Monday, July 23, 2012

It's just a number!
So, I've had the big birthday and got to enjoy a little quiet time at the beach with my hubby! Having such a big birthday prompted me to do a little reflecting on the things I've learned along the way. Naturally, that led me to think about all the fun I've had teaching kindergarten over the past 25 years.

Of course, I'm speaking entirely from a biased point of view, but I truly feel I am part of the greatest profession ever! There is nothing quite like seeing the look of wonderment in a child's eyes when new learning "dawns" on them. And who doesn't love the excitement of the back-to-school rush!

Since 50 is the theme of the day, I decided to list the top 50 things I love about going back to school. I hope you will join me and comment on a few of your own favorite things!

  1. planning, pinning, and checking out the dollar store for new finds
  2. wasting the entire first day back in your room reconnecting with friends
  3. that first faculty meeting...getting all the details straight
  4. the new plan book that is filled with nothing but possibilities
  5. the inspirational speaker on institute day and the so-so PD that follows
  6. getting your desk all organized, knowing it won't last long
  7. replenishing your stash of Advil and chocolate...for emergencies only
  8. thumbing through all your idea books for creative new ideas to try
  9. getting your copy of The Kissing Hand ready and the hand-outs copied
  10. having plenty of coloring sheets ready in case you run out of things to do
  11. pencils sharpened and stacked neatly in their little jar
  12. painstakingly double and triple checking your first welcome letter to parents
  13. nameplates perfectly centered and affixed to each desk
  14. the slight lingering smell of Lysol spray and fresh linen candles
  15. the new pot of ivy that makes your desk look all homey and inviting
  16. the countdown of days still left of summer
  17. the countdown of days until next summer
  18. the lessons you've carefully planned, that you won't look at again
  19. wondering where you will stash all the extra supplies they bring
  20. the excitement and sleepless night before school starts
  21. the last few quiet minutes before the flood gates open
  22. seeing the fear/excitement/wonderment in their eyes when they first walk in
  23. those awkward smiles on the first day of school pictures
  24. persuading the parents that everything is okay and it's time to head off to work
  25. the tears...from the children and their mothers
  26. the excitement/panic when the door finally closes and they are "all mine" 
  27. wondering how in the world you will fill the day ahead of you
  28. trying to catch an older kid in the hall to deliver your notes to the office
  29. going through the little remember their name mental exercises
  30. hearing all the strange new pronunciations of your name
  31. the unmistakable smell of a just-opened box of brand new crayons
  32. reviewing how to line up, walk in line, stay in line, behave in line
  33. counting them one more time to make sure no one has escaped
  34. trying to explain lunchroom procedures to kids who have never been in one
  35. taking a deep breath before walking into the lunchroom
  36. passing out plates, praying they won't drop them on the way to the table
  37. passing out lunches, seating them, and keying in their the same time
  38. opening 20 packs of ketchup and 20 cartons of milk
  39. finally sitting down to eat with only 6 minutes left in the lunch break
  40. hoping what's left of their lunch ends up in the trash and not in the floor
  41. wearing something you had for lunch somewhere on your clothes
  42. already dreading lunch time tomorrow
  43. that panicked feeling just before the last bell rings 
  44. searching your room one more time...just in case you left someone behind
  45. making sure they ALL get on the right bus or in the right car
  46. finally getting to take a bathroom break!
  47. forgetting about just how little they know in August
  48. thinking about how far they will have come in May
  49. praying for each child and the mountains they will climb this year
  50. the mandatory after school nap that will help you recover from the exhaustion of today and increase the likelihood that you will show up tomorrow

Now, it's your turn! What tops your list of back to school memories? I'm sure I've forgotten a few, so please comment and add your own! We've all been there and we can all identify! Thanks for reading and playing along!


  1. Happy 50th! I can relate to so many of your 50 things! I don't actually go back until the end of August, and no kids until September, so right now I'm thinking of about 50 reasons I love about summer vacation! But I admit, I miss school when I'm not there!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  2. Happy 50th! I've got about a week and 1/2 left of summer break! I probably have to say that (since i haven't done it yet!!) I look forward to my room being Spic n' Span clean, waxed, organized, decorated with new stuff, etc. And, of course, the anticipation of meeting my new 8th graders!
    One thing I don't like is how badly i MISS my old kids at first! I have to have about 3 weeks to stop desperately wishing I had MY old kids back! ha!
    Great List! Many of yours would be on mine if I wrote one that long--such as #1--I DIG in the Target $1 Bins, among other stores!
    Be well,
    Ann Marie Smith @ Innovative Connections

  3. Happy Birthday!
    I love your list and can relate to nearly all of them. What I remember about the first day of school myself is my mom carefully dressing us (usually in matching dresses that she probably made, lol), taking our picture, and waiting for the bus with us. What I enjoy now is setting up my classroom, making welcome back gifts for my teacher friends, and I am really looking forward to co-teaching this year with one of my favorite teacher friends! I hope you have a great year!

    Joy of Kindergarten

  4. Happy 50th! I will be celebrating mine next month. The quietness of the rug time and the wonderment in their eyes top my list.

  5. Your math resources are great. Our county is putting more emphasis on math and your blog has been a great resource. I'm nominating you for the Liebster Award. Head over to my blog First Grade and Fearless to pick it up!

  6. It is always lovely to find other teachers who love all the silly little things that I love at the start of a new school year! I love restocking my stickers and coming up with a new design for my classroom. I LOVE laminating! It is so peaceful!

    I look forward to following your posts,



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