"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

Monday Musings: First Day of School

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Each campus definitely has its own learning culture.
I say this today, on the first day of a new school year.
I welcomed 33 new fourth graders to a classroom that I share with two student teacher interns today.
Most of the students attended this campus before, but oh, it was immediately apparent the ones who did not.
Arms stuck inside of shirts, limited eye contact, and slouching were just a few of the behaviors we witnessed this morning from newcomers.
They didn’t know we have a certain way we stand while waiting in halls, that “Sh!” is almost as bad as a curse word in my eyes ( it adds nothing but more noise to the environment!), and pencils are placed, not thrown, in containers.
Ahhh. First day fun.
Every year I forget lots of little things like this, things that tell me my school’s expectations are helping because most of our kids are respectful.
I also forget how much my feet can hurt at the end of the day, how I need to invest in a stool with a back, how one restroom break at noon isn’t quite enough for this teacher.
But I remember things, too:
How Marquell wrote a joyful butterfly story about me on the back of her math sheet, how Zachary showed me a blister on his hand and then followed me all over the room adding more details to his account as he thought of them, and how kids and their stories always make me smile.
How they crave and respond to praise. Genuine praise.
Did everything go perfectly today? Not by a long-shot. There were many interruptions, a few glitches with scheduling, a long (40+ minutes) dismissal duty.
But there were more things that went right. I heard children laugh today. I saw an expectation in their faces that this year might be different. I watched them try so hard to please.
My interns mention how fast things are going. I sense uncertainty in them. They can’t know yet how much things change, and how quickly, in the course of a year.
They’ll learn. We all will. And I thought about all of this as I drove away at 4:30. Not 4:00…but it’s a start.


Author: agnestirrito

I write. Make art. And in between, I do the best I can. ✌🏼️

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