First Impressions

Today marked the students’ first day of school. I’ve been in many placements in different schools, but I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this. My last first day experience in a public school would have been the first day of my senior year back in 1999 (yeah, I’m old). The school where I am currently placed is for students from early childhood to first grade. This meant the students’ arrival was filled with chaos, craziness, and tears, from both students and parents. I spent the first part of the day with three of my kinders, helping out in the classroom. Lunchtime brought along a whole new experience, teachers and aids assist in the managing, supervision, serving, and clean-up during the lunch process. You completely forget how helpless kinders are until you have to help a large group of them get trays filled with food, eat the food, and dump the tray. And then there was the applesauce situation. For some reason the individual servings of applesauce where impossible to open. After assisting in opening a large number of these applesauces, my hands were sticky, and I’d stuck my thumb in more containers of other people’s applesauce than I would ever care to admit. 

After the students finished eating lunch I finally got a brief break to scarf down some of my own food before heading to a meeting. The meeting covered the new crisis response system the school is attempting to impletement. Attempt would be the key word here because it had already been violated earlier that morning when I student was removed from the classroom and sent home (and yes, to my sister’s delight, the incident involved chair throwing). The afternoon flew by and ended with my escorting one of my assigned bus students to his bus (the second was the student that was sent home earlier) and then helping with the all school bus duty. If you want a good time, watch about 200 students all under the age of 8 trying to find their bus or their parents.

I think the day was a sucess. I’m still planning on going back tomorrow, so it couldn’t have went too badly, right?

Things I’ve learned today:

  • Take advantage of free moments to go pee. It is very possible that you might not get another chance to go to the bathroom for a very long time.
  • Applesauce containers were very clearly designed as a revenge for some sort of terrible misdeed done by the staff of my elementary school.
  • A crying kinder will not hesitate to use your shirt as a tissue.
  • Kinder gym class is really, really boring. (Sorry Mr. Gym teacher, but it is)
  • Some parents will not hesitate to point out that they cannot afford to pay for gas to drive to school because they can barely afford to buy their Marlboros (yup, they really will).
  • Always, always carry an extra napkin or two, and some hand sanitizer
  • I really do like teaching and students (really I do)!

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