I know I say this every year, but I don’t think there is a more challenging job than the job of a Kindergarten teacher on the first day of school. Not that I think teaching is harder than other careers, but because of the fear of the unknown!! You never know what you are going to get on the first day! The first few months of Kindergarten are always rough; setting rules, guidelines, boundaries and learning how 23 five year olds can work together peacefully, but that first day is almost indescribable.
Sometimes it is hard to determine how the school year will turn out judging on the just the first day of school, but if today is any indication, I think it is going to be a really great year!
We always ask for help from teachers at the school who don’t have their own homeroom to tend to. We call for help for the “runners, the peelers and the criers.” We explained to a new teacher at school today that we often really have to do those things! Since parents don’t enter the building with their kids (which is always for the best,) it sometimes means we will have tears, (not just from the kids) or need to peel children off of their parents as they cling to them or even the occasional child who tries to run away instead of entering the school. Today, we had none of that.. Everyone walked in with a smile on their face and the entire day ran pretty smoothly.
My favorite part of today was our Magic Playdough. I do this every year with my classes. Some years it works better and is more convincing to the kids than others. This was one of those years. As I told them about how the playdough only changes colors if we are going to have a magical year and that they had to wish super hard for that, they all squeezed their eyes shut and began wishing out loud about how much they wanted to do in Kindergarten and how much fun it would be. It was all so sweet and innocent. Their eyes shut, their little voices whispering their wishes, (which aren’t quite whispers in Kindergarten,) had me enthralled as I snapped photos of them. The only one who might be disappointed was the little boy who wished the same thing over and over again, “I wish I could turn into a tiger.” I had to tell him that it would only come true if it was a wish about Kindergarten and he seemed content with that. Of course, all of their playdough turned colors and their squeals of delight made our day end on a high note!
I am looking forward to a really great year!! 179 days to go!