Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back To the Funny Farm

Today was the big day- back to school for students.  Now that my room is mostly situated (still waiting for a cabinet and at this point, I can't even talk about it) I'm finding my way.  I had 5 classes of 4th and 5th graders come and go and nothing is amiss.

That might be the biggest difference between middle and elementary school.  At the end of the day in middle school, it looked like a cyclone had gone through my room.  Even though kids got up and moved around today, they didn't manage to knock anything down, open things they were supposed to open or steal anything.

No one drew a single dirty picture in a book and no one wrote any swears.

And the best part?  Not one attitude all.day.long.  Not one!

Not even when I had my crocheting enrichment with 24, yes that's 24 kids.  Can you imagine one person trying to teach 24 kids how to crochet.  From step one?  Yeah.  That might happen by January.  I helped one table full of girls today.  Baby steps...

But the rest dealt with it and were like "you're one person, we'll just have to wait".

It was a very Twilight Zone kind of day.  I've been familiar with the auditorium in my new school since I took ballet because that was always where our recitals were.  I'm working with people I've always worked with because 4 of us got moved together.  So weird that our names all start with the same letter!

We had a meeting with the whole school in the auditorium and I was sitting with 2 of the teachers who got moved.  I'm back to working with a former principal, and as she was talking, it was just so surreal.  I looked over at the other two teachers and thought "this has got to be a dream".

It's like someone said "ok, here's a funny little joke.  I'd like the 4 of you to go over to the 4th and 5th grade building and pretend you know what you're doing.  You'll work with old colleauges, you'll see siblings of former students, hey you might even see children of former students.  We'll let you know when you can come back."

Except, this is our new fate.

One of the biggest differences I noticed is the lack of frenzy.  There are no bells going off every 45 minutes where if kids are late, there's hell to pay.  No one is in any kind of rush.  This drove me a little nutty when a couple of classes arrived late, but I tried to go with the flow.

This year will be a great test of my patience and my ability to slooooooooowwwww down.  Elementary kids are in no rush.  They'll get there when they get there.

I had a class arrive with one student carrying a can of pencils and the teacher frantically reminded me to make sure that she got them all back.  That made me laugh.

One teacher brought her kids with not only their homework folders like I asked, but also their agenda books.  You can tell she just came out of the middle school where kids are not allowed into a room without their agenda and it's always a really big deal to make sure you write everything in it.   She will be the only one who makes her kids take their agenda books around.  The rest of the teachers will laugh at her because they are so laid back.

Despite the fact that I did the same lesson 5 times, it was a good day.  I still have to do it 20 more times before I get to move on to a new lesson.  I guess I'll really know what I'm doing by the 25th time!

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