Saturday, September 10, 2005

Carnival, carnival!

Don't forget to send your submissions to the Carnival of Education: First Day of School Edition by Sunday night, 11:59 pm, to ms [dot] frizzle [at] gmail [dot] com. I'm looking for posts about your first day of school, whether that was wayyyy back in August or just this past Thursday. And if your second or third day was more interesting than your first, well, heck, bend the rules and send it in anyway. Teachers, parents, students, administrators, custodians, bus-drivers, neighbors-watching-over-the-kiddies, tell me about the first day of school!


And while we're on the topic, I was thinking about my first day of kindergarten. My family had moved to a new town; my dad had taken a job as principal of the elementary schools. I rode a yellow school bus to the smaller campus, which housed kindergarten, first grade, and some of the second graders. The rest of the second grade, and all of 3-5, was in another building, along with dad's office.

Anyway, I'm still a fairly naive person but boy oh boy was I a naive kindergartener! When we arrived, I got off the bus and stood around in the playground looking disoriented, like all the other kindergarteners. I overheard some of the really big kids - second graders! seven-year-olds! - speculating about whether or not we'd have recess. I wasn't sure whether recess was a good thing. It sounded a little scary, but the big kids seemed excited about it.

During that first week, I made friends with a girl who rode my bus. She got off on the stop before mine. Foreshadowing my future social life, I could never quite remember her name. Eventually, my mom met her mom and we all got to know each other.

Kindergarten went well, and first grade was great. All throughout first grade, we heard rumors about one of the second grade teachers, who was mean, and ugly, and fat, and mean. (Yes, we were shallow - but aren't all six-year-olds? Chalk it up to concrete thinking...).

Naturally, dad put me in HER class. I'd never met her before, never even seen her, because she taught at the 2-5 school. I will say for myself that although I entered second grade a bit nervous, I didn't put TOO much stock in the rumors. Maybe she was nice, after all. None of us had even met her! This woman walked into our classroom. And she was old. And she was ugly, and yes, she was kind of overweight, and boy-oh-boy was she mean! So I thought, using the impeccable logic of a seven-year-old just starting second grade, well, she's a substitute! REAL teachers are young and pretty, like my kindergarten and first grade teachers. How weird, a substitute on the first day of school! I was certain the REAL teacher would start any day now, but as the days passed, I realized this WAS our teacher.

It was an inauspicious start. And she was the only teacher to ever accuse me of cheating (wrongfully!), and she could not BELIEVE that I knew how to use parentheses correctly as a second-grader (though I did!), and she didn't know how to spell my last name, even though my father was her boss...

First day stories: Bring 'em on!


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2:55 AM  

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