The first couple weeks of school are always hectic and a little confusing, even for the teachers. Recess was changed from 9:20-9:40 to 9:30-9:45 and back again to 9:20-9:40, all in two days. The roof, that was suppose to be fixed at the end of last year, is being fixed now, so we have the horrible tar smell coming in and some rooms are unbearable hot and have 3 fans running because the air conditioning has to be turned off while the roof is worked on. Half of our parking lot is closed because of the construction trucks too. My daily classroom schedule is still a work in progress, while I figure out how to fit all the subjects around students being pulled out for their different programs (resource room, reading lab, speech and ESL). The secretary changed schools, so trying to get any information from the office is almost impossible right now. I don't even have my students information cards yet. I have a to-do list two pages long that includes: making emergency sub plans, figuring out the EveryDay Math website, writing my professional development plan for this year, planning for open-house and getting my portfolio updated. I'm also the co-chair for the 5th grade, so I have grade level duties that are keeping me occupied too.
I have 22 children in my class this year. Let me introduce you to them (names have been changed):
Brothers "E" and "J" aren't twins and look nothing like each other. "J" stayed back in third grade. They are both great kids. "J" tries very hard and wants to please. "E" is extremely bright and is actually nice to his brother and tries to help him with things he doesn't understand.
"Winey Boy" speaks well in front of a group and loves to share, but is always complaining about someone...."So-in-So looked at me funny," or "Whatchamacallit said I like her," etc...etc...it gets very old, very quickly.
"Question Boy" asks a question, no matter how I explain or what I tell him to do. If I say, "Turn to page 10." He asks, "What page?" If I say do numbers 1-5." He asks, "Do we need to do number 6?" He also does work as quickly as possible and doesn't care about the product at all. If I ignore his raised hand he'll just walk up to me, in the middle of me teaching, and tap on my arm. I've had to tell him that unless he has to use the bathroom, is going to be sick or he's on fire, to stay in his seat. He also can have a bad attitude and has started talking back. This is definitely a kid that will push my buttons, if I don't figure out a way to not let him annoy me. I think his home life may be an issue too. A lot of his behaviors may just be attention-getters.
"Exasperation" is the girl who is driving me nuts...and after only one week. She is known, from years past, as being a pot-stirrer and a rumor monger. I've already had to pull her aside and let her know that last years teacher told me about the problems she caused and I would not be tolerating it this year.
"Left-Hander" can't write neatly to save his life. I feel bad for him because he has good ideas, but is frustrated about writing. I think I'm going to have him spend a lot of time the computer. I had his older brother a few years ago and his family is wonderful. He's a great kid!
"Cutey Pie" is a tiny little girl with a tiny little lispy voice. I could pick her up and carry her home. I like when I have kids that aren't mature beyond their years.
"Dimples" is going to be one of my favorites....yes, I said favorites...teachers that tell you they don't have them...are lying...anyway...he is not the highest kid, but he has a cute smile, is friendly, participates, is nice to others, respectful, has a good sense of humor, asks questions and enjoys learning. I love his smile.
My highest kids are "Green," "King," "Tinker," and "Frenchy." Everything comes easy to them, they always do their best, enjoy learning, have lots of friends, are respectful and are just all-around good kids. They will probably be my tutors and leaders.
My lower struggling students are "Josey," and "Angle." They are hesitant to start assignments, have trouble even forming letters, need directions repeated multiple times and have a hard time doing multi-step directions.
The absolute lowest is a students, we'll call "Cristy," who is in so many support programs that I barely see him. He goes to Resource Room, Speech, and ESL every day. I see him for P.E., Library, Computer Lab, lunch, recess and a half hour at the end of the day.
Then there are those children that are very quiet and kind of blend into the background and I have to make a major effort to get them involved. These are the kids, that when they actually raise their hands, you call on them because they do it so seldomly. They do what they are suppose to do, but are very shy...funny they are all girls: "AR," AY," "JAC," "YVE," "DES," "ARY" and "JO."
Overall, they seem to be a good group of kids, who want to do well and are attentive while I'm teaching. After being gone from my class for 2 months last year, I am looking forward to being totally involved this year.