Saturday, September 11, 2010

School is in session!

I started writing this post about 2 days ago during rest period, when the power decided to go out.  Fun fun.  We ended up calling parents and sending the kids home early (those who stay for the after school care), because it was raining off/on so we couldn't stay outside, and it was too hot/dark inside.  Of course, the poor head teacher was stuck calling parents on her cell b/c we couldn't use the phones. :P

But, other than that (and 4 new parents in one class deciding not to send their children to the school after all, and the toilets not working yesterday due to the power outage on Thurs), it has been an amazing first week of school.  All the classrooms had a big makeover in terms of layout, we have brand new carpets and new paint, and we seriously purged all our storage sheds, getting back to a nice, minimalist feel, as a Montessori school should feel.  It's so strange, the way things have changed so much between the end of the old school year and the start of the new one.  It feels really, really good.

Things are still a bit hectic in the office, getting files re-organized, and both the head teacher and I have to squeeze in office time outside of teaching to get everything rolling.  Thanks to the head-teacher's mother-in-law who works part-time for us in the office, there's a lot of stress gone out of it, though, since we can rely on her to do a lot of the organizing.

So, school is now back in session, I'm getting my students in shape and in order, and it's looking to be a good year.  The real work starts on Monday.

Funny story about my class:  my students told their old teacher they wanted to go back to her class, because they have too many 'chores' in my class. XD

It's true, I do have them do chores after lunch.  They eat off of plates and drink out of cups to learn good table manners, so after lunch there are dishes to be washed, tables and floors to be wiped, and sweeping to be done.  Once they really start working on the shelves, there will also be dusting and organizing of shelves as well.  I do this for two main reasons: to give them a sense of pride & responsibility, and to fill the time during their shortened rest time.  They'll be heading to primary school next year, which means no more rest time, no more naps.  We prepare them for this by shortening their rest time down to one hour of quiet rest during the school year, then quiet activity during summer camp.  Chores after lunch and before rest time help to fill that gap.  Also, when their work time in the morning gets longer.  Also, I told my class that it's their space, and they are responsible for keeping it clean.  I have already seen the smiles on their faces after sweeping up the floor, or washing the dishes.  They're more than eager to do a good job.  They almost fight over whose turn it is, which makes me thankful for my job chart.  They can see their names on the chart, and know whose turn it is to work.

Hopefully this week I'll remember to charge my camera and take pics of my classroom.  Maybe I'll start my own Wordless Wednesday posts!

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