Flashback

Today the 3-5 teachers in the district spent the day getting our hands dirty with our new writing curriculum. My K-2 friends had given me the lowdown on what to expect. And, as far as in-services go, they had given it pretty good reviews.

But there was one thing they left out…a seating chart.

That’s right.

I walked in with my friend and teammate Amy and that’s when we saw the preassigned seats. We were ripped apart to seats across the room. It was like finding out my BF was in another class.

And do you wanna guess where my seat was?

Yep.

The front. And not just the front. The corner spot right next to the easel with the large pad of paper. So close, my spot was the place where the presenter often left the projector remote.

Talk about flashbacks to elementary school.

It was just like the first day of school – every year – when I was stuck in the front. Somehow alphabetical order always had me in the front. Although, I secretly believed that my new teacher talked to my  old teacher and said, “Yeah. You should probably put her in the front”.

I was sitting by someone I didn’t know. But we got along smashingly. And when we got the first look of “disapproval”, I sent this to the seating chart maker (and Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction- who has a good sense of humor):

I should have had this as a t-shirt and worn it to every first day of school– of my life.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Before I taught 3rd grade, I taught Kindergarten. This year, I have some of my Kindergärtners in my 3rd grade class. I love to hear them read or read their writing and think about the time when they couldn’t write their name. Or when they wrote, “I wnt craping” for “I went camping”.

But mostly, I love that I get to see how they’ve grown up. To see their personalities come out. I love watching them be a good friend and learn to be successful people.

What I love about 3rd grade is that they are still really fun kids. They still have a thirst for knowledge without all the sass of being ten. I love that they are old enough to get my jokes, I don’t have to tie their shoes (usually) and they’re just the right age to have a good teacher-student relationship. As a teacher, I hope that all my kids love learning. I hope that I make learning fun. And above all else, no matter what’s going on outside of school, I want them to know they matter.

Monday was the Valentine’s Day party. Like usual, I had a pile of red hearts, cards, candy and flowers on the top of my desk. One student even got me tulips-my favorite flowers! I really have a sweet class.

But my favorite Valentine was not for me, but for Rob.

I’m not sure how, but somehow last year, Rob became known as “The New Yorker” among my students. The nickname has stuck again this year. Although they know he has a real name, they still call him that. They know my name will be Mrs. Zanetti. But when questioned, I was told that my vows would be “Miss Goebel, do you take The New Yorker”. One intelligent student replied, “We know her name is Karrie.”

Jake is one of my students from Kindergarten. There’s something nice about having a student a second time. The bond is deeper. And Jake proved that on Valentine’s Day. During the busy minutes of passing out Valentine’s, Jake came up and said, “I made one for The New Yorker, where should I put it?”

How precious is this?

That’s right. A very manly Transformer Valentine. You should have seen Jake’s smile when I told him The New Yorker couldn’t wait to use his new Tron pencil at work.

Jake matters to me. And with a simple Valentine, I know that I matter to Jake. It’s the little things that make teaching rewarding.

* Picture and story printed with Jake’s (and his mother’s) permission.*