Tomorrow is our first day together and even though we teachers benefit from our vacation almost as much as you do, we also spend a lot of time preparing and waiting anxiously for you to come back to us. This year was no different for me, except if at all possible, I was even more excited to have you come back. You see, we are a combination classroom. A bunch of 4th and 5th graders thrown together, it is now us against the world no matter our age or our grade; we belong. And while others may look at us differently or ask you a lot of questions, know that I like that we are different. I like that we have different ages in our room. I like that we cannot be classified as just a regular classroom. I like that I have to think about what I teach and not just say one grade level. I really like that we have kids with a lot of different abilities and talents that will learn form each other.
Just like you, I have to learn too and so this summer that is what I did. I learned that Thea loves it when you read the same book over and over, especially the one about Fergus the dog. I learned that my husband really likes it when I just sit and read next to him or when I recommend books for him. I learned that my 95 year old grandfather in Denmark thinks that my daughter is just about the best thing that has ever happened to this family (I agree). I learned that my little brother will be shipped to Afghanistan in January and that I worry about him now already. I learned that a dog's heavy breathing will indeed keep you up at night, especially when that dog is 100 pounds and tries to snuggle with you next to your bed. I learned that books are not always good just because a lot of people have read them. Did you know it is okay to not finish a book - crazy, right? I learned that thousands of educators are on Twitter just waiting for you to ask them a question. I learned that blogging and writing about your thoughts can be a great way to inspire and learn from others. I learned that Chinese food doesn't have to taste bad. I also learned that Madison is one of the best cities for little kids; oh the adventures we have had. I learned that no elementary student should be given an F because as long as they are learning they are not failing. I learned that technology can both give you time and steal it away. I learned that no matter how many times you do an orientation day you will always have jitters, nerves and never feel prepared enough. I also learned that the excitement for the first day of school only builds, never diminishes. I learned that i have many more things to learn.
So whether you have had me before or have no idea who this crazy teacher is; welcome, I am so excited you are here. I hope we will learn together.