Monday, September 12, 2011

1st Grade

The morning of the first day of First Grade was such fun! No real fears, few unknowns, morning routines already very familiar. This is the outfit Eva chose for her first day. Showing off the new hole in her mouth left after she pulled her tooth out a few days before school started.

Found the new locker... right across the hall from her Kinder teacher, Sra. Ponce Carmona.

And, found her chair, right next to her friend Matthew from last year. Then the nerves started to set in just a bit. As we walked into the classroom, the teacher was no where in sight and the rest of the kids looked alarmingly somber. No one was talking or excitedly showing off new school shoes, or even smiling. Eva was brave, though pretty nervous, I think. I was curious all day to find out if the day had gone well. She claimed that your teacher was going to be very loving and kind after the first day's impressions. By the second day, though, she was a complete wreck after school. By the third day, I was considering investing in handcuffs and a padded room. Eva was throwing tantrums and "blowing off steam" of an intensity we had not experienced before. I was starting to get concerned, wondering what was going on at school and if the teacher was just too strict or tough.

Eva shared that she had gotten yellow cards (like a warning) on Wednesday AND Thursday, which was a complete surprise. Her Kinder teacher had continually praised Eva's good behavior, and often said she was possibly too concerned about following the rules. ****An aside- at home, Eva is not at all a perfectly obedient child (far from it!), but at school she is so concerned about pleasing her teacher, that she really works hard at it.**** When I asked her what the yellow cards were for, she said that she hadn't been watching the teacher the entire time she was talking. The other one was for being distracted by the boys who sit at her table. She said, "those boys aren't really very interested in learning. But I get distracted by their talking!"

Ugh. Not a great start to 1st Grade at all! As a former teacher, I wasn't surprised that Sra. Castro was starting the year out strict. But.... As a mom, I was concerned that Eva was going to have a crushed spirit and not be confident in her relationship with her teacher.

Well, Friday afternoon rolled around, and all the craziness of the early part of the week was nowhere to be found! As Eva and I talked about her school day, she said is was "Great!". She said that her teacher had told their class that they, "learn faster than all the other classes." Alrighty then! She was very proud of this "fact". Apparently Eva's competitive nature just needed some props from the teacher? Or maybe she was just happy to have arrived at the weekend? Do teachers generally use false praise to garner the allegiance of their students???

All of the enigmatic events of last week make me very, very curious about the rest of this school year. I think we could've said, "Toto, we're not in Kinder anymore." and "Welcome to the big leagues, Eva!"

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