We’re four days in with seventeen kindergartners. I’m exhausted.That I expected. Sadly, even after seventeen years of teaching, there are so many things I didn’t expect that I should have.
- The first week of school starts on Tuesday (and has for at least ten of the years of my teaching career). I tend to take my class to their Monday specials on the first day of school. Shockingly that doesn’t really work.
- My name is Teacher. It takes kinders a few days, at least, to learn my name.
- At least one kid doesn’t know how to go home. It doesn’t matter the grade. There’s always one. The result is a teacher booking it around the school trying to grab the kid back off a bus before the bus leaves and take the kid over to kiss and ride instead.
- There are so dang many routines to practice and learn. So, so, so many.
- And while I don’t mind teaching those routines, I want the kids to learn them immediately (seriously, push your chair in when you get up). In theory I understand that it will take time for them to learn these new routines, but in actuality I want them to know them right away.
- Everything is new and therefore distracting. This means kids are going to walk into each other and me again and again. Maybe they see someone they want to wave to or something new hanging on the wall or hear a sound. Regardless, they are going to pay attention to that and not to where they are or are going.
- Exhaustion impacts us all. I remember that I’ll be tired. But I forget how tired everyone else will be. My constant mantra has been, “It’s the first week. Everyone is tired.” I’ve repeated it to myself when necessary during interactions with colleagues, students, and my own daughters.
- We are in a honeymoon period. I need to remember to enjoy this time when we are getting to know each other and are excited about all our materials.
- None of this will last. Not the good, not the bad. There will be other good and bad, but none of this will last.