Well, this is it.
Ready or not, tomorrow they are coming. The school year officially begins for students in Magnolia County as the buses begin rolling, the bell rings and teachers begin teaching. In many ways, that first day is one of the longest of the year second only to the last day. This is why starting on a Friday is a good idea that I like. It gives everyone a full weekend to plan and plot what they are going to do on the next day.
I have been visited by 3 parents during preplanning. Taz’s mother works here, so I expected to see her. She has been in a good mood so I’m guessing that she likes the new lunchroom manager. She will probably NOT like the fact that my door will not be open at 7:30 every morning this year, but we’ll deal with that later.
Spaz showed up yesterday with his mother and proceeded to exhibit every bit of his old aggressive behaviors of hitting, kicking, grabbing, pinching and scratching. Just when I thought we could retire that old data sheet, we will be starting from scratch…or scratches as it is back to the arm pads. Hopefully we can structure and teach that stuff out of him. He has spent the entire summer wearing his mother out. Today he was scheduled for graduation pictures which should be a hoot with his present state of mind.
We are getting one new student (that I know of) from the middle school. While he did not appear, his mother did. Until I pick out a name, he’s going to be the New Student. I’d just like something short, easy to remember and vaguely associated with him before getting a name. He sounds like a sweet boy, but it will take some time to get to know him.
Yet to appear is Jim, who was on Mr. Pyle’s caseload and moved here late last year. He might have moved away over the summer as some of our kids do move quite a bit. And finally, there is the student I’ll call Larry, who was also on Mr. Pyle’s caseload last year. I’ll give more info on them as the year goes on.
Princess has spent a lot of time in our room and is terribly unhappy about leaving us. She just walked through here on her way home and registered her anxiety. I’m not thrilled about losing her, either, but I’ve been trying to encourage her to do her best with this new teacher and with the new students. I’ve gotten fairly used to the idea of change, so I’m not quite so affected as she is. It’s a tough concept, change. You either get it and go with it, or you get resentful and bitter. Speaking of which…
Mr. Pyle is struggling to adjust to his new world of students with mild disabilities. He has no idea who will show up at his door tomorrow and he has no idea what to do with them. Frankly, I understand his discomfort and feel for him. But none of us have gotten IEP folders for our new students, yet which makes teaching the new kids a challenge.
In Georgia, the legislature passed a bill and Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a bill giving each teacher a $100 gift card to spend on educational supplies. Today, we got our cards which are actually a sort of preloaded Visa card. The card will only be good Aug. 3-6, when Georgia has it’s tax-free holiday for purchasing school supplies. If a teacher doesn’t use his/her card, it gets deactivated and becomes useless. Shoot…that’s next week, already! It can not be used for clothing, alcohol or other non school supply items. I have no idea how they’ll tell but they are numbered and we did have to sign for them so they could do some auditing if they had to. I already know I’ll be buying ink for the new printer the county bought for us AFTER I had ordered ink for the old printer. And that will pretty much blow the whole thing.
On the home front…
Thomas is SO excited about going to school. The boy has been waking up at around 6:30 all summer long but this week has has gotten up at 6:00 a.m. He actually is sort of getting the concept of time and is getting pretty into his routine of eating and going to bed at certain times by reading the clock. He is probably more into time than most other 7 year-olds and certainly more than most 1st graders. The boy has been trying to reset various clocks in an attempt to move his lunch and dinner times up or moving his bedtime back!!
Percy is going to pre-K at a different school than his brother. He sort of gets this, but it hasn’t fully sank in. He has been going to a summer session of a church pre-K this month, but going all day, everyday is going to be a new thing for him and will definitely wear him out.
While I have a certain amount of anxiety my wife, Jane, is probably the most anxious of all of us even though she is the only one NOT starting school tomorrow! Just has major anxiety about 4 year-old Percy riding the big bus and will probably take him to school, herself. I’m actually encouraging her to let him ride the bus. First, he really is looking forward to riding it. Second, driving there is going to be a totally nutty experience for any one on the road that morning. Seriously, Jane is only one of about 10,000 other (mothers) parents with the same anxiety she has. Kids pick up on that and they end up having that same anxiety all day at school.
It’s because of all the other Janes on the road that I will have to leave my house in the dark in order to get to school before the roads become too congested. We do have an elementary school next to the high school, so that traffic tangles with the high school kids and teachers and parents and buses and…well, you get the idea.
Actually, you don’t, because in addition to all of that, our county board of commissioners totally screwed up. We have two major roads going by the elementary/high schools which allow fairly good traffic flow on a good day. Guess where construction is going on this week to resurface BOTH of those roads?? I’ll be calling my board member tomorrow and letting him have it. They have done NOTHING all summer around here and wait until the week that school opens to cut BOTH roads down to one lane?
Otherwise, I’m looking forward to getting on with the show. For those of you still on vacation, reading me may help you appreciate and enjoy the rest of your summer even more! Here’s hoping that my day is too boring to provide material to post and I can talk about NCLB or IDEA or some other boring but meaningful education topic.