Saturday, August 30, 2008

One Week Down!!!

Well, the first week is over. It was good, but so tiring and stressful! I am used to sleeping late and then all of the sudden I was waking up at 5:30 and working long, 10-11 hour days. Thursday was Meet the Teacher night, and I was at school for over 14 hours. If you count the commute time, I was gone for 16 hours that day. Ridiculous.

Meet the Teacher night went well, though. I had a good turnout - 13 of my kids' parents came, which is way more than last year. The demographics of my class are different than last year, too though. We did it as a grade level because there are two sets of twins in 1st grade. I did the majority of the presentation, but I didn't mind because one of the other two teachers is new :). Last year when I was new, I didn't do any of the presentation either, because it is hard to teach parents about a program that you are not familiar with yourself!

I think it will be a good year. I have a talkative class and a couple of very high maintenance kids, but they are also very bright. They are far more advanced academically than last year's group was at this point. I am amazed at how much we have gotten through and how much they have actually learned in the first week of school, especially with the behavioral obstacles! The week's behavior highlights include one boy standing on top of the cafeteria table and beating his chest like a gorilla, and the same boy collapsing at recess after hitting a friend because he new he would be in trouble, panting and screaming "I'm a failure! My life is over!" while I carried his stiff body back to the school. This stuff continues throughout every day. Add into the mix a child who constantly pretends to drop things under his desk so that he can climb around on the floor, a girl who is a hypocondriac and thinks she constantly needs to go to the nurse, another girl who bosses everyone around and pushes their buttons, and a class full of kids who insist that they are going to pee in their pants if I do not let them go to the bathroom every few minutes, and you'll have the picture. Just picture me walking down the hall with 20 children following like little ducklings behind me (stepping on each other's heels), while the other two grip my two hands and scream and cry in the front of the line. This is my life in 1st grade. In a couple of weeks two more children will be joining my class for short periods of time throughout the day: yes, that makes 24 kids in total. I'll be getting two boys who are being partially mainstreamed from the behavior classroom. It should be even more interesting then.

Due to the circumstances, I started a new and improved behavior plan to work along with my color change system on Wednesday, and so far so good. It involves pulling "Buzz cards" (my room has a bee theme) each time you need a redirection. After pulling all three of your buzz cards out of the pocket chart, you recieve a color change. You then get to put your cards back in and start over, this time trying to avoid the next color change. The funny thing about it is that I find myself telling the kids things like "Don't make me buzz you," "If you don't stop talking you're going to get buzzed," and "Don't get a buzz." Something about it just sounds weird, lol. The response has been positive so far, though, so I'm encouraged! I love my class, I really do, but there is a lot of work to do to get them to the point where I want them to be.

Kevin and I had plans to go to Bryan this weekend to meet my family at my granparents' house, but due to a number of circumstances we cancelled at the last minute and decided to stay home. I'm kind of sad because I was really looking forward to seeing my family, but at the same time it will be nice to restore my sleep reserves after this week and also get some stuff done around the house! We'll make a trip to San Antonio very soon.

Well I am going to go back to bed, I think. It's time for a nap! Have a great weekend!

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