Monday, August 25, 2014

I survived!

Well, the first day of school is in the books! I adore my firsties already, and I know that I'll just grow to love them more and more as the year goes on. I started off by reading "The Night Before First Grade," which gave us a chance to talk about some of our worries. Took them on a quick building tour since they've never been in the lunch room, etc. Read "Wemberly Worried" and did a super cute craft and writing prompt. They're free and by my blogging friend Wendy. Love them. Had a fire drill. Started my math morning work pages. Got through the first page of math readiness in our math series.

Overall, it was a really good day. Really, it was.

I just can't stop thinking about something another teacher said about the key to happiness. She wasn't trying to be philosophical or anything, but she was talking about a study she had recently read. Literally, scientists found that the key to happiness is lowering your expectations. That's it.

Hold the phone. I was both intrigued and upset by the comment. Not upset that she'd said it, but that somebody proved it. In order to be truly happy, I've gotta go in expecting the worst? You've got to be kidding. But then I started thinking about it. 

I was super stressed today. I'm always super stressed on the first day of school. "Why are you getting out of your seat? You want to go to the bathroom NOW? How did you lose the nose from your craft?! I've told you 12 times to put your chair on the floor."

You get the point. We've all been there. At least, I hope we've all been there. Please tell me I'm not alone in this department.

My thought is this... I always go in to the first day of school remembering where I got my littles to at the END of the previous year. So it's always a bit of a rude awakening when I see just how needy they are. And I kept thinking about that statistic about lowering your expectations. I refuse to admit that it's true, but I do need to remember this... Those kids are still kindergartners when I get them. We haven't had time to teach the policies and procedures yet, so of course they're going to ask to do things they aren't normally allowed to do. These things will come. They always do.

Patience. I need patience. As I teach, they'll get it. I know they will. But on the first day, I forget that. Not that I'll lower my expectations. I refuse to do that. I hold those kids to SUCH a high standard and they learn to meet it. But I do need to learn to be more patient with them as they learn my routines. It will come, and I'll be fine.

It will come, and I'll be fine. Maybe if I say it over and over, I'll get there!

Please tell my I'm not the only teacher who struggles with this? I feel like, especially at the primary level, it's such a surprise at the beginning of each year, but you think I'd be getting used to it??

Daily 5 boot camp starts tomorrow. Day 1 read to self. I literally live for this. The independence that's coming our way is my motivation. I'm pumped.
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Stephanie Seigel said...

Hi Andrew,
You are NOT alone! I am always amazed at how my firsties are such lttles when they show up! It is such a shock to the system EVERY YEAR, isn't it? I am two weeks in, though, and it is really starting to get easier. :) Don't lower those expectations, just allow for some relaxing, fun times, too, and fix yourself a little refreshment when you get home! :)
Stephanie from First Grade Bangs

KeepCalmAnd LoveFirstGrade said...

You are brave starting Daily 5 already!! I always hesitate because I'm too nervous and maybe I'm waiting too long to start! Hope your year is going great!1
Keep Calm and Love First Grade

Anita said...

Hi Andrew,
I'm so glad I happened to find your blog. I am a Library Officer at a primary school and it really is a different world working with children. Glad your first day went well and it sounds like a strange time of the year to start the school year as over in Australia, our school year starts in February....that probably sounds weird to you. Lol. Thanks for all the inspiration you have given me with your display ideas, they're super.
Cheers, Anita.