Tomorrow will mark the end of the first week of the 2012-2013 school year, and I am really enjoying the class. Last year I began the year at Mary Esther as a long term substitute for a teacher out on maternity leave.After the first nine weeks I was hired for a "split" class at Eglin of 3rd AND 4th graders. It was really tough at first and never easy. But I gave the kids everything I could, and I'll remember them forever.
This year I am just teaching third grade. I'm thrilled to have sixteen students that I get to see learn and grow.
You come into the classroom every morning and look at their chairs, knowing that they'll be there in an hour or so expecting you to lead them to learn, encouraging them to push past where they are and move forward - always forward.
This week has been a lot of introducing procedures, explaining how we do things, and rehearsing skills we will use all year. The last two days I have introduced some work designed to assess where the students are now, so I can work to put together plans that will meet each of their needs. We've done some work in Science, Math, Reading, and Writing. As a result I am beginning to have an idea of who might need some help catching up as we launch next week. We'll get them all where they need to be by the end of the year.
Yesterday Bunny and I got the news that the grandchild our son and daughter-in-love are expecting a BOY! It was right before the bell rang to start school and I saw it pop up on the phone "It's a Boy!" and I blurted it out. Then I had to explain what it was about. All the kids just grinned.
We'll have more of those moments this year where our family lives spill over into our school family. Kids bring it all to school with them. Most of them are military dependents and have parents who either have been deployed or will be. They've all lived at other locations. They've all had to leave friends behind. They'll tell me about new puppies, rabbits and fish. I'll hear about movies and video games. By the end of the year we'll know a lot about each other.
I look out at them and want them to have the best year ever. I can see my own sons when they were in third grade and now look forward to my grandson heading to third grade someday. I want him to have a teacher that will do whatever it takes to make sure their students succeed. Someone like me.
So the year begins with a smile and a prayer that God will give me everything I need to make this the best third grade class in the history of Eglin Elementary.