Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Days (#11)

So today was the first day of school with the kids. It was my 11th first day of teaching and it was a doozy!! I knew that Kindergarten would suck the life right out of me, but I didn't expect it to be all in one day. And to think that when I first became a teacher, that is all I wanted to do... teach in a Kindergarten classroom. Right now I feel overwhelmed and unprepared!! I have 20 kids from about 8:15 in the morning until 3 (that's if their moms or buses come on time, today one bus was a "little" late and arrived to get the kids at 3:45). I have about 20 minutes to eat my lunch and 30 minutes a day for planning, except for Wednesdays because that's the Hands On Math day when we do an extra 30 minutes of Math with manipulatives (apparently no one told the powers that be that all math at the Kindergarten level is HANDS ON!!!). So yea... It wasn't the easiest of first days but I was so busy that I didn't even notice.
Now... let's talk about it being my first day in a public school and a US public school at that. Again, paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. I've never met a culture that loves to waste more paper than the US does. We had to have forms filled out, things sent home, things coming back, paper attendance slips (those are just for the first 15 days of school), lunch counts (on paper instead of electronically sent), my 4th or 5th class list, a bus list made by me with no information from the office, another changed schedule and the list could go on for about 3 more entries worth of space!! YIKES!!
But the best part of the day was meeting the kids!! They are LOVELY!!! Even the ones that I KNOW in my heart of hearts will test and try me everyday, they are just lovely. I have a very intelligent group with very diverse needs. There are 2 little ones with pretty interesting speech habits (one can't say the g or k sounds and so they come out with a t sound... so I am Miss Tollins to that little one... too cute). One with just some interesting habits period. Thankfully that one responds well to me. Two that have mouths that don't stop, but they say very intelligent things. Three whose mouths won't produce much English (thank goodness for my Spanish speaking Para-Educator). One who is so tiny I think I could put that one in my pocket. And a mish-mash of kids with really interesting backgrounds and experiences. I am thankful for the class I have received... it's pretty good!!!
The funniest part of the day was this: at the end of the day I was called to the office... hm... wonder why? Turns out I put a kid on the wrong bus!! Oh wait, no, I put her on the bus her mother indicated.... the mother wrote down the bus stop number, not the actual bus route number. That poor mom, she was just so distraught until we realized what had happened and had the bus return with the little girl... hehehe... just a small example of the chaos today!

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