Submitted by LindaWell, it is now October, and I've officially come up for air from starting the school year. I seem to always forget how consuming school is in the first month, teaching the kids the routines, expectations, and, well, herding cats. I was at the gym a few weeks back, and an older business man (who knew I was a kindergarten teacher) asked me if 'teaching kindergarten was easy'. I restrained myself from giving him a 10 minute tutorial on Common Core, full day kindergarten, high expectations coupled with no financial or personnel support, and so on. Because the truth of the matter, is, I love my job. I work at a fantastic 'think outside the box' school, get to collaborate with neato people like these gals, and I get to dance and sing and laugh everyday.
This year we implemented a full day kindergarten program, and I have to say, it's going well. I have the cutest group of kids, sweet little people with 'normal' kindergarten behaviors. I also have two very special students mainstreamed, one with Down Syndrome, and one with Autism. My class turned out to be the perfect mix for these two - able to ignore behaviors (rather than copying), and never asking why those students get to use things like markers, or squishy balls, or gum. I really love what I've learned through the years adding these special friends to my class. One of the biggest things I've learned, is that what usually helps the special kids, ends up helping everyone. And at my site, we value the concept of everyone having something to contribute, despite their strengths and weaknesses.
Anyone who knows a teacher or who is married to a teacher knows that the first day of school is a big, big day. Any teacher worth their salt has been upgrading their classroom during August, or working on their computer researching and planning. Out in the 'real world', people usually don't understand this. Someone who does is my friend Liz. You may remember her from our antiquing adventures and our summer trip to the Carolinas.