Monday, October 3, 2011

6 weeks of laughter, learning, and a furrowed brow

Week 6 of school has has my blogging endeavor. I am out of practice of doing any sort of writing other than morning messages and lesson plans, but my students inspire me to share their stories and the experiences that we have in class...mostly because I want to share the laughter, joy, and ridiculousness that ensues in Room 157.
This is my second year of teaching. Perhaps the biggest differences thus far between my first and second year are the amount of singing I do (much much more this year) and how frequently I send kids out of the room (much less this year, but for much minor offenses). I feel very connected to this class and want to serve them the best I possibly can. So far it has been a journey of figuring out what to expect at this point in the year after being so used to end-of-year first graders. First graders at the beginning of the year are essentially Kindergarteners and have LOTS of energy. When that energy involves following me around the room, squirting hand sanitizer all over their bodies, shouting "teacher" at the tops of their voices, or wiggling around in line and thus shoving 8 people around them, I do sometimes want to scream. But when they ask me to read stories over and over, beam when their classmates use kind words with them, or quietly remind each other to do the right thing (and listen!), I am filled with pride at what they are able to do at such a young age.
I think it would be useful to acquaint you with some of my students--I don't feel comfortable sharing real names, so I will use initials. They are incredibly lovely people--there are a few I am just itching to tell others about because they are so unique and often times hilarious.
M falls down at least 24 times a day. For no reason. He just topples over and shouts "OW OW OW" at the top of his lungs. I help him get up and he is fine. He also is afraid of stairs because he fell down them once--but NG cheers for him every time he makes it down the stairs at school. M speaks in a perpetual whine, but he is very very eager to please the teacher and will listen to anything I say.
E asks me every day if it's home time. Sometimes we walk in the door and she asks if it's recess yet. She is also incredibly excited for Halloween.
AC cries at least 17 times a day. She lost 3 teeth during class last week and shouted at the top of her lungs. She will follow me around the room to tell me of her ailments. She is incredibly sweet and wants to do the right thing, but her voice carries and she just cannot handle pain. She is also deathly afraid of getting any "fleas" (lice) and proclaims it often. She wears some really cute classes and has me hold them for her when she doesn't need them, and I end up leaving them all over the school.
JB talks in a tiny voice and I want to scoop him up. He twirls in line, stays sitting on the rug when everyone else is at their desks, and hums or makes silly sounds to himself. When reminded, he immediately does what he needs to do. His gem of the day today was telling me he really wants to learn how to read (he can read cvc words) because he only reads a "little." He has the whitest, brightest teeth and speaks mum at home. If I don't remind him to take his backpack, he forgets it every single day.
There are sad stories in my room...a father who has been deported and is in Arizona being held and his daughter won't get to see him for a very long extended period of time. If I can give LA a good, safe, happy experience at school, I hope that happiness can spill over to home, where her mom tells me she sleeps a lot and trudges around. She is a brilliant, beautiful child who is organized, helpful, and kind to those around her. I am inspired by her and her amazing mother and the challenges they face every day.
These 23 5-6 year olds fill my days with smiles and laughter, and sometimes...a perpetual crease in my brow (I believe I have perfected my "teacher look.") I am excited to share our adventures and stories this year with those who care to know :)
My favorite quote from today "Ms. Estrada...where's your jacket? IT'S RAINING AND YOU'RE GONNA CATCH A COLD!"

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