Let School begin!!!!
School Day #1 was FANTASTIC!!!!!! Kaye picked us up at 7:00 this morning and as my school, Smith Elementary, is closer to our humble abode, I was the first one to be dropped off. As we are pulling up to the building, another teacher is walking up and Kaye gets very excited. She jumped out of the car and gave her a hug and introduced me with the biggest smile on her face! The teacher then walked me into the building, welcoming me the entire way! She was rummaging in her bag to get her keys, as the building is locked before students arrive, and my cooperating teacher was walking up the stairs and let us in. He then walked me to the principal’s office and Sue welcomed me to the school! We sat down and discussed my goals for this week as well as the semester, and then gave me a tour of the school. Luckily, it is three floors and each floor only has one hallway so it was fairly easy to try and remember as we walked around. I met as many staff members as we could find and everyone was so welcoming!! Sue then walked me to my classroom and I was shown where to put my things and where my desk is. That’s right, I get my own desk and computer!
The school day was a little rough, but when isn’t a Monday rough? I was told that the students were a little off today and that hopefully tomorrow would get back to normal. I am in for an interesting and great year! There are about 21 students on the case load from grades 1-6. The classroom has two teacher desks, a Smart Board, a play area with legos and tiny couches and a bean bag, a wall of cabinets, and three work areas. There is also a sink with a drinking fountain as well. My schedule does not include bus duty, lunch duty, or recess duty, but I know that the paraprofessionals have some of those. There are 4 1/2 (one only comes in the afternoons) paraprofessionals in the classroom, which I think is great!! Most of the day, the paraprofessionals are out in the classroom for inclusion support while my cooperating teacher and myself stay in the classroom to work with the students who are to receive services in the resource room.
The teacher work day technically ends at 2:40, but we stayed until a little after 3:00 today going over expectations and things. I also started cleaning out my desk, as it is FULL of unnecessary papers. Thank goodness for recycling because that would have been a hefty stack of wasted paper and I only halfway finished!
I know that it is only the first day, but I really feel like I will grow to love my time at Smith Elementary. The atmosphere is so incredibly positive! Everyone is extremely nice! I have only heard positive things from the staff! I can only hope that this is not just the “honeymoon phase” and that this is simply the actual atmosphere of the school. I am so happy I made the decision to student teach overseas!!!!!