This is the absolute best start to a year that I can remember having since Riley was born. Several factors made that possible:
1. I have tons of ideas from the summer workshops I've attended at SMU the last two summers. More material and ideas to work with than I know what to do with! And more confidence as a teacher.
2. I have felt as though my behavior management was slipping the past two years. Kids were more talkative than in past years. I wasn't as hard and expectant of students in their listening from the very first day. Last year was a huge growth year for me as a teacher. I have a renewed passion to teach and expectations that they learn. It has made the first week go so smoothly, calmly and wonderful. I feel like I'm getting more life back inside of me each year.
3. Riley is thrilled with her second grade teacher. Mrs. Ward is cheerful, organized, has well-planned lessons and high expectations. She looks forward to school every day.
4. Riley chose to use an alarm clock this year! She had the idea that maybe she'd like to wake up to an alarm clock and has loved it. She woke up four of the five days on time and ready to go! She was exhausted on Thursday and her alarm went off for 16 minutes before she turned it off. She said she loves the sound of the alarm clock.
In fact, when she did the camp at TCHS while I had inservice, we walked by cicadas in the grass. She said "Mom, those cicadas sound just like my alarm clock. It's so beautiful!"
5. Julia is dressing herself this year! AND wearing socks! She is not fighting us for thirty minutes to get moving in the mornings. She's excited about getting ready and that she can do it all on her own.
6. Julia loves her new preschool teacher, Mrs. Ascilla. She has been a complete blessing from God. She is tall, quiet, incredibly organized (she has their cubbies designated for specific items - clothes in case of accidents go in the top, folders in the bottom and all the nap mats hang in Blue Walmart bags from the hooks so they are all separate). Julia is so happy to go to school. Not one crying fit yet! She sits at the morning table knowing that Mrs. Ascilla will be there in a few minutes and she just loves it.
7. SMU Grad School has been just what I have needed. I love being a student again and being challenged in my learning. My colleagues in the classes are so fun and it's nice to be with people who truly understand me and my job.
Riley's first day pictures: