Friday, August 13, 2010

Warm Fuzzies

The kids are here!

Summer Orientation started on Wednesday! About 60 of our 96 new 6th graders are learning the mysteries of switching classes, completing homework, and (gulp) changing in the locker rooms.

My brain is too addled to put together any coherent description of the last three days, but I have to say this:
  1. A few months ago, I was devastated when my students left. Now, so many of their little brothers, sisters, and cousins are in my class that I feel like they never really left. Besides, about 10 of last year's 8th graders showed up this morning to help with the 6th grade classes!
  2. The new kids are great. Some of them have more self-confidence than they should, but that's okay. We can work with that. Structure. Discipline. Guidance.
  3. The parents this year seem to be more intense. I have to learn to be more outgoing. I love and respect parents, but sometimes I don't show it as well as I should.
Now I'm going to eat.


  1. Manda--I know exactly what you mean. I, too, have trouble conveying how committed I am, how open I am, how eager I am to work together as a team. I have had many run-ins with parents who see me as too vigilant, but this is the way I was as a parent (my kids are both adults now), and life is hard. No one else (besides them) will see their child as the exception, and no one is going to lower the standards for just their child. It's just a tough profession, but a rewarding one.

    I had a little more success last year with parents when I would try to convey what I thought were their concerns at the beginning of a meeting/conference, and validate their feelings. Also, doing whatever it took---going to their home for a conference, working with a student after school, and so on.

    Some parents had bad experiences when they were in school, and so they bring along that baggage.

    Good luck with your school year. I really enjoy your postings. Teaching is such a lonely place---you close your classroom door and it's you and a bunch of students--so it's great to know none of us are alone...

  2. Manda--
    I am awarding you the "Amazingness Award." I think it was started by I love your blog, and want you to 1) pass this on to other bloggers and 2) write 7 things about yourself.

    Keep keepin' it real...