Nice to Meet You... June 29 2009

I first started teaching about ten years ago. I had a year or two of substitute teaching under my belt and no idea what I was doing.

On that very First Day of School, I was all about the academics. My concerns were who could read and do math, totally overlooking the kids’ excitement over seeing their friends after the summer break. I wasn’t teaching sixth graders, I was teaching sixth grade.
The years since, however, changed my approach to the First Day quite a bit. Turns out that kids won’t do much for you if you’re not interested in them as people, and not just their academics. So I’d like to introduce myself in the same way that I have asked students to introduce themselves in my classroom community over the years.
On that First Day, I’ve taught a lesson about symbols, and then I shared 5 symbols that represented what I was all about. Homework for them was to find 5 symbols that represented them and bring them in a paper bag or shoebox; these could be actual objects or drawings. Each afternoon that first week, a number of students shared their symbols with the class.
These are my most current 5 Symbols:
  • A wooden nametag with my Outdoor School name: Prego. Nothing to do with spaghetti sauce, I was pregnant my first year of teaching sixth grade. This symbol represents my family and how much I love them.
  • Snoopy – I LOVE everything Charles Schulz and Peanuts. This would symbolize how much I both relate with and laugh at Charlie Brown.
  • A salt and pepper holder from Romania. I’m an Army brat and pretty well-traveled.
  • Music Confetti – I love music of all kinds. My husband’s a professional musician and is trying to teach me how to play the drum set.
  • A container of “Farting Goo” – You plunge your fingers down into it and it makes farting noises. I think this may just be for laughs.
I always find this time of year to be great for reflection as I’m getting a suntan. What would your five symbols be? What would they represent about you?