Friday, August 14, 2009
8 am August 12, 2009
Well, look here. I actually did manage to get the classroom ready, and just a half hour before eighteen fresh fourth graders come bounding through the door.
Help me to love each one of them as if they were my own because they are Your own.
Help me to instill in them that school is important, yeah, but listening, loving, learning should be happening all the time.
Help me convince them they are more than a test score or a grade.
Help me find a gift in every child.
Help me to discipline gently, encourage unashamedly, challenge daily.
Help me to laugh often, pat backs as a course of habit, sing lots and loudly, and stop to look at all the blessings in Your world.
This year was a first. I've never taken a picture of my empty, ready for school to begin classroom. I guess because I'm not too fond of an empty class. I really worked hard and cleaning things up and out and was excited by how neat it looked. Neatness is not a strong suit of mine. I'm not sure that expresses it very clearly. Better to say, neatness is not in my vocabulary.
I have this disease. I think my class can not go one minute without something to do. You know when you have a class of eighteen, and you do a twenty minute lesson, one will finish in twelve minutes and three won't finish in thirty-five. I feel bound to provide that twelve minute finisher with some enjoyable learning activity, or life as we know it will combust or something.
Sooooo, my students have multiple games, binoculars with field guides for the birds feeding out the windows, and sixteen art projects like weaving, stitchery, knitting, beading, scrapbooking, paper mache, etc. So, it's messy. Some adults about faint when they walk in my room.
In addition to the yarn and glue and fancy paper and stickers, we're liable to be hatching chicks or growing herbs to make pizza sauce. I don't make my kids sit at their desks for anything except state tests, so there are kids on stools, in beanbags, in my rocking chair, or under their desks. This state of affairs does not bother my students at all. They just walk over and around each other blissfully, however some grown-ups are a little incredulous and don't hestitate to tell me it isn't like any class they were ever in.
It's not like any class I was ever in either. I hated school, so it's my aim to do it differently. I love when they are all over and busy. I love enthusiastic learners.
So, on Wednesday, I was thrilled when the bell rang at 8:30.
And today, at 3:30, I was whupped, but satisfied that we were off to a good start!