Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1st Grade Woes and Woos

I teach first grade now. I am 'Miss' to 21 latino, Indian, and African American students at an inner city school that is failing to meet AYP (Look it up) and just laid off its librarian, para (special ed assistant), 2 special ed teachers, and a health teacher because of budget cuts. Don't get me started - I'll save a rant on the education system for another day. But right now it's beautiful, my window is cracked about 6 inches and I can hear birds, feel the crisp Marin breeze, and see Mount Baldy, usually brown but now a crisp Irish green. I'm on break and my first graders are home - doing whatever it is first graders do when they don't go to school, most likely watching TV and playing video games, a few will go outside but most won't.

On the plane I opened my writing notebook - hadn't since January and felt it was time to pour some thoughts onto paper. On January 20th I wrote "I wonder what consumes the minds of first graders" and on 3/21 I wrote

I'm beginning to know what consumes the minds of first graders: what everyone else is doing, toys, recess, a good story, and change - they are obsessed with change. Also cutting in line.

On a plane home - realized I too am obsessed with change, I hear everythng the engines do and I flinch with every turbulent bump. Uconn Hoodie gives me sense of pride. Been eager to leave school all week - but ached today - it was a typical UConn weekend, people playing and walking.

Ate Brunch at North - a very familiar feeling that is about to change. Guess I'm similar to my 1st graders. hmm.

The more I think about it the more I realize I really am obsessed with change - stuck sometimes on wanting to have change, dreading it, hoping for it, paying for it, scared of it and hating it. Granted change for me isn't a change in what time we have music or whether we are reading a book or a poem or writing or doing math but rather, getting ready to graduate, getting a hair cut, thinking about the future, think about my friends' futures (!), flying back and forth, what to do with my summer, what I should wear today - and tomorrow. Change is growing up, change is being patient....

better ask my first graders about that