I'm absolutely exhausted.
Seriously. I can't feel my feet.
Which is completely normal. Except this year, our district started school on a Monday. Yes, a full week of kindergarten starting on a full Monday.
It's going to be a rough week -- the afternoons are going to be tough. But, we're in this together. And I know that if I put my all into it and stick it out... my little kinders will, too! So, here's to eating a bigger breakfast, drinking one more cup of coffee, and making sure I am at my best for them this week.
So, a small reflection of the day...
- Besides the typical handful of kids who only call me "Teacher" for the first 2 weeks, I also have 2 students who are only calling me "Mr. Anderson." I don't know how many times I tried correcting them, but I finally just gave up and just laughed.
- I could immediately tell this group must be at least slightly more mature and prepared for kindergarten than normal. I could tell because I automatically adapt my teaching style and expectations to their zone of development. Today, I found myself talking and acting more like a middle-of-the-semester day instead of the first day. Which is awesome.
- For the first year, every one of my students independently said their name at our morning circle time. Believe it or not, this is HUGE! For the first week, we pass the bear everyday and practice saying our names. Yes, kinder babies need to practice saying their names nice and loud and clear. I was so proud of them -- simply beaming!
- I had one crier. Which I totally expected. She cried off and on for the whole morning -- just struggling to transition and adjust. But, 1 in 20 isn't bad! Hoping the rest of the week follows in suit.
- I had more hugs and had my hand held more times today than I ever have on a first day. I'm not sure if that's predictive of a group that will need more attention or simply a more affectionate batch of kiddos. Regardless, I loved it. One little guy (who I know from prior information does not have a traditional, stable home environment) would just hug his arms around my waist while I was standing there talking. The "normal Mrs. A" would give a quick squeeze and direct him to sit back down. But, something in him today wouldn't let me let go. So, I just let it happen -- and I have a feeling that choice will come back to reward me when this little guy trusts me enough to take risks and learn.
- Well, the crier mentioned above fell off the monkey bars. SERIOUSLY -- it just had to be her! Kids hurting themselves at recess is nothing new. However, sending a kiddo to the emergency room on the first day of kindergarten... now that's a first. Well, I guess we can only go uphill from here. Yikes. I hope they tell this story at her wedding some day. :)
- One little guy wanted me to push him on the swing. I told him I would... if he spelled his name for me (let's get some discrete trials goin!) He proceeded to spell his name for me, "M-O-3-B." Yep. Gotta love him. (And no... none of those letters are in his name.) It's going to be a big year for him!
- Overall, I'm excited, optimistic, and hopeful for a great year. On a very positive note, this is probably one of the more racially and culturally diverse group of kinders I've had -- which I love. Variety is the spice of life!
- Lastly... nothing makes a first day of kindergarten ring true like when a little guy lining up to go to the after-school program looks at you and says, "I don't want to leave."
Anyone who plans a bunch of cutesy ideas and projects for the first day of kindergarten is CRAZY. And will be severely disappointed when nothing gets done and the art project turns into a haircut. However, I did get around to one cute "souvenir" for my kinders' parents this year -- and they turned out so cute!
I sent them all out to the parents after school... I hope they love them!