Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Grade Me

As a first grade teacher, I often think about my own year as a first grader, way back when.

And I wonder.

If I was a first grader in my own classroom, would I be able to hack it?

Would I have the qualities I expect from my students?

Responsibility: I don't think I ever had a backpack. Or homework to return. I wonder if my teacher expected me to be responsible at age 6.

Effort: I remember learning the word "red". That took a lot of effort. We actually learned all the colors of a stop light. Now my students have 11 spelling words per week, including bonus words like responsibility and cooperation. I wonder why things were so different back then. And it amazes me that my students are expected (by ME, the girl who was proud to know red) to read and write and learn nouns, verbs and adjectives (including the word red).

Expectations have changed through the years, and I'm actually quite proud of that. I'm glad I am a high expectations teacher. I'm glad the kids become responsible on my watch. And another thing. I think I could have hacked it. (Being in my own class, that is.) I would have wanted to please my teacher, so I think I would have jumped through hoops to become the student she wanted me to be.

What about you? How was first grade for YOU?


  1. First grade rocked my socks off. My teacher's name was Joe Miracle. That's right, Mr. Miracle. In our daily gathering, he would use a large rod puppet named Whiskers (the inspiration for me naming Grammy's cat Swiskers), to talk to us. Our room was always different, I was always learning, and we had hermit crabs. The thing I remember most was all of the art. And the very last day of school when I had Mr. Miracle lean down so I could plant one right on his cheek before I got on the bus. ;) Expectations were always high for me in my day. The teacher with the lowest expectations stuck out like a sore thumb. That was sixth grade. I was also really fortunate to attend K-7 in one of the highest achieving school districts in the nation.

  2. I'm so glad you had a great first grade year, BrieAnn. Mr. Miracle sounds lovely. My teacher was quite a lot older than even me at this age, and I'm sure she was lovely, but I don't remember a lot about my year. That's what inspired this blog post.


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