Well, it it almost time to start! The door is decorated, the pencils are sharpened, planners are labeled, and this afternoon I met most of my new students and their families. I have 23 on my class list, and 16 of them are boys! Oh. Wow! So many cuties -- some hiding behind mom, others bouncing around the room -- looks like it's going to be a busy year. I am eager to see how they all work together.
Just a year ago, I had a different group of little strangers, but before long we were all a community of learners. It made me a little sad to see their names on desks in the first grade rooms. And I loved it when many of them stopped by my room today to say hello and give me a hug. I miss that group of sweet kids.
But now I have my room ready to welcome a new class of little strangers, and I am wondering lots of things. Will that little boy who was hiding behind his mom be able to let go without tears? Will the bouncy one be able to sit still long enough to learn? Who will be the first to write a sentence or read words? How many will already know how to write their names and count to 20? Will I be able to inspire them to get excited about reading and writing? And will I ever get them to all be quiet at the same time? And, most importantly, will we become a community of learners who love each other?
I am praying for them, and thanking God for one more opportunity to make a difference in these little lives. It has been such a privilege to teach kindergarten for the past 10 years, and since I expect to retire after this year, this time is especially precious -- knowing this is the last time I will be teaching kids to read and write and do so many things. And on the evenings when I come home and collapse on the couch, tired to the bone -- I hope I still remember why I continue to teach! Right now, I can hardly wait to start introducing them to my favorite books and songs -- I love seeing their eyes light up when they realize that they can actually read a book by themselves. And I love seeing their amazed parents -- I have the best job in the world!( but I will have to remind myself of that for the next few weeks -- the first days of kindergarten are TOUGH!) Prayers are appreciated as we all adjust to school!