overwhelming).
After work on Thursday, I went to pull out my wallet to buy a soda in the work-room. Only, instead of my wallet, I pull out a stuffed frog. The surprises of being a kindergarten teacher.
On Friday, some of my students told me they had a surprise for me at the writing table. I look, and they had glued some of their work to the wall. :0) They had seen me staple some students' work on the bulletin board, and decided to take matters into their own hands to make it easier on me. They were too proud for me to point out that that's not quite appropriate. :]
I like my job. I hope they keep me.
Our new kinder teacher, who has even less experience than me, and had to come in five weeks after the year started, is a natural. It's crazy. On the plus side, it keeps pushing me forward. I hope it's a good year all around for the students, teachers, and school.
I was talking with the kids about how we can count backwards from ten, and asked if any of them knew how we could do this. One young girl raised her hand, and very enthusiastically said, "Like this!" She then turned around backwards on the floor and started to count to ten.
There are times when you are just thrilled to be around these kids.
Long, long day. I'm pooped. We had an apple day, where the kids rotated through all of our classes, and we did an activity with each class. It was non-stop, and hyper, and messy, and insane at the end, as I tried to do too much in too little time and the kids were off the wall, so to speak. They actually weren't all that insane; it was just the culmination of it all.
I was also observed for the first time yesterday (basically ever, as I never really had one last year at the high school). It went okay. The kids were themselves, but it worked. We even met that day. She liked the positive atmosphere, and my level of drama/enthusiasm, which was nice. I would have been much, much more nervous if it was the principal, instead of assistant. He self-admittedly doesn't really grasp kindergarten. Not in a negative way; he's just more geared to the upper levels. Anyway, it went fine. They were a bit antsy and wiggly, but she was kind because they were eager to participate. I did a very simple lesson, which is good, because I was just nervous enough to forget to do a major section of the lesson. Whoops. I kind of just went with what was going on, and extended the activity we were doing.
One of my students counted “One, two, three, two one” when asked to count to five. This is the same student who told me she could count backwards - and proceeded to turn herself around and count regularly.
Another of my students has come in the past three mornings to tell me very unique vignettes. First, he described to me how he brought his horse with him to school on his handlebars. It was a toy horse.
The next day, he tells me in the hall that he has something very important to tell me, and can he please tell me in the room. We step in the room, and he proceeds to tell me an extraordinarily long story that can be best summed up as follows: His dad told him and his brother to walk to school this morning. And they did. And they saw two other students they knew. The end.
Glad he got that off his chest.
The third day, he tells me he's going to ask his dad if he can invite me over to his house. It's a red-brick house so the wolf can't blow it down, even if he huffs and puffs.
There is another student, however, who has made me actually laugh out loud twice. It's a student I've had a lot of trouble with - very immature. He's emotionally more about the level of a three year old. He's had quite a few major hardships in his life, such his mom passing away from cancer. This makes my third student who has lost a mother by the age of kindergarten. On this day, he's really upset because he says a student at the table is bothering him. I ask him what the student was doing. Well, you know how little kids like to repeat what they hear another student say? He's sitting there, all upset, breathing erratically, and he starts to inform me in a stutter that "So-and-so, so-and-so, he, he..." It is at this point that a different student at the table says "nothing". And, of course, the student I'm talking to ends his own sentence with "nothing.” And then stops, as though confused, or as though everything is apparently fine. I couldn't help it. I laughed.
Today, the same student again made me laugh out loud in class. I've been testing all day, today (tomorrow, too). They come back from lunch and if they have been quiet, they have a ticket that allows them to go to recess. Since I have to test, I tell them I’m going to allow them to play at centers, instead. I tell them to raise their tickets up if they have them. I then realize that I still have to go over some of the centers. I begin to do so. This student starts whining, and keeps trying to get out of his seat and give me his ticket. I ignore him/tell him he has to wait at his seat until I collect his ticket. This all takes place as I spend several minutes going over their centers.
Finally, the student cries out: "Mr. Gardner! I can't hold my ticket up in the air anymore! My arm hurts!" He had been holding it in the air, like I told him to, the entire time. Again, I couldn't help it. I laughed.