Today was the first day of school. I find it funny that the instructional calendar has 180 days and I am also planning on utilizing the book 180 days to lead my instruction this year. This is not one of those “Yay I survived day 1” countdown to summer posts. I am celebrating the day because it was awesome. I was able to meet new students, laugh and visit with old ones and watch as the new to junior high 7th graders navigated their newfound lockers and the hallways as they travelled from class to class.
I got names wrong like crazy and forgot them often, I apologized and they laughed as I tried. I told stories about myself and they told stories about themselves. We discussed books and a love of reading that I hope they will develop. We wrote, together, and shared our words.
I didn’t play games, it was not a spectacle. I taught, like myself. The authentic classroom experience that we will have each day. Laughter and learning all about literacy.
We ventured into 6-word memoirs, “Mr.Gilson, How can we tell a story with 6 words?” I told them my story. “Owner of two dogs always tired.” or “I lift heavy things, too early” and they responded in kind, ” My bird died Christmas last year” “I have 7 siblings very annoying”, “Dad left my life, not happy”. A shared writing experience was started today. A safe one established together. No bells and whistles, just paper and pencil. Just us.
I am excited as day one comes to a close.
Reflect and React, that is the focus of the year. Teaching like myself is the goal.
Today was great, tomorrow might be better.
ps: Students from last year came to tell me about what they are reading, some asked to book talk to my 7-8 classes to help them find books.