Day three done! I had a REALLY hard time last night....I let myself fret about a situation that may not even change and I was physically ill over it. Alas, I gave it to God and asked him to bless me and my students and help my district make the decision that is best for everyone. If that means kids get moved around, I am not going to be able to change it. And it certainly wouldn't be fair for me to hold it against the kids and not be the best teacher I can be for them. So I had to force myself to pray on it and just let it go. What will be...will be.
But...can I just say this?
I HAVE HAD THE BEST THREE DAYS OF TEACHING! Oh my goodness. This teeny class is an absolute DREAM. Yes, I have a couple who have potential to "go there"...but please. Let's be honest. I am SO not afraid to embrace my "West side" (sidenote: our school is on the west side of a big city and we tend to have an attitude problem haha -- I went to school there of course so I learned it back in the late 80s *wink*). They know I will not put up with their nastiness and will set an example of them if need be. It isn't because I enjoy being a jerk to other people's children...it is because my job is to TEACH, not deal with the attitude of a 9 year old who thinks they are 30, you know what I'm talking about?
Mr. 4th Grade and I decided this year, knowing we had some friends coming to us this year who need a lil extra tough-love, that we were going to hit it from the moment we started and just get the procedures down, get the naughtiness curbed and move forward. I have been SO pleased with these friends! They have really taken it well and are doing awesome. I know it's all about structure. When there is a lack of structure, kids misbehave. When they know the expectation is the same from Day 1 to Day 175, they usually shape up.
Yesterday at the end of the school day, I asked my friends (all 16 of them!) how many of them were sad when they saw I was their teacher because they thought I was mean? I also asked them to be honest because I already knew the answer. All but my new kids (new to our school) raised their hands. Then I said, "and now that you've been with me a couple of days, how many of you realize I'm actually quite nice?" Every hand went up except my one friend who has zero self control and probably does think I'm mean because I'm on his case all the time. :) It is hilarious how their perception is so different when they've only ever seen me at recess or in the hallway when I tend to the be Rule Police.
Today we were sitting at the carpet (and boy is there a TON of room at the carpet when you only have 16 friends haha), working on an ELA activity. I said something about how I don't like to yell at kiddos and that its really in their best interest to do what I ask because we'll get so much more done and have more time to have fun. One of my little guys turned to his neighbor and said, "yeah, it's nice not hearing our teacher yell all day like last year". That kind of broke my heart that his perception was that his 3rd grade teacher just yelled all the time but I also know that has been an issue as every time I have taught 4th grade at my school (3 times now), the kids always tell me one certain teacher just yells at them :( How sad.
I'm almost afraid I'm dreaming--that this is way too good to be true. But gosh I am going to embrace it and love it as long as I can (and continue to pray it doesn't change). It is WONDERFUL and we have already made some good progress since our class is so teeny. Would you believe me if I told you I ALREADY started my stations?? The THIRD day of school! I am doing them a bit differently this year but still....I never would have dared do them this early before.
As many negative things as I heard about this new group of students, I've really been enjoying them. They are, for the most part, very sweet and I think I can really do well for each of them this year.