One day last week I sent my class to the local library for story time, along with a sub provided by the Princess, my assistant, my Americorps volunteer, and our special ed teacher. I stayed behind to meet the kids I will have in the fall, who came with their parents for registration.
While the parents filled out forms and talked to interpreters and/or the principal, “the little kids” (as I called them when I explained to my class why I wasn’t coming to the library) came into the room with me. I had hoped for seven, but actually got thirteen. That’s great turnout for our school.
I had them sit down in the meeting area, and guess what book I read? Of course, it was Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! I read that every spring at registration, and again on the first day of school. It’s one of those books that just hooks kids, and gets them to love reading right away. These little guys loved it, but they were surprisingly quiet about telling the pigeon ‘No!’ to all his crazy requests.
I gave them snack, and then put out toys for them to play with. The group was adorable, and some of them I am really excited about. One little guy is the younger brother of a student I had last year. The older brother pretended for months that he couldn’t speak English, until one day when we overheard him, and he gave us an awesome, twinkly grin when we said we knew he could speak English after all. The younger brother didn’t go for subterfuge; he was speaking great English to me right away, and was really confident and excited. He wasn’t nervous at all, because he felt like he already knew me.
Another child won my heart at the end, when we cleaned up and I sent them back to their parents, in the hall. She looked into my room longingly. “It’s beautiful,” she said, pointing through the glass window on our door. “Your home, it’s beautiful.”
I won’t be living in my classroom, but I will be delighted to welcome “the little kids” in the fall.