I Survived — No, Relished My First Week!

With the first week of grade one successfully finished and behind me, I’m looking forward to the Labour Day long weekend. Many words come to mind to describe the past week. Exhilarating. Anxious. Stressful. Tiring. Amazing. And memorable, among others. Perhaps, though, “whirlwind” describes it best.

Thinking back to Monday, the first day of classes, I recall Lisa visiting me in the morning before my new grade one learners arrived in class for the first time. She was kind enough to bring me a cup of coffee to jumpstart my day. No sooner had I taken a couple of sips than the first student arrived. With that, my day began: welcoming families and children, making introductions, exploring the classroom together, touring the school, and getting to know each other. Next thing I knew it was 3:40 and all the children had left for home ??? and I returned to my cup of coffee, still three quarters full! Indeed, a whirlwind day ??? but oh so fun!

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(The above photo shows the Exploration Zone of our classroom ??? with centres that extend language arts and math literacy lessons. See my previous post about the floor plan.)

The children had a lot of fun getting to know each other and exploring our new classroom. We began our week with introductions (creating our own name flags) and sharing about our excitements and hesitations for the new school year. We continued our week by engaging with materials in the classroom and creating personal coat of arms, which we will share at next week’s Meet the Staff barbecue.

Perhaps my favourite part of this first week, after meeting and getting to know the children in the classroom, is learning each and every day. Learning about the age group and their interests and ideas. Learning about my teaching style and how that impacts behaviours in the classroom. Learning about all those things that I had forgotten were new to the eyes of grade one learners (like how recess works and how exciting whole-school assemblies can be when you haven’t seen so many friends for two months. All of this learning has filled out my to-do list for the next couple of days.

Resting today, I’m looking forward to getting back to the classroom in preparation for the next week. Though the pace is feverish, it is also exciting!
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