Thank goodness it's the weekend! It's been an exciting week for sure, as we started back to school. The Back-To-School week is a whirlwind of professional development, preparations, meetings and greetings. It's wonderful, but it's exhausting! We started Monday with meetings all day and an ice cream social in the afternoon. I love the ice cream social, because it's a chance to meet my students and their parents before we actually have to "get down to business." Tuesday was a chance for teachers to put the finishing touches (is it ever really finished?) on their classrooms. Wednesday was the BIG DAY!
While I love getting back in the classroom and back to teaching, the first day is always a little daunting - for teachers AND students. That's why once everyone has found the right room and their seat, we gather on the rug to talk. By that time, I usually take a deep breath and smile at the children. I introduce myself and then I read First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg (Judy Love, illustrator). I love that book no matter what grade I teach, because I use it as a way to share that we ALL are a little nervous on the first day. That usually helps set the tone for everything that goes on from there.
I'd love to be able to say that everything was happy and magical from that moment forward, but that wouldn't be true. Many things went smoothly that day, but other parts of the day - not so much. We're still getting to know each other, we still need to build relationships. That isn't going to happen after one great read aloud story. It's going to take time. One of my students has some severe behavior issues that became apparent even before we went to lunch on the first day. That was upsetting for the whole class, but thankfully by the second day we were able to start making some plans to help this student. It's still going to take a lot of time and patience to help him, but I feel like I'm on the right track.
I was pleased this week that my new students really seem to be appreciating all of the time and money that I put into my classroom library. Some of the books that I was pretty sure would be favorites were grabbed up right away. Many of my students are already showing great stamina for longer periods of independent reading.
Speaking of books (of course)...My favorite surprise of the week was the Delaware County District Library Book Fair. I found out that it was happening today. Wow! You could purchase a bag full of books for $12 (if you already have a bag from the Friends of the Library, you can fill it for $8). I got an awesome haul of books to go into my classroom library!
Hope all of you have an awesome beginning to your school year! I know this will be the best year ever!