Monday, September 04, 2006

first day of school!

tomorrow is the first day of school and i'm so excited! i had a so-so vacation - mostly because i am not the type of person who should have so much free time. i'm a protestant, i have a strong work-ethic, my parents were raised during the great depression and instilled in me a drive to work, work, work. so be it.
i got my room all ready and it looks beautiful. i'll take some new pics and attach later.
every year i focus on a new goal in teaching. my goal this year is to be nicer. i have classroom management down pat. i went to catholic school as a child and i learned how to manage kids. they know i'm not kidding around. now i can lighten up a bit, loosen up the reins. teachers all say don't smile until december. isn't that awful? i did it the first two years, but to heck with that. we can have fun while learning.
one of the main reasons i want to be nicer is because it's not easy being a child. i remember when i was a kid i felt so powerless and out of control. i was always so frustrated and generally pissed off as a child. now i embrace being powerless and not having control because i know that god is in charge and i happily relinquish any thought of control over to her. but, back then i was under the rules of my parents, who were not perfect and did not come from perfect childhoods themselves and while they did the best they knew how, i felt unprotected and scared and angry a lot. my students come from other countries (i teach esl) and have a really hard time adjusting to life here. i want to create a safe space for them in the classroom. they spend more waking hours a day with me than with their parents so i need for the classroom to be a place they are happy to be. i can do that, while still maintaining class rules.
i'm pretty much scrapping the idea that to be "good" means to sit still and be quiet. that's no way to learn. and boys just can't do it. nor should they. girls can handle that ok, but it really sucks for boys. they need to be active in learning. active learning is good for girls as well.
i'm lucky to have two vocations.

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