I rode the scooter for the first time to work today. I drove up through the parking lot to our big kick off breakfast as all these other teachers were walking up and I could see them thinking, "Who's that on the scooter? I am so insanely jealous." Everyone had questions...what's the mileage, how fast does it go? Do you get scared? And really, today was the first day that I wasn't scared at all. It's fun now, not scary. You can't do anything extra, though...listen to music, check your voicemail, eat, drink, etc. You just ride. I see more flowers though...and it's time to think. It's good.
And school starts Monday...which is also my 27th birthday. I have pretty much everything ready. I changed all around my room decoration...lots more verb posters, posters of France and Switzerland and a bulletin board with pictures and stuff from my trip. I think it looks cool. I need a change of pace, and I hope the kids get something out of it. I also got rid of my rules inspired by Beauty and the Beast (Beast is the example of what not to do, Beauty what to do). I don't want a kid saying or thinking, "I'm going to be the beast."
And what's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "rule"? Breaking it, of course. So, no rules. But I emphasize their rights as students (to respect, to learn, to be safe, to be themselves, etc) and their responsibilities...follow directions and procedures. So it's not a right and wrong thing...just learning and then following through with procedures. I got the idea from this online professional development thing the district bought...we'll see how it works. I really want to focus on bonding with my students and building a rapport. I know that sounds elementary, but as a beginning teacher, you're so concerned about lesson plans and discipline, about making it work, that you don't allow yourself the indulgence...you must be teacher, you must be tough and get their respect...which is still important...but I want to build relationship while I do that.