Friday, January 18, 2013

The Crayon and Glue Stickler

Hi Friends,

School started again on Tuesday and it's been quite the adjustment. Not that I thought it was going to be seamless or anything, but I was not prepared for the apparent decline in my teacher stamina after a three week and one day vacation. I'm working on building it back up to where it was before the break.

Upon my return I was curious to see how my students would behave. Had they matured a little bit or did they stay the same? I have to say, the first morning back was incredible. My kids were on it! Then, as they were acclimated back to what it was like to be in school again, the behaviors that challenged me during my first half year of teaching were back, with a vengeance!

FYT tip #47 Re-establish classroom rules, routines, and norms again after a long break.The kids will need it. Since the first two weeks back are both 4-day weeks, I'm taking both weeks to review content from last year and focus my attention on improving my classroom management. It's like starting over a little bit except this time the kids are already familiar with the classroom expectations.

One of my classroom expectations is that my students properly use and take good care of our classroom materials. I constantly remind them until my face turns blue about how to respect our crayons, glue sticks, etc. I have explained to them that our resources don't just appear out of thin air and that it's really important not to be wasteful. You could say I'm a stickler about it.

Well, my kids are especially baited to ruin their crayons. They love peeling off the paper skin and then proceeding to break the nude crayons. The poor crayons rarely stand a chance. However, I realized at the end of the day that the moral of my "Don't be wasteful!" harangues either hit home or my students just didn't want to hear it anymore.

School was out and I was looking through the crayon tubs, as usual, when I found another casualty, a bare yellow crayon. I picked it up and noticed that it was in fact broken, but scratched my head when the top half of the crayon was dangling from the bottom half. Upon closer examination, I discovered the sticky substance holding the two pieces together was glue. One of my kids actually tried to glue the broken crayon back together by rubbing a glue stick on it and presumably crossing their fingers hoping that I wouldn't notice. It was so funny the way I imagined this whole scene playing out in my mind. I chuckled hard. Hey, I have to hand it to my kids, they might be a bit more resourceful than I had originally given them credit for.

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