Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First Day Teaching

If I ever write a book about the first years of teaching, this will be my opener:

I had dreamed of teaching my ENTIRE life, from the time I was five and lined up all my stuffed animals, my brother, and my neighbor (she always wanted to play "Hospital;" today she's a nurse!). You can imagine how excited I was the first day of my first job in first grade! Oh man, I had everything planned, backup assignments, extra activities, etc. I hit the kids hard with management and procedures from day one, telling them what to do when they finished their work.

"When you finish," I said, "you may either do a math center or read a book."

One of my students refused to do either and continued to frustrate me that day, so I finally said to him, "Just go get a book and RELAX!"

He agreed, sat down, spread the big book open in the middle of the floor and yelled across the room,


Oops...I think I learned more from him that day than he learned from me that year.

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