It’s the first weekend of the school year and it felt good to sleep past four. Though it is almost over, it was packed full of activities and appointments and I am finally sitting down to think and reflect back over the first week and look ahead to the second week and our first break – Labor Day. It seems unfair that we get started with two full weeks; then interrupt it with a four-day holiday for the kids and a three-day break for the teachers – the day after Labor Day is a teacher in-service day.
The next five days will go quickly with all sorts of activities in the classroom and skill and content learning will begin. The first few days of school are for introducing the class, beginning routines, and getting to know the students and allowing them to know me. I teach honestly and from the heart sharing my experiences as a student and a parent. Having ‘lived seventh grade’ last year, I know what happens at home. I’ll get to ‘live seventh grade’ once more, when Olivia gets there and I’ll see it from a female perspective.
I have been working hard to remember my student’s names in all my classes. When I first began teaching, I placed students in alphabetical order on the first day. The past few years I have allowed them to sit where they want and with whom they want. By doing so, I learned whom they cannot sit beside in class, as there has been a bit more off-task conversation than I can allow. I practice their names everywhere I see them – the hallway, the lockers, and in the classroom. I tested my knowledge at the beginning of each class and posted my score for the class to see showing how many names I got correct (without a prompt or hint). By Friday morning, I knew everyone in my first period social studies class. I was missing two names (and faces) in my morning Language Arts block and three in the afternoon block. I am sure I’ll have a bit of regression on Monday morning and again next week after the four-day respite. Later today, I’ll work on seating charts to organize the room and set the tone for learning. They know they’re coming!
At home, it has been busy with scouts and softball and again over the weekend with home chores. Normally, we go to the Friday night football game at the high school. But, the opening game was moved to Sunday morning so it could be broadcast on ESPN2. The Tigers have been successful, very successful over the past several years and currently have a 26 game win streak and two state titles. They’ll be playing the high school they beat in 2009 in double overtime in the state final and who they defeated in last year’s quarterfinals. It should be a good game, but I think the win streak will end.
It has been a great week and I am looking forward to the week to come – at school and at home. Olivia has two softball games this week and is enjoying playing. William and Beth have scouts and she will be rolling out the Wreath Sales 3.0 (the third year of her involvement) and we have two curriculum nights on the same night. I’ll be meeting my seventh grader’s parents and Beth will be learning all about 3rd grade. Friday will arrive before we know it and we’ll take off to close down the cottage for the summer season. Usually, the weather cooperates and it is a warm, sunny, and absolutely beautiful weekend. In the meantime, I have a game to get to and a full day ahead. Making the Days Count, one day at a time and one game at a time!
How do you cope with the change from summer to fall schedules?