Sunday, March 17, 2013

The First Day of School.

You may have noticed that it's been a while since I've posted. If you're a teacher, then you probably understand why. School started and we hit the ground running. I haven't had a finished to-do list since Day 1. Here's one of the biggest things that I've learned so far.

The First Day of School:

My traditional "First Day of School Picture"

There is so much hype around how important the first day of the school year is. Throughout my years of teaching experience, I have heard talk of things such as "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" and "day one sets the tone for the whole year"...

A lot of pressure, don't you think?

So of course I was more than just a little nervous. And on top of that, I had a huge (and strange) bug bite on my face and I had just broken out in a rash (possibly acquired from the aforementioned hammock experience?) both of which were making me itch incessantly. Plus, I had developed a cold that was making me lose my voice. Fabulous combo! 

I did the best to ignore these ailments and I kept running things through my head- how do I introduce myself? How do I teach them the rules? How many times will I need to model what to do when they come in in the morning? ARE THEY GOING TO UNDERSTAND MY ENGLISH?

I didn't sleep much the night before, to say the least.

So, I did my best to get through my whole grocery shopping list of things to do. Just to name a few:

  • Introduce myself.
  • Take attendance and learn how to pronounce their names.
  • Have them introduce themselves.
  • Introduce and model morning routines. 
  • Introduce behavior plan.
  • Create a class contract (pictured below).

I definitely didn't do everything on my list and I definitely didn't do everything perfectly. There are also plenty of things that have realized should have been on that list.

But I have discovered that it's ok.
These kids are still young.
They have moldable minds.

Even if I didn't think about making them put a table of contents in the front of their notebooks...
Even if I'm still not happy with planner/homework procedures...
And even if I simply can't look at those fabulous teaching blogs right now because they stress me out too much-- It's ok. 

Admittedly, I don't always let myself think that way. However, I KNOW that I have to stop telling myself that I'm going to "accidentally mess up their education forever"! and decide that it's a classroom and we're all still learning: even me.

My encouragement: "...let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy." 
Ephesians 4:23-24

Lord, it is my prayer to have renewed thoughts and a renewed attitude. You are working through me powerfully, no matter what my human nature neglects. Help me to put on my new nature and become more like you!


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