Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The children have arrived!!

Today was the first day of school for CPS students. That means my son also started school today. It was a very bittersweet day for me. It seems like a week ago I was taking him for his first day of preschool, and this morning he started 8th grade. 8th grade!!! Good Lord, I'm old! I seriously had to fight back the tears this morning as I drove away. Graduation day will be here in about a minute. OK, enough with that, I'm getting sad again.

So, my babies came today. I already know which ones are going to get to me this year! The funny thing is, out of the 5 that drove me nuts, I had 4 of their older siblings. 2 just last year, 1 the year before that, and the one girl's brother was in my kindergarten about 7 or 8 years ago. That actually helped because I had no qualms about telling their moms exactly what kind of day each had. Usually I tend to sugar-coat behavior reports in the first week or so when the parents ask. I figure the kids need time to adjust to me, the rules, school in general, being away from mom, etc. But, with these 5 little darlings, I'm going to need their moms' help in nipping the behaviors in the bud. Especially because...

We lost our assistants this year (did I already mention that?). Without another grown-up in the room with me, this first month is going to be killer! One of the most difficult things today to get accomplished was going to the bathroom. Sounds silly, I know, but usually one adult would take the girls while the other took the boys. That's partly because our building is old and was built with the girls' bathroom on one end of the hall, and the boys' way on the other end. The other reason was simply because it takes less time to have the class split like that. Today, I had to go it alone, so it took twice as long. Add into that the fact that many of my babies still need help with buttons, zippers, buckles, belts, and so on, and we're talking literally 20-30 minutes just to use the bathroom! We have to do this 2 or 3 times a day. That's an hour or more of instruction time spent on going potty! Hopefully, they'll get in the swing of things by the end of the week. Hey, at least nobody wet their pants today, so that's something.

As a matter of fact, I shouldn't really be complaining because I didn't have any criers, either. Again, sounds silly, but that's one of the biggest problems I have at the beginning of every year. All it takes is one wailer to set off a chain reaction, and next thing you know, you've got a roomful of kids crying. Other than those 5, most of them were wonderful. Just about half of my kids already know me, and vice versa, because I had their siblings. I have to say, it's a nice feeling to know that these parents specifically requested their children be in my room based on what they experienced when their older children were with me. And, it's nice to start the year knowing my parents so well. (Well, look at that. Today's positive item!)

One last complaint - I know I mentioned last week that our lunch period was extended from 20 to 30 minutes. Well, I just found out today that only the KIDS' lunch is extended. Ours is still only 20 minutes! We are to either sit with them for the first 10 minutes, the last 10 minutes, or we can just pick them up 10 minutes early. What kind of crap is that?!?! My partner and I decided we would just stay for the first 10 minutes, since we usually do that anyway just to help the babies. It's hard for them to move through a cafeteria line, trying to juggle their lunchtray without spilling it. So, we figure we'll help them all get settled into their seats, then leave for our 20 minutes. So actually, I suppose we're still gaining 10 minutes, since we've always helped them, and then only had 10 minutes for ourselves.

On another positive note, all but one of my babies was in uniform today, and they all looked so adorable!! I wish I could post their pictures here for you to see. I've been contemplating asking their parents to sign a consent form that would let me do that. I would love to at least post our class photo. I'm going think on that a bit more.

Well, it's time to start the nightly yelling about "get your homework done!" One more reason I love summer vacation. :( Here's today's quote:

Let us put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children.

--Sitting Bull


Christina Shaver said...

I am just picturing a stream of children all befuddled trying to figure out the whole bathroom situation. Too funny!

I'm glad you can be up-front with the parents whose kids are on the active end. Being a parent whose kid is a ball of energy, I'd definitely want the info up front. And you gave each of them a report?????? Oh my God. You are a saint.

Smileygirl said...

I know I was picturing that too and the lunch room debacle with spilled milk on the wobbly trays. Yes, ChiTown girl is definitely a saint.

ChiTown Girl said...

Christina! I was thinking about you and Evan today. I get info daily about various workshops and conferences available for teachers and one came across my desk today about dealing with ADD and ADHD in the classroom. At first I thought I would just forward it on to you via Laura (I figured you could sign up as me if you were interested in attending) but then I thought it probably wouldn't be that helpful yet since Evan isn't in grade school yet. But, I'd be more than happy to send it to you if you're interested.

ChiTown Girl said...

Laura, the next time you come "home," you have GOT to come to school with me for the day!!! It would be quite an experience. I can always use a hand tying shoes, wiping noses and unbuckling belts. :) But, you would love my babies and they definitely would love you. They wouldn't know what to do with you, all fair-skinned and blond! When my nieces come to school with me, inevitably my kids "pet" them, playing with their straight hair, and touching their skin. It's cute.

Christina Shaver said...

I SO want Laura to go to school with you!!!!!!!!! Who knows what that day would be like!

Thanks for offering to send the info on ADHD. As of right now, being in a therapeutic preschool and having therapy up the wazoo, I'm covered...for now. I am dreading the day Evan gets mainstreamed. I just hope he gets a teacher like you.