Sunday, September 8, 2013

week one.... done!

I started back to school with my students on Tuesday and what an AMAZING week we had! I moved up to 3rd grade this year, and throughout my prep time over the past few weeks with my fellow teacher [who has moved up from Kindergarten] I started to feel nervous and overwhelmed with all we were discovering we would be teaching....and grading. It may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but to me, taking grades is major. These are permanent on a report card and mean something big to both the parent and the student. I don't take assigning grades lightly.....and sometimes I'm too nice. I want to take into account their work, their effort and their love while I grade. I find it hard to just crunch the numbers and say that what they get is what they get. I don't want them to feel badly and I don't want parents to wonder how their child did or didn't do so well. I don't know... maybe I'm just paranoid. I think part of it is my type-A/OCD personality. But knowing we had to grade Bible and handwriting, plus science, social studies and health, I became overwhelmed at the thought. In first and second grade and I didn't assign many grades...mostly checks and pluses [rarely some minuses, thankfully!] So this is new for me. Especially Bible. We always do that together and there are very few unit reviews to assign grades on so I with very little actual grades for the whole year, one bad assessment could mean a low grade. How can I do that to my students?! It breaks my heart and again....overwhelms and worries me.
So, I had to take a step back. I had to PRAY [of course!] I knew I could only do this with God's strength and I could only do it by taking it one step, one day at a time. We haven't gotten to any quizzes or tests just yet, so I'll wait until they come. I'll work hard, prepare my students and pray with them before each one. I'll communicate with them about everything they are expected to know and do my best to serve them everyday. It's all I can do, and I feel a lot better about it. I still am nervous, but I know that the first report card is a several weeks away.. I need to enjoy teaching until that time. I can't be nervous all day, everyday for 9 weeks, four times a year. THAT'S INSANE!

Here I am on the first day of school! :) My shirt is chevron to match my classroom décor... that was my hubby's suggestion! haha

Okay... so back to our first week. It was wonderful, as I said. My students are adorable and were so excited to be back in school. Most of my class has been with me for the past 2 years, so introducing routine and expectations wasn't hard. It was nice having a large group who already knew what to do and when to do it, so others could follow their lead.

We did a multitude of activities and we jumped right into learning [I don't mess around! ;)]

One activity we did was cute. I of course saw it on Pinterest at some point over the last year and it was a success on the first day of school. I told my students that I expect a lot from them and they have a lot they are responsible for as students of our classroom and school. What I wanted to know is what they expect of me as their teacher. They thought that was so cool they got to tell me how I should be towards them, so I passed out Post-Its and let them to it.

Some wanted to write more than others.. so my chart paper was filled pretty quickly LoL!

You can see at the top that I have one that is separate. I told the students that I would hang that in the classroom all year, so that every morning I arrived it would be one of the first things I see and would remind me to be what they want and need in a teacher. One really stood out. Among the many "fun," "caring," "nice," and "lovings" was an amazing and inspiring request... "Let God lead you." WOW. An eight year wrote that. Talk about divine. She thought above and beyond and wrote something I knew I would need to read on a daily basis; something I would need to meditate on every morning to start my day.

Have I mentioned how incredibly blessed I am? I mean, really. To have a student write that they want a teacher who is led by the Lord is inspiring, amazing and a dream come true. Especially since I've had her for the past two years....must be doing something right, huh!? ;)

Well, the rest of the week was a breeze. I feel like I'm not teaching enough and it felt so easy, simple. It was a great first week. The students had so much fun learning and we did lots of review. I learned a lot about them and we prayed together several times. It was blessed and a great start to a great year. I can only imagine what God has planned for our classroom the remainder of the year. I'm sure it will be nothing short of awesome!

Have a blessed day!
Tami :)