Reflections on the First Day

Well, back to marker all over my hands, sorting through piles of papers to find that one page you're looking for, and trying to remember to use the bathroom during specials time (that goes by way too fast). Today was my first day in second grade...and to be honest, it wasn't what I imagined. It's all so different from last year. You're probably thinking, duh, it's a different year! But it's way harder than I thought to adjust to this new dynamic.

Luckily my teammate is in the same second-year first-time-to-second-grade position as me, and we felt blindsided together. We reminesced about last year, when we left school on the first day saying "YES that was the best day ever!". Our principal laughed and told us we had first-year teacher adrenaline last year, and this year was a more realistic first day. Plus, we've only ever had one group of kids to get used to.

This is probably a lesson all second year teachers learn...but these kids are NOT those kids. This group needs different things, reacts in different ways, shows their emotions differently. Different, different, different...and that's OKAY. I just need to learn to be a little different too...be the teacher that these kids need, not my first class.

I'm changing my mindset tonight and thinking of a new approach for creating our class expectations tomorrow. Instead of coming up with expectations and then categorizing them (we tried brainstorming expectations today, and we weren't touching on the ones I really felt were needed...and this group is just WAY wiggly...they were having the hardest time focusing for any length of time!). Tomorrow, I'm going to try giving them three categories (Respect Learning, Respect Others, and Respect Myself) and see what we come up with for each one. It's always been hard for me to completely scrap one plan in favor of another....but here we go, I'm going to be DIFFERENT!

To end on a positive: today we read Judith Viorst's poem The First Day of School and then my kids wrote down their own what-ifs (or just what they were feeling if they couldn't think of what-ifs). One little boy showed me his: "What if people make fun of my middle name?". My mind reeled with potential names....it was Jackson. What? That is so normal! Some worries are too funny...reminding myself that as I worry over my plans for tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I think last year I lived in a little bubble. This year (I have TONS of support) I feel more on my own, but I feel like I am barely staying afloat! This year is bound to be an interesting one!