Back in the Classroom Term One 2012

Monday 23 January 2012

Oh yes – I am back!   I have been dying to  blog about my new year in the classroom but life is happening and it has been crazy! Not that I am complaining – I am loving every minute – there is just so much going on and keeping up is a challenge.

As I have blogged before, it was never my intention to get back into full time teaching – but then this happened and here I find myself the teacher of 31 little princesses for at least another year.  Everyone I tell that I am back teaching retorts with the same words – Are you insane –

Well, in this job, perhaps you have to be – but who wants to be normal anyway – a little insanity goes a long way to helping one have an interesting life – At least I’m not bored!

Every year there is something new an innovative at my school to  inspire us. This year we are gearing ourselves to making a digital difference – we are preparing our children for the future and to do this we have to get them aware of all the digi-stuff out there – Google, Facebook, Ipads, Kindles, smart phones and the rest.   Access to the internet must be easy and the children must be trained from a young age how to use what’s out there in an educationally sound way.

I am very excited about this because I am a digigran of note and my husband tells everyone that my computer is an extension of my body and has to be surgically removed if it needs to go in for any kind of repair or upgrade!.  I just live technology and all it has to offer.  When I heard that we were pushing digi learning I was thrilled and expected an interactive board to be installed in my classroom forthwith! Some classes might get them but I doubt mine will be one of them – sigh!  But never mind – I wait with excited anticipation to see how this exciting year of digi awareness will unfold. Whatever happens – I for one am ready for it.

Believe it or not this is the first time in my long and chequered career that I have actually started off a Grade 1 class.   I have taken over a class from early in February to the end of the year and that was indeed a rewarding experience – but that was in the nineties and Break Through to Literacy was the rage and I loved it and couldn’t believe the miracle that happened before my eyes when the little mites began to read.  Now I have to get with the Thrass programme and teach in a completely new way.  Am I up to it? I think so – I believe kids learn in spite of their teachers and the methods employed – As long as they’re enjoying the process – they will learn – and boy are my girls enjoying the process – they can teach this old gran a thing or two!

Each Grade 1 class has an assigned colour – mine being pink so on the first day of school I dressed in  which went down very well with the fairy princesses – pink being the favourite colour of every real girl.   The parents brought their precious ones to the hall where they were entertained by the gap students and played on balancing boards, batted balloons, bounced balls and jumped on mini trampolines until it was time to follow their new teachers to the classroom at 9 o’clock.  Yes, the parents said, their children had all been up and dressed by 5:00 a.m. and begging to be taken to school immediately.   I had to confess that I too had made an early start that Wednesday morning – probably just as excited as they to start thenew year.

Our principal’s words to the newcomers were – “your parents are going to find it very hard to leave you – tell them to be brave and tell them to go home and that you will be just fine!  One of my very confident little ones turned loudly to her parents – You won’t have any problems with me – you can go right now – I’m not going to hang on to you.  But there were one or two others that were a little tearful and nervous about starting their new adventure – but as soon as those moms and dads made the break they were just fine and thoroughly enjoyed their first day.

I thought myself lucky that we were being broken in slowly – the first three day were from 8 to 12, the next week school closed each day at 1.  But wow – did we need that extra time – what a lot there is to do at the beginning of a term.   Staff training and meetings nearly every afternoon, download books to prepare (it takes hours), case histories to read and a myriad of odds and ends to see to.    It has been all I can do to keep up with the pace.

Today was the first full teaching day and I am relieved to report that all went well due to the prior preparation  that was done.   My class are wonderful – I love them to bits and they have settled down so well.  I have some real little characters with the most marvellous idiosyncrasies which keep me on my toes but smiling too.

One amusing little story – My girls had to make a cover for one of their books – “I want lovely vibrant colours ,” I said.   “I’ll do it!” piped up a little voice “Even though I have no idea what vibrant means!”

Choose your words carefully Teacher – they’re only six years old!

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