So school *FINALLY* started! Our school start was delayed one week due to the Holy Jim Fire which meant I had five “extra” prep days. Students will not have to make those five days up – it has something to do with a waiver and a state of emergency, and I don’t know what all else, but maybe you do because you live in a state with hurricanes or tornadoes or snow!
So we *FINALLY* began and the first day was on a MONDAY. I personally think that is cruel and unusual punishment, and I also think the people who made the calendar do not work with live human beings who are five and six years old, nor have they probably ever met anyone that age, or ever attended elementary school as a child. I am thinking that these calendar people have always been a grown-up, and that they have always sat a desk for eight hours straight, from Monday through Friday, and that is all they know.
Put me in charge of the calendar, I said.
But no one listened.
Well, I survived the entire first week, from Monday through Friday, and I showed up every day, too! Plus, we had Parent Information Night on Thursday which meant I had wine.
Last night, Steve and I sat down to watch a movie and I fell asleep sitting up. It wasn’t even 8:00. And I slept until 8:00 this morning. That is called TEACHER TIRED. I think there should be a sleep study on teachers at various times throughout the year. I think it would make for an interesting documentary. Once again, I don’t know how the teacher moms are surviving, especially if they have little babies at home who do not sleep through the night. I mean, how are they LIVING? How are they FUNCTIONING? How does that even WORK? I bow down. I bow down, I bow down, I bow down. One of my friends at school has four kids and to hear her talk about how this one has to do this after school, and then she had to take that one over there after school, and then drop the other two at that other place, and then get herself back for Parent Information Night made me want to just hug her and rock her and help her, but then she always says she’s got it, and there’s nothing I can do.
Teacher Moms are my Super Heroes!
(That was a big ole tangent. Oops. Let’s get back to DAY ONE, shall we?)
In fact, let’s talk about SCHOOL SUPPLIES ON DAY ONE.
Just to give you a little background . . . we do not require students to bring school supplies. In fact, we CAN’T require our kids to bring certain school supplies. It’s against the law. I don’t really know if that is true, but for as long as I’ve been teaching, (this is year 22!) the school provides everything. This has been true in two different districts. One school was Title 1 and my current school is not. So there you go.
In the last couple of years, we’ve started asking for DONATIONS at the beginning of the year, and it’s been sort of hit or miss. I don’t know. We – as in, my first grade team – didn’t even get to make the list. So our kids would bring protractors, or rulers or big binders, or extra large jewel encrusted pencil boxes, and we would be like . . . huh? Okay, little miss Sue, let’s put that sharp object back in your backpack, and you can use that at home when we have eighth grade math homework, m’kay?
SO FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY! At the end of this past year, we were able to create our own list. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:
And then! We fretted and thought and brainstormed and tried to figure out how we would COLLECT the supplies. This is what my team does. We overthink everything. HOW WILL WE COLLECT THE SUPPLIES? Tubs? Baskets? Cute tubs? Boxes? Cute baskets? What? WHAT?! We said it all summer long. We group texted about it all summer long. It was the mystery of the summer.
AND THEN! Somewhere on a blog or on Instagram or who-knows-where, I saw the paper bag idea, and I was like this is BRILLIANT! So I group texted and everyone agreed, and VOILA! I made some quick labels and we just stapled them to the bags and BAM! MYSTERY SOLVED!
We set the bags outside our rooms on DAY ONE. We had extra bags for the bigger supplies, such as copy paper and Clorox wipes.
Then we ran and hid in the teacher’s lounge.
School does not begin until 8:45am. And we are not a school where the kids “trickle in” from this time to that time. Nope. I’ve heard about that, and I can’t imagine that, and we do NOT do that. Our gate opens at 8:15am and the students either go get breakfast or head to the lunch benches to “hang out” with supervision (teachers can sign up for “extra duty” and earn a little bit of cash, and/or we have supervisors who do it) until 8:35am. At that time, they are taken to the playground. When the bell rings at 8:45am, the teachers go to the playground and that’s where we pick up our kids. Our room numbers are painted on the blacktop and there’s a first grade section, and a second grade section, and so on. Our kids get in two lines and line up at “our number”.
Well. On DAY ONE, and day one ONLY, parents are also allowed on campus. It’s a FREE FOR ALL. NO ONE GOES TO THE PLAYGROUND. It is closed on DAY ONE.
Which means it is CRAZY TOWN.
And when you teach first grade in a school where kindergarten is a half day program, you do not want the first day of school to last ALL DAY LONG, WITH AN ADDITIONAL THIRTY EXTRA MINUTES.
I mean. Really.
Who would EVER want to teach an EXTRA THIRTY MINUTES EVER? And I love my job. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. I often say my hobby IS my job. But let’s get real. When that dismissal bell rings, I am happy to dismiss my kids back into their parents’ loving arms. It’s their turn now, thank you very much.
Are you shaking your head at me, like you can’t believe I wouldn’t want to teach for an extra thirty minutes a day, or are you nodding along and saying you’re preaching to the choir, yes, yes, yes, we are on the same side here!
If you’re agreeing with me, we can be friends. If you think I’m harsh and unloving, well . . . I’ll say hi to you in the hallways, but that’s about it. 😉
So, my team and I set our supply bags outside our doors and then we HIGH TAILED it to the Teacher’s Lounge where we hid until 8:35am. (that’s our official “contract time” and that’s what time we have to open the doors on rainy days or whatever)
Plus, there were delicious home baked chocolate chip cookies from our principal in the lounge so that was an added bonus.
When we headed back to our rooms, we couldn’t even see our classroom doors BECAUSE OF ALL THE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.
Like I said, CRAZY TOWN.
When lunch time rolled around, we finally had a chance to check our bags and HOLY SCHOOL SUPPLY DONATIONS! It was like CHRISTMAS! We couldn’t believe our eyes! We were over the top excited and we still don’t know if it’s because we got everything we could have ever wanted, or because we were so happy we’d made it to lunch time.
The best part is that every single pack of pencils that I received were PRE SHARPENED.
You know you’re going to have a great class when the parents follow directions!
I had one person ask me if the crayons melted from being outside all morning (I think the temps got up to 94 that day) and they didn’t. At least, I don’t think they did. I don’t know, really. I just brought them inside. ??? That never even occurred to me. Ha!
It was a great first day because all of my kids ate lunch and got home safely and that’s all I ever care about.
And I only have 24 kids.
I KNOW!!! I KNOW!! I KNOW!! I can’t believe it, either!
Although, to tell you the truth, 24 kids feels the same as 32 during the first week. Really. I mean, it’s hard no matter what. The only time it felt LESS THAN was in the computer lab when I had to help every single one log on. It goes by much faster when you have LESS THAN 32.
I have a super sweet class. They are all ADORABLE to look at, and they are eager and happy to be with me. Several of my boys tell me every day at the end of the day that they don’t want to go home yet. 🙂
And my one little guy (who I was feeling all sorts of anxiety about) has so much potential!! He is so capable! I’m working hard on establishing a relationship with him (and I’m praying A LOT) and I really think we are getting somewhere. It makes me feel so happy!!
So there you go!
I’ll be back tomorrow with another post on the first center I introduced to them. It was a HUGE HIT and SUPER QUIET, too!
See ya then!
PS I’ve practically lost my voice and my feet are killing me. The End.