It's Time...

Happy New Year everybody!  I put it off for days, but the pull of getting in to school and getting a few things organized and ready for the new year got me yesterday!  I'm sure many teachers feel the same way.  On one hand, it's winter break and we deserve to sit around in pajamas all day doing whatever.  On the other hand, we feel anxious about the amount of work that lies ahead and wouldn't it be great to get some of it done so we can feel at ease about going back to school?  So, off to school I went.

It's quite frigid in Indiana... We are experiencing some record breaking low temps.  As I'm typing this it's warmed up to a brisk 1 degree this morning - brrrr!  I think we can count on some indoor recess time this coming week when we head back to school.

We do get a teacher work day this Wednesday before the kids begin on Thursday; however it's never enough time for me to get it all done.  Lesson planning, report cards, meetings, and organizing just can't get done in one day.  So, I usually will come in one day during break to get cracking.

It's sort of depressing, though.  As I walked toward the building amidst the fresh-fallen snow from the night before I realized there are no other tire tracks in the parking lot, nor footprints in the snow leading to the door.  I guess I'm the only one who's made the trek in.  That's okay, though.  Even though it's a bummer to spend part of my winter break working, I will enjoy the rest of my break knowing that I'm organized and well-prepared.

And, I'm getting two new students on the first day back.  TWO!!!  This, on top of a third new student I received just 2 weeks before break.  So naturally everything has to be re-labeled.  Closet labels, the class list posted outside my door, lunch choice sticks, etc.  This will be new student number 5 and 6 for me this year... it's been that kind of year, very transitional.

I have a very diverse group this year.  I'm the 1st grade high ability teacher, which is new to me, and I also have a cluster of ENL students.  On top of that, I have received a cluster of gen. ed. students as well.  Can you say differentiated groups?  Our district also adopted all new curriculum this year.  ALL!  As in new math, reading, and writing curriculum.  It's been a challenging year for me all around.

So, as I'm thinking forward to the new year, yesterday's school visit was all about getting organized, setting up new groups and partners, cleaning up and de-cluttering.  I spent about 5 hours doing just that and I could have spent at least another 5, but the sun was beginning to set.  This beautiful view out my classroom window reminds me that tomorrow is another day and I can't get it all done.  Like, ever!  But, I can be content that I'm doing all I can for my students and for myself and that's a good feeling.

Happy New Year!  Let's make it a great one!

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