Here are my Monday Movers and some of the results
of their efforts!
This map is in three pieces, and challenging (for me!) to get straight. Before I caught her, Pam had put staples every few inches! It's not going to fall down!
I'm not sure why Kailyn is smiling . . . she should know by now that she'll probably be moving the desks into a different arrangement before the day is out!
I gave away so many books last year that one of my shelves is mostly empty. I'm downsizing each year; gave away several books each to last year students, and put a couple hundred out for other staff.
In a few short hours on Monday, Pam and Kailyn accomplished more than I could have managed in several days, in my limited capacity. I was hugely grateful and treated them both to lunch at Applebees, not near enough payment, but they were happy! Despite my job of mostly just directing, I was exhausted by 2:30 that afternoon.
The next couple of days, Kailyn organized files, readied group supplies, rearranged and added desks (I had four new students enroll) and created a fabulous Welcome Back bulletin board! It's a little hard to read here, but the words are: "Sailing Into a New World of Learning" and many of the "waves" have words relating to upcoming curriculum. The student's names are on the sailboats. This was all her own idea. I have been so blessed to have either Kailyn or Jessica create my bulletin boards for the past ten years! It took her hours to draw the coastlines of Europe, England and eastern US, then she carefully cut it out! These outlines will move into the classroom on my back wall when we begin our storyline, "Coming to America".
We were ready for Open House on Thursday evening! I had a great turn out. Twenty-two of my twenty-six families came to visit the classroom. I was on my feet the entire hour, often leaning on my cane, chatting and enjoying this annual opportunity to meet the families of the students I would be spending most of my waking hours with for the next several months.
By the time our principal’s voice came over the intercom, announcing that it was 7:00 and time to let the teachers go home, though, I was close to tears. I sat at my desk for a few minutes, waiting for the parking lot to clear so I could leave. The long walk down the hall was excruciating. It was only through sheer willpower, and the desire to get home and lay down with my knee propped up and ice that got me down the hall and to my car.
As soon as I walked through our front door, I headed for the couch and Kailyn immediately went to get my ice packs and I finally couldn’t stop the tears. Never had it felt so good to be laying down, knee propped up and ice surrounding my swollen joint!
After a mostly restful sleep, I felt a lot better on Friday. It was an easy day, strength wise, as I was able to sit at my desk with my leg propped, and use ice as I desired, while I typed and my teammates and I created a curriculum map for reading. We got a lot accomplished, working at our own pace and felt good about our results. Regrouping again with all the staff, each team shared their progress and our new principal was pleased with the efforts of all.
The week ended with a staff party at one of the teacher's homes and it was relaxing and fun to spend down time with friends and their spouses. David joined me and he had a good time as well!
By the end of last year, I had 18 students, the smallest class I'd had ever, and one of the most challenging ones. It was rewarding to receive the news that only one student didn't pass the state test for reading, and all but two passed math and science. Our hard work as a class really paid off.
This year, I have 26 students, and as always, there are upcoming challenges, academically and behaviorally. I'm still a little nervous, due to the fatigue I have experienced just getting ready for the school year, yet I'm excited (as always) for the new beginning. I think that's what I love the most about teaching, every year you get another opportunity to meet the challenges and make an impact on a completely new group of young people. I've never experienced a boring day as a teacher. I love the possibilities of a new year beginning.