Okay, it’s like this:
I am having a blast. My kiddos are sweet and fun and, for the most part, eager to learn and follow directions. The Kinder 2.0 season has ended and I feel like they have settled into the routines and expectations and are finally first graders. They know that 2 snaps means, “Nuh-uh!” and straighten up right away, they encourage each other, are self-policing (for the most part) and even remember to apologize when they make an error in judgement. Their fluency is improving, their writing is getting stronger, their math skills are getting stronger, they are making great progress.
That being said, it has taken a lot of hard work to get here.
And all that hard work? Let’s be honest. It’s exhausting.
I want to update more frequently, but when I get enough time to write a post, I get sucked into catching up on the feeds I read or scrolling through Instagram or doing something productive like attempting to cook a meal or clean the kitchen or do some laundry. Or sleep.
So here’s one gem I can share.
We had a stretch of really cold days, and by “really cold” I mean we’d get to school and it would be in the 40’s, but then the afternoons would warm up to the high 60’s/low 70’s, but this is Southern California and people freak out at the thought of actual weather, so the kids would show up dressed like it was a snow day. Long sleeves under their uniform shirts, sweaters under jackets, beanies, gloves, the works. Then the afternoon temperatures suddenly jumped to the upper 80’s and the kids came in from lunch having stripped off as many layers as possible, sweat dripping from their temples, panting and begging for water.
It was on one of these strangely cold morning/hot afternoon days when my Most Enthusiastic Pup came running back from lunch, sweatshirt in hand, long-sleeves shoved up over his elbows, beanie askew. The rest of the class had already filed in and was getting started on the math warm-up, so he knew he was a little bit late. He was yelling that he had left his sweatshirt under the slide and had run back to get it and was being as quick as he could so he wouldn’t get in trouble. I nodded and put the “Shhh!” finger over my lips as I held the door open for him. I could see the sweat glistening on his cheeks as he huffed and puffed his way over.
He got to the bottom of the ramp and sort of hiccup-burped and froze. He looked at me, wide-eyed.
Me, not moving: Hey Buddy! Gonna throw up?
Most Enthusiastic Pup, coming up the ramp, nodding: Yeeeessss…
Me, grabbing the trash can I keep by the classroom door and pushing it toward his chest: Have at.
MEP, panicked: What do I do??
Me, pointing toward the bottom of the ramp: Aim that way and don’t come inside!
He turns away and I close the door behind me. I walk to my desk, fill out a pass to the Nurse, and wait by the door until it is quiet again.
Me, cracking open the door: All done?
MEP, pushing can toward me: Yeah, I think.
Me, shaking my head: Nuh-uh, leave that outside. [Wave pass at him.] Take this and go see the Nurse.
He sets the trash can down and leaves, I close the door and call for the custodian to come empty the trash can and check the ramp to be sure there was no spillage. Meanwhile the rest of the class worked on the warm-up without so much as a clue as to what was going on outside.
And that, friends, is a successful day in first grade.
**Title of post from Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang by Dr. Dre (Feat. Snoop Dogg)