I have 24 five-year-olds in my room, some of them have never been to school before! But like I said, they are learning so much everyday, even if we haven't touched on a lot of curriculum yet. Last week was all procedures/rules/expectations and practicing them (about 100 times...) over and over! One boy even started crying because he didn't know why we were sitting on the carpet, lining up, and then sitting back on the carpet about 5 times in a row....guess I forgot to explain that we were just practicing. :-) I finally got into some real teaching this week and it feels wonderful! I love being up at the front of the room being the actual teacher! I have a WONDERFUL assistant every morning and I am lucky to have a paid, high school intern who comes in every afternoon. The other staff members have been extremely welcoming and helpful over the past couple of weeks and it is much appreciated!!
I am nowhere near perfect as far as classroom management, lessons and teaching go, but I am journaling (apparently that's not a word) everyday after work (which reminds me I need to do that!) to reflect on the day and learn from it. It'll be a while before the kids and I have settled into a nice routine/schedule, but we'll get there and I cannot believe the improvement I've seen in all of them since we began last Monday.
I was running in adrenaline/excitement all of last week, and by Friday morning, I could barely get out of bed because I was so exhausted. I never knew how much extra time teachers put in before and after work, but man, I've been working my butt off! My 'teacher brain', as I like to call it, has been going non-stop since I found out I got this job. I can't turn it off. I'm constantly thinking of what I could do better, how I should approach a student, what's a fun way to learn this?, etc. But that's how I'm going to learn and be a better teacher for my students.
I LOVE my job, I go in with a smile on my face everyday, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Just wanted to update you on how the first week and a half has been going. To sum it up: Fun and exhausting! :-)
I'll leave you with a picture my principal took of me the first day (in the afternoon) and sent to my uncle who works in the district, with the caption: "Lol! I told her this was a forced smile...she is feeling super exhausted...the joys of being a first year teacher..."