Thursday, February 16, 2012

judgy wudgy was a bear

i had visions of grandeur when i requested the move to first grade. images of crayons and story time and a class pet. holidays and singing. happy kids. eager minds watching me. listening to me. loving me.

i loved my first grade teacher. i loved first grade. my tired, tired mind remembers a lot about first grade. the colorful classroom. calendar. class jobs. name tags for every month {i may or may not still have them}. zero the hero. the Where the Wild Things Are unit. our entire classroom was transformed into a magical jungle.

oh i loved first grade.

and my teacher. mrs. alexander. she drank coffee and ate chocolate. {when i 'played' school i would do those very things... } she had long red painted nails. brown curly hair. bright eyes. i loved the way she talked. the way she smiled. i loved the way she wrote on the overhead projector. i loved her. we named our doberman after her... allie.

she was my first school experience that i can remember clearly. she made me want to be a teacher.

a few years ago i moved to my current school. the classrooms remind me of fishbowls. when you walk down the halls you can see right into most rooms. i clearly remember looking in on a first grade classroom a few years back and judging.

judging a grade i had never taught. judging the teacher for what i saw. judging an entire scene from a quick observation. it looked crazy to me. and i so pompously thought... 'oh, it would never look like that in MY classroom.'

and now... it does.
{a little bit of karma for being a lot o' bit judgmental}

that seemingly 'crazy' room is just the reality of six year olds. 28 of them putting their papers in cubbies. stacking chairs {while i watch nervously hoping and praying nobody loses an eye}. it's just how they read aloud. how they help each other spell. how they pass out pencils, fight over erasers, and use crayons. it's how those tiny bladders have no room. and how they thrive on attention, love, and praise.

it's how they tell you they like your hair during the math test and poke holes in their desk buddies. {cardboard dividers so they can't copy during a test} it's how they get to the rug and leave the rug. it's how they throw a fit and cry and say sorry. and the way they compliment a friend on his last day in our class.

they are teeny tiny humans learning and growing and watching. i must be quick to praise and slow on the sarcasm. i am adjusting. i am striving to meet their needs. mold them properly.

i am adjusting my teaching style. i am modifying my expectations. i am building and stretching and toning every patient bone in my body.

the maturity difference between first graders and third graders feels light years apart. how can they change so drastically in two years? it must be measured exponentially.

and my favorite first grade quote thus far:
'but i might be allergic. can you check those animal crackers for eggs, peanuts, augmentin, and benadryl?'

1 comment:

  1. I do hope it wasn't my crazy room you were looking at! But wait is that why I cover my windows! hee hee