Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Life of a small town, first year Kindergarten teacher!


  My name is Katie, and I am a first year teacher living in a tiny town. I was one of the lucky few people from my grad class to have found a teaching job it seems, so I really do appreciate my half-time position. I am currently teaching (full day) Kindergarten and subbing on my days off, and am learning much more than the kids at this point I'm sure! 

  A few friends have told me that I should consider starting a blog, and I've heard more than one teacher say, "I should write all of these things down and write a book one day," so I figured I should try this out and see how I do throughout the year. Plus, I really need some practice writing, as I will never make it as a mathematician or scientist...

  My classroom is a busy (and unfortunately still a little too loud for my liking) place of 23 kids- including two three year olds who come in for half days. We have just finished our 15th day of class and quite honestly, a good part of those 15 days have been lessons in hand-washing, taking turns and bathroom runs! My bunch of monkeys includes a great mix of backgrounds, cultures and languages, and many funny stories have occurred as a result. 

Here are a few highlights of our year so far:

- The one little german boy (who must be growing) took a massive spill into the lockers one day, then stood up, tears streaming down, and in the voice of the little pigs from Shrek says, "that was a good one, ja?"

- Another little guy with an enormous amount of energy whose little face folds in half when he smiles (his dimples are that big) JUMPED out of the bathroom one day and says, "I have good news... and bad news!"
I ask him for the good news first...
"I WASHED my hands!"
"And the bad news?"

- This little guy does have an end to his energy, but no end to the volume in his voice. One day he had reached the end of his rope and as we were trying to get him ready for the bus, refused to put on his own shoes. 
  So I did what any kind, caring adult would do and left him in the boot room for a few minutes to see what he would do. As I peeked around the corner, I see him laying flat out across the walkway, one shoe in each hand yelling, "SHOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!"
  Well then I was no good to help as I was laughing too hard. Poor thing! He did eventually get his shoes on, and didn't miss the bus (I'm not that mean!)

- One day I decided to let the whole class walk to the library by themselves to see how they would do. They were pretty quiet, didn't get lost and eventually made it all in one piece, so I thought I would get them to try it back to our classroom as well. The librarian had read a story about a turkey, so I told the kids that they could pretend to be very quiet turkeys walking back to our classroom. Well, if those 5-year olds didn't take off running down the hallway, arms flapping and squawking right past the office where the principal, vice principal and behavioural specialist were standing... oops!

One last one!

- On my first day, I inadvertently responded, "oh my gosh!" to a story one of the kids was telling me. A little girl quite seriously told me that I shouldn't say that- it was bad. Well what did I do but say it again three seconds later because I was so flustered by being told by a 5-year old!
 I did catch her later on that day calling a boy, "sexy pants," so now we understand each other a little better!

  So far there have been quite a few ups and downs, but it is true that the little things can save the day. There are a few students just learning English, and when they get excited to share their new words and sayings, it feels like they're learning something after all!

That's where I'll leave it for today. 
  I've got lots of prep work to do after spending the morning observing another Kindergarten room in a town nearby, and I'd like to get started on a bulletin board-story about Curious George and Clementine (our classroom sock monkeys- thanks Pat!) and possibly begin writing a story about a hero...

More on that another time,
Thanks for reading!


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