Sunday, January 16, 2011

New kid on the block

I have a new student coming next week, and I am actually very excited about it. This is the first time I have had a student move into my classroom after the school year has started. A new adventure for not only my new student, but myself, too. However, I am not nearly as excited as the rest of my class.
This morning at calendar, I placed the incredibly famous ”Special Day” picture over next Tuesday’s square. One thing I love — leaving my students in suspense. With wide eyes, the class was buzzing with excitement and guesses. A substitute teacher? A snow day? A special guest? Not one student imagined that we were adding a new friend to our class. And when I dropped the news… the room simply erupted with shrieks and smiles. 
Immediately following “the big announcement,” we discussed what Tuesday might be like… for him. What might he be feeling? What might make him nervous? How can we make him feel comfortable? The kinders were adorably concerned for their new mystery friend. Where would he sit? Where will he eat lunch? Where is he coming from? What does he look like?
So, we decided to make him a “Welcome Book.” Each student drew a picture of something they are excited to share with him at school. At the top of each page, it read, “Welcome to our class!” The kinders painstakingly recreated details of our classroom; drawing our alphabet carpet including every letter, copying signs word-for-word from the walls, and (so sweet!) guessing what he might look like so they could draw him playing with them. Their natural ability to open their hearts was awesome, and inspiring.
I will admit that when I heard I had a new student coming, my perfectionist mind immediately ran through all the things I needed to do in the classroom to prepare. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited to meet my new little learner. But, I wanted him to feel “at home” in our classroom - with his name at his table, a cubby of his own, and shiny, new crayons. And, not to mention, I am quite particular about the way things look in my classroom. :) However, the true joy and enthusiasm overflowing from my class made my heart melt, and immediately calmed my mind. I couldn’t help but feel excited and curious right along with the kinders! 
This boy is one lucky little guy. He has no idea that he is a near celebrity in his new classroom - that he has 21 fans waiting for him in anticipation. 
I find a new thing to love about my job and my students everyday. This was today’s.

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