Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy New Year!

Tomorrow is the first day of school here in Florida.  And you know what? I'm excited about it! As in actually looking forward to it. As in, feeling good about it. I'm expecting the day to be chaotic, as most first days of the school year are, but I'm not dreading it as I thought I was going to be.  After years of teaching first grade I'm anticipating some perks to working with older children. Maybe this is naive of me but I'm not expecting to have to tie shoelaces, zip up pants, and deal with daily tattling.  The prospect of my new students being able to tell time and understand what "you have 5 minutes left" means is thrilling. And most exciting of all is my hope that I can truly make a difference in their lives.

Fifth grade is a major turning point for most children and I would love it if I can make at least one of them truly believe in herself enough to start thinking about obtaining a higher education and making the world a better place.  How cliche, right? But I can't help it, it's what I want to happen! Also, I have seventeen girls in my class. SEVENTEEN prepubescent girls. As in hormonal and stuff.  Those five boys I also have are really going to have an interesting year. And I want these girls to have a positive role model in their lives. I want them to leave fifth grade thinking that they are the biggest badasses out there. Badass in a good way, though, not thinking they're "too cool for school". (My apologies for using that lame idiom but it's appropriate here and only here, no one else should ever use it unless speaking about students who may potentially think they are so cool that they don't have to continue going to school, which is not a good thing. Using it in any other context, to elicit sarcasm, like, "Bob didn't come to my tie-dye party because he thinks he's 'too cool for school'" is wrong on many levels. First of all, tie-dye parties are awesome so who wouldn't want to go to one? Second of all, a tie-dye party is not a school, therefore "too cool for school" is just wrong. Third of all, it's an overused phrase and I'm trying not to use many colloquialisms in my life. I know it's smug, get over it.)

And look!

It's true that this position isn't permanent (not that I know of yet), and that I only had one day to set up my classroom, and that I'm teaching math and science instead of reading and language arts - which are my true passion - but I have a respectable, professional job! And I really like my fifth grade team of teachers. And I want to make an effort to be positive about life, because I've always been a "glass is half-empty" kind of girl.  I'm thirty now and I think this is the perfect time to start making some good changes in my life.  What do I have to be negative about, really? Happily married, mother of two perfect furry children, a supportive and loving extended family, healthy, and employed. Things may not be perfect but they could be so much worse.  

I'm just worried that I won't be as entertaining if I'm not Negative Nana.  So give me time, people! And wish me luck. Cheers!


Kallmen said...

Think of all those girls lives you ARE going to change. I imagine a few boys too since they will fall in love for the first time with Mrs. Hallman-Franich! I am going to read this to my kiddos the first day as we set goals...
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Anonymous said...

You will do excellent. Years ago I remember reading an essay by a teacher about 5th grade being the best because the kids now know a lot and it is right before they start becoming 'cool' and 'smartass' in 6th grade. Although maybe kids are cool and smartass earlier now.

Science and math are most important to intelligence and progress, and that is where we are slacking as a country right now. Let me know if I can be of any help. The kids may not become scientists, but everyone would do well to think like more like a scientist: healthy skepticism of outlandish claims; test, don't simply believe. Use reason and logic in making decisions. Science has major input to all major problems facing our country and the world today. If we all voted more like scientists, for instance, we would not have these jack wads in power now.

Anonymous said...

As you are likely one of the few examples of authenticity your students will have this year, they are so lucky.
Gary Daniels