The Bottom Line Is...They Know Nothing

It seems as though it always happens this way.  The teacher begins to plan for a new year.  She heads off to the teacher store and peruses the aisles slowly and joyfully, looking for new, colorful items to add to her classroom.  She enjoys unpacking the boxes of supplies that came in for her room - the stacks of paper, the boxes of markers.  She has the knowledge that the first part of the year will be a little rough, but overshadowing this knowledge is the feeling of excitement that a new year is beginning.

And then the new year starts.  The door opens at the beginning of the first day, and the students come in.  She suddenly is once again responsible for a great number of little people, and it takes her about three and a half minutes to remember that these small people know nothing

They don't know how to come in the room and and put their things away in their cubbies.  In fact, most of them can't even find their cubbies, or read their names..  They don't know that they can't wander around perusing the classroom centers slowly and joyfully when they are supposed to be sitting down.  The don't know that they can't talk when you are talking.  They don't know any of those standard teacher symbols that should tell them to be quiet - no two-fingers-in-the-air, no freeze-when-the-bell-rings.

When the teacher is forced to take them out in public within the first twenty minutes of their first day of school, they are like little ducklings, wandering here and there, with no rhyme or reason.  The teacher must herd them like the little duckling herd that they are, making them go where she wants them to go while making shooing noises and flapping her hands at them.

They don't know how to sit together at a lunch table and how to open most things in their lunchboxes.  They don't even seem to know that when they come out of the cafeteria line, they are to sit with their own classmates, and not with the sixth graders three tables down.   (In this instance, they certainly don't seem to notice that they are much, much smaller than those other children at that table.  They just keep eating.)  They don't know that they still must stay sitting down at their table, even after the 10 seconds that it takes them to eat their lunch.

They don't know that when the teacher says don't climb on the monkey bars, that it really means don't climb on the monkey bars.   The certainly don't know that "let's line up" and "let's clean up" mean just that.

Back in the room, they continue to not know lots and lots of things.  Such as that they can't talk constantly on the Large Group carpet, or bang the teachers leg when she ignores the "teacher, teacher, teacher", and that they can't keep a running, vocal tab of what they think their neighbor is doing wrong.

We won't even go into how they don't know how to share, or take turns, or not grab.

However - however.  When they leave after their first day, they do know how to give the teacher a hug without being prompted, and say with a smile, "See you tomorrow, teacher!".  And off they skip with mom or dad or grandma.

And for a few more hours - until tomorrow - that's enough to keep the teacher going until the next day begins.

Barbara  – (23 August 2010 at 21:04)  

Brings back so many memories. Isn't it great to know that it WILL get better because it couldn't possibly get worse? Hang in there. Love you.

AnneS –   – (24 August 2010 at 17:49)  

I'm right there with you! And by the end of the year, this will all be a dim memory---until this time NEXT year! We'll both make it because where is there to go from here but UP!!! LOL And this is why I am going to bed at 8:45 on the second day of kindergarten!

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