Thursday, September 07, 2006

First day of kindy

Want to get down some thoughts about the first day but also conscious that I should be using this time to better prepare for the second day, so hopefully this will be brief.
I got up at 5am this morning to fit in a quiet time and a run before school. 5am is not early enough. I made it there just in time, but didn't have any time in my classroom to prepare for teaching. I had done most preparation yesterday, however I prefer some time to get my head around what I'm doing.
I met up with my class and we had a fairly good morning. School starts at 8:20am and goes through until 3:00pm with no real standard times for eating. Teachers supervise throughout this time. So, as you don't really get a break (except for when someone takes the class for art, music or French) it is vital to have EVERYTHING organised at the beginning of the day. For those of you who know me, this is not my strength. I am used to collecting materials and photocopying throughout the day.
Anyway, the morning was good but filled with the standard cheery kindy teacher voice explaining how wonderful our routines are and just how we do them, and making it sound like an adventure at Disney World! The kids bought it.
Then we threw in a trip to Central Park for lunch. "Wow," you say, "how cool. Lunch in Central Park." But as it turns out, it is even more difficult to walk 15 kindergarten children to Central Park than it is to walk the dog! They wanted to look at the buildings and some had very little concept of a line. As they had to carry their lunch boxes, they struggled a bit. Crossing at the streets is pretty difficult too - the lights change quickly so there is no room for error.
By the time we got there, ate and cleaned up, it was time to go back to school. So the kids didn't even have time to play - poor dears. One little girl tripped over and grazed her cheek when running back from the bin. And one of my boys threw a tanty because he didn't get to hold hands with the partner he wanted (his fingers were coated in chocolate and he hadn't proven to be the most respectful of students throughout the day).
By the time we got back to school I was well and truly ready for rest time. We dumped our lunch boxes, grabbed rugs and lay down. Kids took off their shoes and really got into rest mode. I turned out the lights and tried to put on a fairytale story but the cassette player wasn't working. I think it must have been something to do with the lights being off because it worked again when the lights were on!
The little girl with the grazed cheek came back from the office with an ice-pack but was in quite a bit of pain. Being a Christian school, we prayed for the little girl but before long she was crying (not wailing - Chapman staff) and couldn't be settled. My phone had no signal and I couldn't leave the class to take her up to the office again. I decided to send her up with a responsible boy (still wasn't sure he'd make it up two flights of stairs and find it okay - but he did). We packed up the classroom (another drama in itself with loose shoes, lunch boxes and rugs to be folded) and then finally I took them to art and had a bit of a break.
Kindergarten is always such hard work. I guess I had just forgotten! Having said all that, they really are a great group of kids.
The day improved again at about 6:30pm as I was walking home from the subway. I bought myself something I cannot name or even really describe that was fatty and cheap. I also bought myself a 75c Frosty cone. The streets were hustling with people and there was plenty to see and make me chuckle.
Now, to prepare for tomorrow...


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