Friday, September 5, 2008

Whirlwind First Week of School

It has been a whirlwind first week of school. I told Randy, our principal and friend, that this is the one of the best first weeks of school I've had in memory. Very little stress, a good deal of sleep (I'm a know insomniac around the building), twenty-seven wonderful kids (hope I'm still saying that a month from now), new math curriculum, and a wonderful new toy....a smart board! I love it!

My classroom is looking great and the kids are adjusting to a new set of 5th grade behavior standards called....manners. It is absolutely wonderful to hear these kids saying yes sir, yes mam, please, may I, thank you Mr. Vitali, etc. Considering the fact that the majority of them were totally clueless, and thought I was nuts at the beginning of the week. Our entire fifth grade team is stressing this a great deal and it is having an impact. We are even getting comments from other staff about our student's polite behavior. Even the Hennepin County Library said they were impressed with the kind and respectful behavior of our kids. Kudos to us and them!

Think Different! We'll be doing some fun learning activities about people of influence from around the world.

Of course, I love to have a fun with the kids. Pick a number and get in line. Then there is reading student papers and every once in a great while I'll pull out one of my favorite stamps.

This of course is intended for only the hardiest of students who have a good sense of humor and very high self-esteem. It's a good deal of fun and they actually love it because they know that only the finest papers get this stamp. I've even used it on a couple of papers sent us by our principal. Damn good thing he has a good sense of humor.

This week I pulled a first, but it wasn't really surprising for me because I have been known to do some rather unusual things.

All week long I've been getting to my room between 6 and 6:15 in the morning. This means getting up at 4:30 to take Bella for a walk and have a coffee before leaving for school. Of course it also leads to some tiring days which will only increase when I start commuting several days a week.

Anyway, I was so excited, keyed up, and nervous the first day of school that I totally forgot to put on my shoes that I keep under my desk at school. So I'm walking my kids out to the buses at the end of the first day and Randy (our principal) says..."Hey! Vitali, aren't we looking casual on the first day of school. I didn't know it was Jimmy Buffet Day." I liked it so much, that I wore them nearly all week, and if I could pull it off I would wear them all the time. It can be hard making that transition from summer back to school.

I'm really excited for the school year. I love the school I teach at, my colleagues, and my kids. Not many people can get up for work everyday saying that. My only hope is that this is still the case six months from now or even six weeks. Things can change.

On the down side of things, our levy referendum is being put to the voters in the community yet another time. The vote is next Tuesday and last time, only 38 percent of the registered voters in our district actually got out to vote. That's pretty sad. If it doesn't pass, next year may not be so much fun. I'm praying it goes through because this school and our kids deserve it. As for me, I'm happy with what I get paid. We need the money to operate facilities and keep class sizes somewhat manageable.


Ali B. said...

The stamps, the shoes... all great stuff. Way to keep the humor alive! Do you have any class pets? I'm actually considering a hermit crab even though they are very creepy & my cat might enjoy it a little TOO much during breaks. :|

Vito said...

Had a hamster way back when and lost it. Custodians found it months later. Need I say more?

We also did nutrition experiments one year with those cute little white lab rats. That too did not have a good ending. Thus ending my attempts at having any classroom pets.