The First Day

Today was the first day of school. For me, it was my first day of school since 2000 that I was not beginning the school year in my own classroom with a new group of students. (I’ve been a full-time instructional coach since last November when I returned from maternity leave.)

Instead, today, I had the privilege of getting to be a part of nine classroom’s first days. While at first I felt as if I were intruding on the “magic” of the first day, I soon fell in love with my new stance as an observer, as another set of hands and pair of eyes for my colleagues, and as someone who knows many of the faces that were new to their teachers.

Here are a few of the wonderful “firsts” I saw and heard today:

~Sixty kindergarten families, students and their parents, waiting for their classroom orientations in our school’s lobby. So many proud parents holding their children’s hands as they embark on a magical year of learning and discovery.

~Teachers prompting students to write using all they know to write their very first piece of writing of the year and students quickly and quietly moving their pencils across the lines on their papers.

~Teachers reading favorite picture books to launch the day, launch Math Workshop, launch Reading and Writing Workshops and to kick-off the first conversations of the year. Books included: Chrysanthemum, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, One Green Apple, and The Math Curse.

~Third graders squealing and giggling as their teacher read Lulu and the Brontosaurus and she read the phrase “she was a pain in the b-u-t-t”. Followed a few moments later by students joining in as the teacher sang Lulu’s song about finding a brontosaurus for a pet.

~Fifth graders sharing that a few problems they tried to solve were a little difficult since they just came from vacation and couldn’t remember everything from fourth grade so quickly;)

~Fourth graders turning and sharing with a neighbor a “Math Curse” problem from their summer with glowing faces as they excitedly tried to create creative and tricky stories.

~So many students and teachers making a fresh start, hope in their eyes and voices as they reflected on the past and started sharing goals and dreams for their new year together.

Here are a few hopes I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of–could we have any greater hopes for our students?!

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