Well, we are already in the evening of September 5th! Where did time GO?! TWO days of school are OVER already!?!
I have been INCREDIBLY BUSY lately... between getting ready for the new school year, and all of the exciting final details coming together for Quin's wedding (which is THIS Saturday! OMG!). I've been working on a slideshow for the wedding, and editing my Maid of Honour speech... tomorrow night is the rehearsal dinner! Insanity.
I am, as I mentioned before, teaching a 3/4 split for the first time. I've had such great days at school so far! Having gone from grade one, to grade two, and now three AND four... wow! First days of school get so much easier with each older grade! Go figure, eh? ;-)
My class seems lovely, I'm so looking forward to this year! I did have a parent yesterday who was very disappointed with their child being a grade 4 in the 3/4 split. I suppose they felt it meant their child wasn't doing so well, and had to almost "stay back" with the grade 3's. I explained that this isn't the case. In fact, in our school regardless of if you are the higher or lower student in the grade, it is quite a compliment to your child's learning style that there were selected for the split class. Typically we choose students who can work independently, and often they are quite top achievers. Split classes are a reality because the government has a cap on our class sizes, however it isn't a negative for a child to be in one... of course that can all depend on how the individual teacher or different school runs it.
Well, this parent came to see me today (yesterday they did not speak to me about it). I think I was able to reassure her, I will teach the kids (and I've told the kids this) like they are in Grade 3 or in Grade 4. They will receive a fair education based on the curriculum and grade they are in. I will ensure I differentiate my instruction and expectations, and reach out to each student as an individual based on their needs. Having a class capped at 23 students does afford me this opportunity.
The mom gave me some of the nicest feedback I've ever heard since starting this profession: that she was very concerned yesterday but after "speaking to some other parents" she was told, "Your child is with a really great teacher right now, be careful asking for a change you might not get such a great teacher".
I was very humble about it when the parent said this to me, but wow! How nice is that?! I am not even a permanent teacher yet, though I've worked going on four years now covering maternity leaves in the same school. How nice is it to hear that the parent perception is that I'm a "great teacher"?! That regardless of concerns about the split, the general thought out there is that I will do a good job?! She even said she thinks she'd almost prefer now for her child not to be moved.
What a confidence boost! You don't always get much feedback as a teacher, the kids may like you but you don't always hear how the parents feel. I try very hard to develop a positive rapport with parents, I am so glad to hear it's working out. What a lovely thing to hear on the second day of school, I have such a renewed spirit for this school year!