With week #1 coming to an end last Friday, it started to become obvious that the students were feeling more comfortable in my classroom. I was starting to get to know the "real" student. The quiet, polite, obedient little darlings of day one were changing.
Now, as all teachers know, this can be a very good thing or a very bad thing.
I noticed my voice needed to be a tad bit louder at times to get their attention. But on the positive side, it was 2 1/2 days of school before I had to utilize the well-known counting backwards: "5-4-3-2-1" to get the class to quiet down. Heck, I only had to count down to 3 before I had complete and utter silence.
I watched them veer out of line as we walked the hallways. Where on Tuesday and Wednesday, I hardly needed to turn around and check (for I knew we looked like a mother duck with her ducklings following behind in a perfect row), by Thursday, things had changed. One little rebel even walked backwards. But on the positive side, not one student jumped up to try and touch the top of the doorways, ran into the walls, or fell down.
I heard them laugh a little too loudly at my silly jokes and talk more amongst themselves when they should have been listening or working. On the positive side, I love watching them make new friends and getting to know each other. I love that I can have fun with them and kid around. Their little conversations are always amusing.
And, as I was getting to know the students, they were also getting to know the "real" teacher. I told them I expected a lot from them this year. I reminded them that we had lots to learn and sometimes it wasn't going to be easy. I informed them that this year one of my goals was to keep us all in a positive frame of mind.
"How are you going to do that?" challenged one little heckler.
"I'm not going to do that - WE are going to do that," I explained.
As expected, they all beamed. Kids love when you feed them with confidence.
After all, let's face it. Being positive is natural for kids. Through their little eight year old eyes, most things look happy and bright. School is fun. I didn't tell them that they would be helping me stay positive every day by just being the "real" them. They are going to be the little sparks that keep the flame lit.
So, all in all, I'd say it was a sensational first week of school.
Let's just hope the little sparks don't engulf their teacher in flames.