Wow, summer is ending soon and it is time to face reality that school will be starting soon. I have to report back to work in 18 days but will be going in this coming Monday to begin unpacking and organizing my classroom. Part of me is excited at the newness of the new school year...new students, new gradebook, new supplies, new curriculum (although I have taught it all before), new opportunities to build relationships...but I have REALLY enjoyed this time off. It has been the first summer since I began teaching 4 years ago, that I have not taught summer school. I have had the summer to do with as I wish, which meant sleeping late, reading lots of books, time at the pool. All that will end soon, but I plan to enjoy every last minute of it.....
I wonder if my students are thinking the same thing. I know that many of my students don't have a lot of structure at home, and have way too much responsibility put on them for such a young age (caring for siblings, cooking their own meals, cleaning up after themselves, no supervision, staying up late or all night, watching tv/playing video games as much as they want). I honestly think they crave the structure that school provides. And at our school, they are guaranteed two meals a day...which I sometimes wonder if they get at home over the summer.
Someone once told me, the positive attention they get at school may be the only positive in their lives. While that is sad, it also made me happy that I can give that to my students. Honestly, I think I could do a better job of building them up, and that is something I plan on working on this year. In the past I have gotten caught up in the negative behaviors, and honestly, taking them too personally. Will try using the 5:1 ratio of positives to negative...I'll let you know how that goes.
Another worry I have, especially for my boys, is this is the year (grade level) that they significantly drop off in their reading..and if they are already struggling with reading, tat they will give up. I have found some cool books for read a-louds and novel units. Hopefully I can instill in my struggling readers, that reading opens doors and takes you places you may never be able to go, except through a book.
Regardless of the fact that my summer is almost over, I really am looking forward to the new school year. One last goal...I am going to blog a lot more, and I would love to start a blog with my class(es)...I think it is a great way to get them writing, and take ownership in what is happening at school.