Wow! What a whirlwind of a ride. The first day of school...what an important day indeed!
I've been on THAT ride 19 times, and it always seems to take my breath away!
The first downhill was purely amazing, looking into all of their eyes as they look at you with nervous anticipation. You could hear a pin drop as I introduced myself. It will probably be the quietest five minutes in our class all school year. It's kind of surreal actually, because it's the start of something great. Something so great that it can be very hard to explain sometimes.
Before you go on any rollercoaster for the very first time, you have no idea how you're going to react. Absolutely no idea if you're going to start to feel queasy 1/2 way through the ride or not... or whether you'll start to scream from pure enjoyment.
Well, today, I can tell you that I was screaming with pure enjoyment (as I usually am with most of the rides that I go on). The loops and turns and uphill / downhills were pretty much what I expected. A teacher can usually tell when they're on a good rollercoaster or not... within the first few minutes.
That's what I heard in their parents voices when I called them all tonight.
That's right, I tried to get a hold of EVERY parent of all the students in our class. Granted, some of them I had to leave a message on their voice mail, but I did get through to about 1/2 of them, and had some very good discussions. I even left my home phone number in case they need to get a hold of me.
"Why would you call them after the first day?" you might ask.
"Why not?" is my response.
Even though I met the parents yesterday, you have to keep in mind that they weren't on the roller coaster TODAY. They were probably asking how the rollercoaster was to their child at the dinner table this evening, and the response might have been... "Good. It was nice." (or something to that effect).
What I hear in all of the parents' voices on the phone is the excitement of going on this journey together, and what their child wants to do for a JOB in our classroom (our first classroom homework assignment). You pick up some interesting information from parents this first night of phone calls, and you have to remember that usually parents get phone calls for "missteps" that their child might have had at school, and not for the strengths that they all possess. What a novel idea, right?
After tonight, we're already on the positive side by one phone call for each child, and that makes a huge difference down the road when you might have to make that difficult phone call about something that happened in the class that needs to be addressed. Believe me, the parents appreciate it.
I'm kind of glad this fast rollercoaster is now over. It definitely was exhilarating, but I kind of want to get on a bus and go on some field trips. Slow it down just a bit.
If you haven't heard, we learn 70% of what we discuss, 80% of what we experience personally, and 95% of what we teach someone else (taking the bus). However, we learn only a limited amount of what we read, hear, and see (riding a rollercoaster). You can probably guess what we're going to focus on the most over the next few "bus rides" ... I mean blogs.
Start warming up the bus! Let's get ready to learn how to make our classroom as powerful as it can be!!!!
Are you going to hop on our bus?
I hope you do... the rollercoaster wasn't that bad ... we certainly learned a little bit, and had a lot of fun... and if you can do THAT, you can certainly go on a few bus rides with me.
Looking forward to it.