Monday, August 17, 2009

First Grade vs. Fourth Grade

As you know, I taught first grade for four years. This year, I switched grade levels; I'm now teaching fourth grade for the first time. (Well, I did my student teaching and a long-term sub stint in fourth grade six years ago, but this is my first official crack at it all by myself!)

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on fourth grade (versus first grade) following my first week of school. Here goes...

In fourth grade...

* On the first day of school, no one cried when their mom left.

* In fact, none of the parents even entered the classroom with us. (Which was just fine by me!)

* No one had an accident.

* No one fell asleep after lunch. (This happened all the time at the beginning of first grade; one kid even slept sitting up!)

* They can all write their names--first AND last, in fact.

* They can all tie their shoes.
(Well, except for the girl who fractured her elbow and has a cast on her left arm. Poor thing!)

* No one calls me "teacher" or "teacha" because they can't remember my name.

* Everyone calls me Mrs. Harless or Mrs. H.

Funny story: On the first day, when I said my name initially, I purposely pronounced it very s-l-o-w-l-y and clearly. Then, I went on to tell my fourth graders that some students in the past have unknowingly (or knowingly) mispronounced it.

I said,

"Fourth graders, I'm not Mrs. Hairless


Mrs. Harmless


Mrs. Heartless

I'm Mrs. Harless!

If you can't say, Mrs. Harless,

just call me, Mrs. H."

I could tell some of the kids were really nervous--it was their first day and all--and telling them that silly story broke the ice, making them smile and giggle.

*No tantrums have occurred. (I was going to type ...yet, but I don't want to jinx myself. In fact, just in case, I'm knocking on wood.)

* They can READ. Which means I don't have to spend most of the day reading everything to them!

*The students actually get my silly (and sometimes sarcastic) jokes!

*At the end of the first day, the students just left when the bell rang; I didn't have to walk anybody to the bus, parent pick-up or the office. They knew where to go and how to get there. It was so refreshing!

* And when all the kids had gone home for the day and my classroom was quiet, I took a deep breath, congratulated myself on making it through the first day, and realized that--holy cow wow--I still had A LOT of energy left. When I taught first grade (especially at the beginning of the year), I literally wanted to crawl under my desk and take a nap everyday after school.

By now, I'm pretty sure you're picking up what I'm throwing down, but I'll state the obvious anyway: life in fourth grade is pretty doggone good! :-)


Anonymous said...

You're so funny Jen!! I'm loving that you're enjoying your new class, and the new experience!! Congrats, Mrs. H!!! haha

Love, NRS

Tina said...

Awesome Jenny! We were wondering what assignment you got. Where is your school?

Katie Beth said...

Haha this post made me laugh! Especially the part about the first graders falling asleep after lunch-- I have the same problem!

So glad you are having fun with your new kids!

Love ya!

Sharon said...

Thanks for such a sweet post today. It actually felt like I read a short story and smiled the whole way through. Love how you write: well, simply and heart grabbing. Keep it up. Love your cards too. Happy I happened upon your blog. Sharon in NJ

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