Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My very first day

Today, a co-worker of mine reminded me of a very funny story about my very first day teaching. I know I will remember this moment for the rest of my teaching career and I just simply had to share.

It was the very first day of kindergarten. Not just for my students, but for me, as well. I had never been so nervous in my life. My heart was pounding and I could not seem to calm my overwhelming feeling that I had no idea what I was doing. The school bell rang and 18 five-year-olds were adorably striding towards my classroom. Some were a little bashful, some were bursting at the seams with excitement. I was somewhere in between.

I immediately realized that this was a true test. Whatever I chose to do in these first few, precious moments could affect our entire school year together. I started to relax when I realized that no matter what I did, they came in with no expectations. There was no right or wrong way to do this. I sighed with relief, took a deep breath, and dove right in.

After greeting my new friends for only a few minutes, the tardy bell rang and the announcements came over the loud speaker. Wow. I had completely forgotten about this. Okay... no big deal. We're just going to say the pledge of allegiance. I stood up with my hand on my heart and looked back at a very confused group of kindergartners.

They had no idea what we were doing, nor did they even know what the pledge was! Right before the pledge started, I instructed my students to stand and put their right hands on their hearts. Of course, they knew neither which hand was their right hand nor where their heart was. But, more importantly, my class was facing every which way -- no idea where we were looking. I settled with mastering this one piece of the pledge today.

Immediately inspired to lead my troops, I explained that we would be saying our pledge while looking at the flag. I raised my right arm to show where the flag was located just as the pledge started over the speaker. Feeling a little better, and much more sure of myself as a teacher, I smiled, turned back to the flag, and continued with the pledge of allegiance. Halfway through, I turned my head to check on my perfect little class. 
There behind me were 18 kindergartners in what can only be described as a Nazi salute. Imitating their new role model (me), they had raised their right hand to the flag, fixed their eyes, and continued with the pledge. 
My initial shock eventually melted into laughter. It was then and there that I learned how truly malleable my students were. I can't say I remember anything else from my first day of teaching. It went by in a flash and I left school absolutely exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. But, I know that I will never, ever forget that moment. And it always brings a smile to my face.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by!