'Unfortunately' I'm sure many students are thinking.
Or as the case may be it's time to start school either as a Prep just beginnig your school journey or as a year 7 taking that next important step.
I don't get to apply 'Back to school' to myself untill the very last days of the month, we might as well say March; I'm fine with that though becuase it means that I get to spend my time volunteering at the local primary school again. As it is the start of the year I am helping in one of the Prep classrooms. The preps are all gorgeous! So eager, they settled right in no tantrums or hanging on to mum which is brilliant. Last year there was a bit of that. Of course there is the fact that some can tire easily and there are those who frequently ask 'when is it hometime?' but thats normal.
I love working with the preps. I loved last years group and I think that this years will definately be the same. I walked into one of the grade 1/2 classes the other day to borrow something and all of the grade ones were so excited to see me. All of them wanted to tell me about what was new for them like 'a new baby sister' and a wobbly tooth' and show me what they were doing. It felt so great that they responded to seeing me again like that. All through last year I spent alot of my volunteering time with them and I really begun to feel like they were 'my class' not in the sense that I was their teacher but I felt connected to them. I still do. I love it because nearly everytime that I see one of the grade ones they wave at me if I am walking past or say hi! I know that I am going to continue volunteering there untill i finish my degree and I wonder if any of them will remember me later on when they are older if I will have made an impression on there lives. Thats's what I want as a teacher to make a positive difference in my students lives, to be that one teacher that they remember who did something for them, who instilled something in them whether it be a passion for learning or a love of a certain subject, or be the one who helped them gain confidence, discover new things, bring them out of their shell, something worthwile.
So far working with this years preps I have been helping the teacher alot with preparing things around the classroom. It has really shown me besides the planning of the actually lessons how much work is actually put into getting a classroom ready. A prep classroom especially because the preps need a constant eye on them, they ask after every little step 'what do i do next?', get up and wander somewhere when they are finished needing a reminder of the instructions, a teacher has no in class time to do anything. So this all equates to me spending the last three days cutting, pasting, lamminating, photocopying, arranging things like labels, books, and putting up displays on walls. I don't mind doing all these things though because I still get to interact with the kids and I'm learning through observation. I see things like how to deal with the kids, lessons and activities to do in the classroom. I love it.
At the moment they are focusing on T.E.A.M. It stands for 'Together Everyone Achieves More'. It goes for a couple of weeks and all the classes do it, basically it focuses on 'get to know you' activities so that everyone in the class is a Team. In Prep they work on things like their routines and rituals, they make a class motto, introduce the class mascot (a stuffed toy whom all the preps get to take home with them and record what they did in a book during the school year), work on what the rules in the classroom are, what the expectations are in the classroom and the school, they look at the school values and rules, they look at what they would like to acheive, what they would like the/their perfect classroom to be like.
I think that this will be a good year.