Thursday, August 19, 2010

~First Day of School!~

The First Day of School is a milestone for everyone. No matter how old you are you will always have that anxious feeling and butterflies in your stomach.  Today was a milestone for me as well in many ways. First, it was my last "First Day of School" as a student. Second, it was a taste of what I will be doing for the rest of my life...I hope. And lastly, today nineteen fragile minds were placed in my hands for me to shape and mold (and hopefully not mess up too badly).   I found that I have a lot in common with my students. Beside the fact that I cannot sit for more than five minutes, I also realized that we all are facing new experiences everyday and learning as we go.

I have often wondered why so many children show up to school on the first day clinging to their parents, screaming and crying to not leave them. Granted, walking into the unknown is definitely not the easiest thing to do but Kindergarten is suppose to be fun. Ya know, cookies and rainbows and all you do everyday is nap, color, sing and learn your colors and letters.  I know this is what many of us think but I am sorry to inform you that Kindergarten is not just rainbows and lollipops.  Think about it from a child's perspective...
..........your parents have raised you on their own schedule of lunch and nap times. They have told you never to talk to strangers and to never leave with anyone that you or your parents to not know. Simply, follow mom and dads rules and stay close to your family. Then one day they decide you are going to this place called "School"....what do you do at school? what does it look like? do you get candy? do you get to color, run and play when you want? And who is this "Teacher" person? 
So many questions, and not many answers...that you can understand at this age. But the day arrives and you have a brand new back pack and school supplies as you pull up with your parents to this place..."School" where you will be with a "Teacher" all day that you are supposed to listen to, but you don't know this person which makes them a stranger according to mom and dad. But why are they leaving me with this stranger?.....

In all reality we teach our children to fear everything that school the beginning.  Which is why today I had three of my nineteen Kindergartners crying right as they arrived (and some parents as well). And it is also why many of them asked when their parents would be coming to get them fifteen minutes after being in the classroom.  It is a scary thing, to go to school, but eventually it becomes the "norm" and each year it becomes easier.  Today, I did not only understand that fear but I felt it myself. No I didn't cry, or wet myself as I stood and waited for my students to arrive. Instead, my hands shook, the butterflies in my stomach were on steroids and I would have happily sat in a small corner somewhere where no one could've found me. Although my nerves were getting the best of me and the longer I stood in front of people the more enticing that corner sounded ; I faced my students and their parents with a smile and happy "hellos". But hey,  I'm not going to sugar coat it, school is intimidating at any age. The only difference is that the older you get the more unacceptable it is to wet your pants, so you have to learn that you need to cope...quickly.

All in all, my first day was fun! I have a fantastic group of students that are eagerly waiting for me to teach them anything and everything. After the brief period of "nerves" had vanished I felt as if I were dreaming because right in front of me was everything that I had worked for. It was front of me....and yes once again everything slowed down, the angles sang (only this time I think they were singing the ABC's), there were bright lights and rainbows. I hoped that my whole day would remain that way, but good ol' reality showed up to knock my back down to earth. But honestly, I didn't mind the reality this time...because I got to enjoy the innocent comments of my students, and engage their curiosity with my intelligence (just go with it).  Each day is an adventure, and I can't wait to see what mine will be tomorrow! :)

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