The First Week.

Dear friends, I made it through my first week of being a teacher.

On my own.

All by myself.

In DURHAM.

I’m feeling pretty good about this. My kids are awesome, hilarious, and hard workers (I wanted to cry tears of sheer joy when we spent a solid 20 minutes just WRITING SILENTLY in our journals on Friday). We have a little bit of a problem with talking when the teacher is talking and getting too loud when we get to talk, but I think that will be alleviated once our schedule starts getting more structured, which is next week. I had this kind of open time after lunch/recess/Connect (that’s what Parkwood calls their specials classes like music and art — I’m still having a hard time with that) in the afternoons, but I’m going to start teaching social studies during that time next week.

I think the hardest part for me was how long my days were — I was at school until 7pm or 7:30pm every night, and that really took a toll on me. Actually, it took such a toll on me that I got sick. Then, since I was sick, I was getting tired a lot faster and I couldn’t really breathe out of my nose and my read alouds sounded horrendous (I’m so embarrassed, Julie Justice). Despite my ailment, I pushed through as best I could.

Thursday evening after school I was really starting to feel bad, so I was extra excited to go home, but my vehicle decided that it’d be a good time to NOT START. Melanie had to take me home and she brought me to school the next day (and we hit up Dunkin Donuts for our Friday ritual — it really worked out rather nicely). Fortunately, dad was coming through Durham from Richmond and was able to get it to the garage for me, so then Brian took me home and here I sit in my apartment — sick and carless until next week.

The added stressors of being sick and not having a working vehicle really weighed me down, but ultimately as far as school and my students are concerned, I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve got some really neat kids (and by neat I mean I will have fabulous stories to share) and am getting pumped about the curriculum (nerd problems)! My third grade team is amazing (shout outs to Melanie, Elizabeth, and Jewel — you ladies are the best!) and I think once we get into the swing of things with planning, life will get a lot easier and my days will get shorter.

There were so many highlights to this week — one of my kids made me a “get well soon” card since she knew I was sick. I have the best time when I’m talking with them, especially in one-on-one situations. Sometimes I really feel like I’m making a difference in their lives, or at least I feel like I have the potential to do so. That is just the most incredible feeling ever, right up there with seeing kids do something you taught them or show that they remember things from the days before. Talk about satisfaction.

I’m really glad I have this long weekend to recover from this cold or whatever I have, because I’m more than ready to be back at 100% for next week. We’re talking about maps, asking and answering questions while reading, how to choose “just right” books, and place value. I want them to realize how powerful it is to learn, and I think that’s definitely do-able.

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