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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The first day of term

What a Day! Fun and Exhausting!

Today was the children's first day back to school as year 2s and my first day as a KS1 teacher so the atmosphere was one of both anticipation and excitement. I arrived at school at 8 o'clock but due to my many trips to school over the summer and all of the work undertaken on Inset Day I actually didn't have much to do besides setting up the computerised register and switching on the Smartboard.

After a quick cuppa and our regular morning 'staff briefing' it was time to collect my class from the playground. They stood there in line all shiny shoes and brand spanking new uniforms, buzzing with excitement about all the news they had to tell and the friends to see for the first time in six weeks. The biggest cause of most of their excitement however, was their new bags and lunch boxes which ranged from Moshi Monsters to Monster High and from Batman to Superman. 

Their relevant adults stood their all proud, smiling and I'm certain a little bit relieved at being able to get back into a routine that would finally ease their bank balances after the long, expensive summer. Just in time for a quick goodbye before I led them into their brand new classroom complete with new furniture.

After taking the register, sorting out coats, lunch boxes and water bottles it was time for their first back to school assembly and time, thanks to the head saying we didn't have to stay in to take quick breather. 30 minutes later it was back to class for our 'Good Morning Song', very cheesy but such a hit I can see it becoming a regular feature.

Next they were given 10 minutes to tell their partner two of the best things they did over the holidays. It was lovely to listen to some of the things they were sharing with each other and to see the genuine pleasure in their eyes as they re lived some of their holiday highlights. Then off for break - I made sure they had had milk and been to the toilet before letting them loose on the yard. One of my pupils has Cystic Fibrosis so I have to make sure they have 3 Creons before having milk and a fatty snack, then 4 more Creons before lunch. I never fail to be amazed by some children's absolute resilience and the matter of fact manner in which they handle things. (Oh if only they were all like that!)

The rest of the day consisted of class routines, rules and expectations and a great activity, drawing onto a photocopy of a pair of sunglasses what they had told each other earlier about their holidays.(Another idea from Pinterest) as well as some 'choosing' time. Well they are only 6 bless them!

 The most challenging part of my day however was to keep to the promise I had made myself when agreeing to take a year 2 class and that was 'Immersion' I vowed to help the pupils to become immersed in whatever it is they are doing but also to be involved in that immersion myself and not to be tempted to leave them to it and go off a do all of the thing we teacher have to do every day.

Why immersion you may ask? Simply I think if you want to learn to swim you need to enter the water, you cannot learn to swim in the desert even if you study it for years. Perhaps this link in with my pragmatic style but I also see it as similar to becoming totally immersed in a book, that feeling of being totally lost in the moment, submerged, immersed in another place, time, world. It's pure magic!

Well did I manage it? No not yet, I realised it is not an easy task I am setting myself but I will over the next few weeks, months blog about my attempts at this for me and my class.

In the attempt though I had a very enjoyable but as I said in the title, absolutely exhausting day. Oh and think I may need to ditch the heels if I am going to survive in KS1!!!