I WROTE A FANTASTIC blog for day one, but now you will never get to read it because the internet ate it. This is why I can tell you with great conviction that it was amazingly groundbreaking —- no one can prove me wrong. I suppose it is just as well, I had no students the first day of school. We are on 1/2 days this week, and my computer class falls in the afternoon. I do teach reading in the morning but it is FIRST THING and we thought we ought to let students get to know their homeroom before sending them spinning out the door to another class.
I think it is a cruel plot-twist that in the days leading up to school starting, we had lovely breezy mornings, and moderate afternoons. However, as soon as the first day of school hit, we saw 107 degrees. Kids returned to their classrooms dripping with sweat from their 10 a.m. recess. I have end-of-day crossing guard responsibilities, and it was HOT. I never take off my old-lady sweaters that I wear with dresses because of my old-lady, flabby arms, but I was SORELY tempted yesterday during that 15 minute job.
I suppose it is for the best that the interwebs consumed yesterday’s brilliant blog, as I had not meet with any students yet. I was absolutely overjoyed to meet with my reading students this morning. I am so excited to travel this journey with them. I try to start out my classes with really clear intention so I explained my purpose to them; to help them become stronger readers every day. We talked a lot about what that looks like - me celebrating with their success, as well as forging a path forward when they struggle. We played some games and discussed our MUTUAL hatred of homework — their only job for me is to read — all the time and every day.
At the end of class, I asked them what their purpose way — why were they in class. Their answers varied from, “They sent me here,” to “I want to read out loud better” or “I want to read in English”. Then I asked them what they needed from me so that they could be successful, and I loved some of my responses: “I need a minute when I get to class because my brain isn’t ready yet,” and my all-time favorite “I need to read out loud and know they won’t laugh at me.” I love the advocacy and thoughtfulness of those responses. Teaching is such a tremendous responsibility, and understanding what my students need is so crucial.