Happy Friday! This is my last official weekend of summer. We get kiddos at 8:30 Tuesday morning! I'm SO excited because there are only about 6 kids on my whole list that I don't know. I either had them in 2nd grade or knew them because they were in the other two classes. That is really cool. I got some of my lovely kids back and I'm SO grateful for that.
Our new principal seems to be awesome-sauce so far. I think he is going to bring a whole new level of accountability to our school--for the kids and their parents mainly. This is a very good thing. I work in the inner city and we have a lot of poverty. There are issues that go along with living in poverty in this way BUT I grew up in that very area and went to this very school (well in its former incarnation)...and I rose above that poverty and made something of myself. So I don't believe poverty is an excuse to be belligerent, rude or uncaring. Our new principal seems to very much follow that line of thinking and there were many times in our PD day that my jaw nearly hit the floor because he'd say something and I was like "oh my gosh YES, this is what we need here!" If this guy follows through on even a quarter of what he said he'd like to bring to our school, it will be a whole new (better) world. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things play out.
My room came together so well over the last couple of days I was able to put some time into my room. I'm very pleased with it. I have a few small things to finish (labels and signs here and there) but otherwise it is set for my students to join me in on Tuesday. As I have mentioned previously, we have had some massive shifts in our district this year (including reopening a school they closed 3 years ago) which is what caused the displacements this spring and the mass confusion and overhaul of staffing over the summer. We are not entirely positive which of our students will leave us to attend the reopened school (as that would be their "home school" attendance area). My tentative class list went from 37 down to 28. Five of those 28 are uncertain, however, because their attendance area is actually the reopened school. I figure anything is better than 30 kids in a split grade and I won't have that so I'm safe! :)
My guess is that a couple of those five will probably go to the other school and I'll sit somewhere around 26 students to start with and that is perfectly fine with me. Our 3rd/4th split is sitting at 26 and we plan to keep her there. I advocated that kids NOT be added to that class after the fact like they did to me last year because it's so unfair to do that to someone who has to balance two grades. (Of course the district has also said this year that teaching to the majority grade would be acceptable--which would have been nice for them to say last year!)
All in all, with a few minor tweaks on things in my classroom and preparing for some confusion and upheaval the first few days until the metaphorical dust settles, I think this year is going to be my best yet. I am excited to be teaching a grade that I love and being "home" where I belong.
Enjoy your long weekend, friends! You deserve it (especially those of you who have been in school for a month already)!