I love the start of the school year. There’s so many cool things about it. Here’s a top 10 list of my favorite things.
10. My desk is clean. I’m a pretty organized person… except my desk. My desk is usually a mess. I know where every single thing is in that mess, but the pile of junk might fall over and injure someone at any moment. I like the beginning of the year, because I have a chance to make brand new piles of desk mess.
9. All the markers work. At the end of the year it seems that all the white-board markers are just about dried out. I might have 40 markers on the tray, but none of them write dark enough. However, every fall the markers are bright and bold and write perfectly. I love that.
8. The clean smell. By January the whole place smells like old snow boots, there’s the whole thing about the funky gym clothes stank, and there’s always some kid that leaves a tuna sandwich in his locker for waaaaaaay longer than a tuna sandwich should be in a locker (just so you know, the rule on how long a tuna sandwich should be in a locker is a maximum of four hours). Today, this week, for the next few weeks, the school smells great.
7. Brand new notebooks. I love that all the spirals a brand spankin’ new. No one has the weird crinkly edge parts pouring out of the book, no one has the wire all bent up so there’s one long sticky-outy part hanging out 5 inches from the paper and stabbing everyone you walk by, and no one has to search through a gazillion pages full of doodles and drawings to find a piece of fresh paper – it’s all fresh paper.
6. It’s the start of the football season. I know this has nothing to do with school, but football and the start of the school year go hand in hand in my mind.
5. The teachers are so excited. Teaching is like no other job. No one else, except maybe professional athletes, gets a three month break from their job, then come back and it all starts over. It’s the same, but different. Teaching never gets boring, especially at the beginning of the year.
4. I get to meet with my TAP kids soon. What the heck is a TAP kid? I run a club called the Minooka Travel Abroad Program (TAP). Each year we take a group of 8th graders on a trip to a foreign country. The last five years we’ve traveled to Germany, Greece, Turkey, Italy, England, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Japan! This year we took 27 kids from Minooka to England, and in June 2014 we have 35 kids heading with us to Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. It takes a lot of work to get ready for an 8th grade trip to another country, so we meet every other Saturday during the school year to get prepared. We take the summer off from meetings, so I can’t wait to get back to getting the kids ready for our trip. No, sorry – 6th grade kids can’t go on the trip, but the good news is that they can join the club, participate in tons of cool activities, and get ready for a trip in 3 years!
3. My friends. Yup, I have friends at school too. A lot of the teachers are friends of mine, but I don’t get to see them much over the summer. I can’t wait to hear about trips they took and the things they did. The first few weeks of school are great for catching up with my friends.
2. Making new friends. Okay, I’m going to be your teacher, so maybe we’re not going to be exactly friends, but I am excited to meet you. We’re going to spend a whole year together, do some fun projects, and learn a ton, so I’m always excited to see new faces in my classroom. Not only that, but I like meeting new parents. I like forming a team with them to help their student be successful – a new year means new challenges and new people. Both of those are great things.
1. It’s a clean slate. I’m going to be honest. I made a few mistakes last year. There are somethings I want to do differently, there are a few things I want to make sure I don’t do again, and there’s a handful of new things I’d love to try out. With a new school year I get a clean slate, a second chance, a fresh start. So do you! If you slacked off last year, if you caused trouble, if you were disorganized, or didn’t study hard enough, or talked out of turn, or were always late… I have great news. None of your 6th grade teachers know that, so you have a clean slate – a new year is a fresh start to make a new and better you. I’m going to try to make a new and better me, so maybe you should too.
I can’t wait to see everyone on the first day. It’s going to be a great year. Well, it’s going to be great as long as we all remember the tuna sandwich rules.
For those of you that would like to get a jump on things, here’s a few parts of this website that might give you a good idea of what to expect from 6th grade Language Arts/Literature with Mr. Curtis.
About Our Class
A Letter to Parents
What’s the Goal of 6th Grade Lit/LA?
My Promises to My Students
Materials and Assignments
A Paperless Classroom???
Grading Policies and Classroom Rules