The First Day of School

What’s to say.  It went pretty well.  We got nothing done really, they don’t listen, they won’t stay put, they can’t walk in a line,  they don’t answer when you say their name. Normal kindergarteners on the first day of school.

Why would you give a kid one name on their birth certificate, then spend the next 5 years calling them something else, and then not even teach them their last name?  And spelling, you can tell which parents know something about phonics  They would be the ones whose children have names spelled aproximately the way they sound. Who spells Toby this way, Toba? (not the real name, but the vowel example on the end is accurate) (correction, the vowel spelling at the end is actually with an “E” instead of an “A”, the clerk in the office did a typo, so that rant was all for nothing).  I have one little Hispanic girl who I can’t pronounce her name correctly,  I HEAR it, and my ears THINK I’m reproducing the sound accurately, but it is clear by the looks on her face  that I am not.  I can not reproduce that rolled “R” sound.  After struggling with her name, when her mom picked her up, I told her mom I was having trouble saying her name right.  The little girl had been listening to me, she told her mom, “He can’t say the “R”.

I’m ready for bed.  It’s 7:30.

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11 thoughts on “The First Day of School

    • I have a two one hundreds charts that I have modified and combined to do the 180 days of school. It was almost painful to place that printed number 1 in it’s pocket today…. In my dreams I’m fluent in Spanish…. Have you ever read “The Barking Mouse”? Kindergarteners love it. It’s got some Spanish in it, I can say MOST of it……

  1. Glad your first day was relatively uneventful. I came back from two days of PD to find I now have 38 kids! My principal put a call into the central office to ask about going half-day. We’ll see…

    • Uneventful for me, more or less, but the lady next door had a meltdown in the afternoon. She was hired last year a month into the school year and missed the first day of school. We tried to get her ready, but she really had no clue. Mid-afternoon, during prep, she spent 50 minutes crying. Wasn’t much help. She is a good teacher, she just had never experienced the first day of kindergarten. Oh, and she has 20 boys and 7 girls. I sometimes wonder what they are thinking in the front office.

  2. I am also a kindergarten teacher. A friend of mine recently referred to coaching 4 and 5 year olds in soccer as “herding cats”. As I also just experienced the first day of school (this year a K-1 combo)that has become my favorite phrase.
    Yesterday was exactly like herding cats! Even the first graders, many of whom I had last year who successfully navigated walking in line, transitioning from activity to activity, etc., looked at me like I was speaking some never-heard-of-foreign-language.
    Yep, just call me the cat herder. At least for the first few days.
    Love your blog!
    D.

  3. I cried during my break on the first day of school when it was my first year of teaching. Yesterday was the first day of my eleventh year. I had fantasies all day long of running out of the classroom and down the hallway and out to the parking lot and never coming back.

    Today was day two. The improvement between day one and day two is a hundred fold. Always. That’s what gets me through it.

    • Day two was hugely different here as well. I got through the entire morning of my lesson plans. It was almost like the second month of school or something. They were terrific. Things deteriorated in the afternoon when they started to get tired but we had a great morning.

  4. I had the BEST college professor ever!!! She said “If there is any way you can manage to volunteer at school for the first three days, do so. It will make all the difference in the world to your education.” I volunteered in K for the first three days and was so, so thankful. It opened my eyes, helped me understand more about teaching, and prepared me for the fateful day when I had to face MY first day of K! LOL I think “first day training” should be required of all education majors, and it should be done at an actual school site because there is no way on earth to just describe it!! 🙂 Herding cats does come close.

  5. Herding cats is one way to think of the magic we kindergarten teachers do.

    The image that comes to my mind is taking a cloud of butterflies and teaching them to move like schooling fish.

    How do we do it? I have no idea. But after 29 years in the business, somehow we do it.

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