Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reflection Before the New Beginning

This morning one of the first thoughts on my mind was that I'm not going to like seeing all of my kiddos in different classrooms.  I moved up with them from second grade to third grade, however it wasn't a happy let's loop with my wonderful class but more of a way to reach more students.  In other words, my administrators did not allow even one child that I had last year to be on my roster this year.  Dang!

Since I'm going to miss each and every one of those rugrats I thought I should jot down some of my favorite memories before the new crew moves into my life. 

1. Our librarian, Ms. L, showed my class a Michael Flatley video during the week of St. Patrick's Day.  In order to help them connect to the dancers she mentioned the dancers at our local festival called cloggers.  After this statement by our librarian a boy sitting at my feet turned around and said "I can clog... A TOILET!!!"  I know I shouldn't have cracked up as much as I did in front of him, but that joke was definitely my type of humor! :)

2.  One day near the end of the year a student was wearing a long sleeve shirt over a t-shirt.  When he got hot he decided to take it off and wear only the t-shirt.  However when I looked up from my guided reading group and saw him stripping I said "Hey, what are you doing?" Which then caused him to look down and realize that he pulled off both shirts in the process.  Well this caused him to shriek, grab his shirt, and huddle in the fetal position in the corner of the classroom.  I had to go and block him from view as he re-dressed.  Luckily he was the class-clown type any way and didn't mind all of us having a laugh for a few minutes before returning to our reading groups.

3.  I loved that all of my students were able to understand my sense of humor and the funny looks they would give me in serious situations.  Such as when 2 students were talking in the hallway on a class trip to the bathroom.  When I questioned them about the procedure one student automatically went on the defensive and blamed his friend on talking to him first.  My response, which got smiles from everyone else in the hallway was: "I don't care if President Obama talked to you first.  You are in charge of you, and you know our procedure is to stand silently while in the hallway."

4.  Choral response was a huge portion of our phonics program and to spice things up I would have the children do funny voices while repeating me like quiet as a mouse, loud as an elephant, cheerleader and so on.  Near the end of the year I would throw in random teacher's names to see what the students would do to imitate them.  They did so well with a sugary-sweet voice for our counselor, Ms. W and a deep, stern voice for our principal, Mr. R.  One day I tried the teacher across the hall from us, whose voice often carried into our classroom if the door was open.  Without missing a beat the entire class yelled and stomped their feet as they did their best Mrs. G impersonation.  I think my ears are still recovering!

5. Our principal and vice principal pop into the room randomly almost everyday.  If I didn't happen to see the administrator arrive, because I was reading to the class at the carpet, I would get little fingers pointing in that direction to give me a heads up.  Such sweethearts to keep me informed even though the principals probably didn't appreciate it.

6.  Two of my little guys came into my classroom barely reading at an end-of-year kindergarten level.  One made it to a beginning second grade level and one a middle second grade level.  They worked so hard and became best friends in the process.  I'm going to miss their little reading group terribly!!!

7.  Love notes.  Every time we had an inside recess (which is a lot due to the low temperatures Missouri gets in the winter) my students would create me beautiful love notes in the art area of the classroom.  There weren't many other times we got to do craft projects so it was a favorite choice.  I loved notes that told me I was osim and the bestest, even though I should have been a little frustrated with the spelling and grammar.

8.  I love running into students in public.  My favorite memory in this catagory  was after seeing a student at a high school football game.  I was with my husband, whom he had never met.  The next day during guided reading groups I asked the student to read a few pages aloud for me.  While reading he stopped in the middle and said "So Kyle's bald?" Random, hilarious, and slightly false.  Kyle only buzzes his hair, he's not actually bald. 

9.  The vote of confidence from my administrators.  As a first year teacher I was really honored by the fact that they kept sending new hires into my room to see how things were supposed to look in a classroom at our school.  And these weren't simple walk-throughs.  They each stayed with me all day for close to a week.  Complete confidence boost!

10.  Perhaps the nicest thing that has ever been said to me came from a parent on the last day of school.  Since kindergarten her son had a reputation of being a behavior/emotional problem.  I worked long and hard with him at the beginning of the year and in fact he only was sent out of my room 3 times all school year (and once was by a sub).  On the last day of school his mom thanked me for my patience and caring for her son and said that this was the first time she was actually sad to see the year end for him, because she was going to miss him having me as a teacher.  I'm really going to miss having him as a student too!

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