Movies and Cupcakes
Today I was a 1st grade teacher at Robeson Elementary in Champaign. The assignment was only two and a half hours long. I would normally turn down such an assignment, as I prefer to work for a full day, but I had no assignment this morning, so it worked out quite well for me. And I was able to come in at last minute for a teacher who needed to take her daughter to the doctor to treat a nasty bout of warts on her foot.
The students had PE first thing when I arrived, then they were watching a movie with the rest of the first graders as part of a Earth Day celebrations. The movie was the Disney Nature film, Oceans. After the movie, we came back to the classroom where we celebrated a birthday for one of the girls in the class. With such an easy afternoon, you’d think that everything would have gone really well.
Unfortunately, it was the Thursday before a 4-day weekend, and the students all over the building were a bit antsy. The class did not do too well in PE (they got 2 points out of the 5 possible). There was a lot of talking during the movie, despite numerous warnings from the other first grade teachers. And then I had a lot of kids running around the room during birthday treats. All of this was after their teachers had talked to them a lot about good behaviour and rewards for meeting expectations. Of course, they are in first grade, which means most of them are 6 or 7 years old, and they are still learning self-control. But I have seen these first graders demonstrate the ability to do what is expected before, so I know they can do it again.