I know what you're thinking if you aren't a teacher. You're thinking "Only now? They've been in your class for over a month." And, yes. They have. But, if you're a teacher, you know what I mean.
At least I hope you do.
Maybe it's just me, but for the first few weeks, it just feels weird. I enjoy the kids and I like them and I teach them. But, it all feels weird. It doesn't feel the same as it did the year before. These new kids are strangers. They don't understand me. They don't understand our classroom climate. They don't giggle at my silly voices like my old kids and they don't act excited like my old kids and they write much sloppier than my old kids and on and on and on...
I feel like I'm going through the motions.
But, every year, without fail, it happens. I fall in love. Those kiddos who feel like strangers become MINE.
And it happened today.
Right smack in the middle of the day.
It just hit me like a ton of bricks: we're having fun. I'm having fun. They're having fun.
There are other signs, too.
My kids clapped and cheered today when I told them we'd be learning about sea turtles next week. That's big in my class. It's kind of an unspoken requirement. We WILL get excited about stuff we're learning. And I mean we: me and them. Not an option, seriously. So, it warms my heart to see them starting to get super super extra pumped about stuff. A sign that they're mine...
They're pushing their chairs in. I know, it doesn't seem like a big deal. But, this year, it has been. It's just been the little things that we've struggled with. But, they're doing it. And I rarely have to remind anyone to go back and do it. A sign that they're mine...
They begged me to bring their vocabulary notebooks to the carpet today while we did our read aloud. I'm talking about the last ten minutes of the day when I read to them. With their backpacks on. And they say there today while I read Pippi Longstocking and we added vocabulary words they were curious about to their notebooks. And, again, they were pumped! I seriously couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I was reading and they were furiously writing. Kids who are engaged and excited to learn? A sign that they're mine...
I'm not saying that I am some amazing teacher who magically gets her kids to love school and everything is gumdrops and roses and every kid makes A's and all that. Far from it. In fact, I may have raised my voice today. Twice. And I may have bribed my kids to stand quietly in line with extra recess minutes today. And yesterday.
What I am saying is that it happened today. I realized that these cute little humans I spend my days with are trying really hard. They want to learn.
And I'm SO glad that they are MINE.