Monday, January 4, 2010

A Shiny New Day

I so love the first day back in school after a break. I can barely sleep the night before as I lay and wonder which students will show up at school: the sleepy ones who aren't accustomed to getting up so early or the rested ones who are too excited to focus on schoolwork.

Today I drove to school and thought of each group. I remembered the years I had to walk desk to desk and grab up kids by the nape of the neck...just to keep them from snoring. I also thought of a return after spring break a couple of years ago. Those students were so distracted I had to fight for attention and eventually gave up.

So today I watched the first wave of students come down the hallway - the sixth graders. Immediately I knew which group had arrived - the sleepy type! They came down the hall in slow motion, like a prepubescent gelatin gradually released from its mold, these kids were sleepwalking out of the gym, down the hallway, and into their homerooms.

Glazed eyes walked by me; I couldn't even grab a hug or get a hello. It was too cute! A sixth grade teacher called for some of us to come look at her class - we peeked in to see twenty-nine little zombies staring straight ahead.

As the day wore on, of course, one by one our students woke up. As I worked with children throughout the day, walking up and down the aisles of the classroom, I noticed my own distraction: my eyes were drawn to the floor. And then I realized - almost every student had on new shoes, gifts from Santa visits during break. New sneakers were everywhere and every color of furry boot you can imagine.

I started thinking about sleepy children in shiny new shoes and got excited about a new year and new possibilities. Happy New Year to teachers and students sleepy and awake. Welcome to a shiny new year!


suzyq6212 said...

Happy New Year to you!
I came across your page while researching (googling =)) insights of Middle school and High school teachers.
I am currently pursuing an undergraduate in Education in Middle grades. I am more than half-way through, and I just had this urgent feeling that maybe I should be obtaining a degree for Secondary Education...I have always thought I wanted to teach Middle school, but I would love an opportunity to teach High School Chemistry...This poses a dilemma since the two paths are dramatically different from this semester.
So,I have a question for you (one that I have fail to find an answer to on the internet)-- how hard is it to become a high school teacher with a degree and certification for middle school science? (and vice-versa?) My understanding is that you need different certifications in order to teach different grade levels and subjects but do you need another bachelor's degree in Chemistry in order to become a Chemistry teacher?
Any insight you could give me on this subject would be much appreciated.

I have loved reading your post about your love for Middle school students and your new found love for the elementary school students.
I think your students are very lucky to have such enthusiastic teacher!

Cindi Rigsbee said...

Thanks for your kind words, Suzyq! As far as your dilemma, licensure is different from state to state so your best bet is to call the licensure office at your state's Department of Education. However, your advisor in your School of Ed should also know the requirements. In some states, if you're licensed to teach middle school science, you only have to take the Praxis in Chemistry to be able to teach that subject in high school. But be sure to check on the guidelines wherever you want to teach. Good luck!