Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Could Do Without the First Days of School

I know, reread the title.  For a teacher to write those words out loud it's pure blasphemy.  But, I'll say it again:  I could do without the first days of school.

I get it.  The first days of school are important.  They're necessary.  They're formative.  They're indicative of how the rest of the year will go and as teachers, we put everything we have into them.

But boy, they are tedious.  And for a teacher to call something tedious, when we deal with daily tedium, is a big deal.

You see, you've got these precious babies.  They're bright eyed and so excited to be in third grade.  However, they know nothing about how your class runs.  Therefore, the first days (weeks, really) you spend training them how things work around here.

We do not run in this classroom.

We sit on our bottom in this classroom.

We don't put scissors in our mouth in this classroom.

We walk down the stairs in this classroom.

We enter the room quietly in this classroom.

And on it goes.

I know it doesn't sound bad and really, it's not.  But, teachers are human too and we can't help but think fondly of May, a mere two and a half months ago, when we had students in our room that knew exactly how the class worked.  We see them walking down the hall, relearning how to do things in fourth grade and we think, "man, those were the days."

After coming home in a stupor the last two days, I've decided that while the first days of school are necessary, they are NOT my favorite. 

But, I do love my kids this year and think they're pretty special.  They are excited to learn (and excited to talk to each other) and I couldn't ask for anything more. 

As Helga Hufflepuff said,
"I'll take them all and teach the lot."  

Even if it means having to reteach how we behave in a line.

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k_skenes said...

I used to be sooo tense during the first few days, my legs and most of the other muscles in my body would ache for at least a week. Here's wishing you relaxation and at least one hug and "love you" from a student to make it all worth while!

dosweatthesmallstuff said...

Wow, I've never thought of it from that perspective! Always from the students' (and parent's) point of view. But you've brought up into light how the first days of school feel like for teachers. I totally got it when you said, "we can't help but think fondly of May, a mere two and a half months ago, when we had students in our room that knew exactly how the class worked"

I definitely have more empathy for teachers from now on! Thanks for sharing this :) Hope things get back to 'normal' again soon ;)

Kristy said...

I've taught special education, second grade, and am now a school psychologist. The beginning of the year is rough. It is so tedious, but totally necessary. Happy, happy, happy, Friday to you!!!!

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

My friend is a 1st grade teacher and she spends the first two days re-teaching how to tie their shoes, how to walk in a line, and how to raise their hands. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be.

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

Heh, I remember learning NOTHING the first few days of school, and then the last few days were just crazy, too. Hopefully all the days in between will be AWESOME!

Meyser said...

Beautiful post! I work with teens, but actually what you write is so spot on! Those first days are all about making clear that the classroom is my territory and I am the one in charge. Sounds like a strange way to establish a warm relationship with all those different groups, but they need that structure and clarity. I never thought that teachers off younger children would feel the same way, but I can relate so well now. Thanks!