First Grade Classroom
The Diary of a First Grade Teacher

First grade classroom - where "paste smells good, but tastes even better" and where pencils aren’t needed because "crayons KNOW HOW to write bestest!"

Bright and early every morning the action in the classroom quickly springs to life as one-by-one my firsties arrive at school.

The WAY they enter the classroom gives me important information ...

The eager beavers ARRIVE REALLY EARLY, wide-eyed and perky. They need a few minutes to talk and to explore before they settle down.

Others, still bleary-eyed, stumble in as the tardy bell is ringing. They FEEL their way across the classroom, trying to quickly find their desks. They need a few minutes to wake up and to adjust.

So I give them a minute … while I check the roll. But soon everyone is awake and ready to go!

Early Action

This morning, Weesie rushed into the classroom and headed straight to me. Gently rubbing her arms, she complained, “Oh, Teacher, I never knew HOW MUCH my sho-sures hurted ‘til I got me dis bad sunburn!”

Then, Stevie ran through the door, sailing past Weesie and Amy, waving his arms in the air. “QUIET, QUIET, QUIET, everybody,” he yelled to them - the only two other students present so far. They stared at him, blankly.

“Everybody, out of my way! I got to tell the teacher A-HALF-A-PAGE!”

Student Helper

Every day I have a different student who serves as my student helper.

We start the day with my “helper” telling us the current date. Today was Gena’s turn …

Pigeon-toed and cute-as-a-button, she stood in the front of the classroom waiting anxiously for the last bell to ring.

When it rang, she was ready …

“Today is Friday,” she croaked, sounding like a frog, “October, the two.”

Then, as she headed toward her desk, she pointed to a piece of border hanging from one of the bulletin boards.

“Oh, and look, Teacher! Your doo-dad done come undoo-did!

Recess is Over

At recess, the bell had rung and all of the children, except one, were lined up, ready to come inside …

Joe Joe took his time. He was swinging and enjoying himself.

I blew my whistle, again.

Finally, he jumped off the swing and joined us.

Once inside, I spoke to him. “Whenever that bell rings, I want you to be the FIRST ONE I see coming to line up. Do you understand?”

On and on I went. "You know you shouldn't have made the entire first grade class wait on you."

I could see that my lecture bored him rigid ... He examined his shoes as if he had never seen them before.

"AND, as I remember," I continued, "you’ve done this once before!“

“Huh?” He was interested now - and huffy. “Once before WHAT!?”

Feeling Guilty

When Ema told me she had a stomach ache, I said, “Do you want to go to the bathroom?”

Stomping her foot, she clenched her jaw and groaned, “Ugggggh!”

What is it?” I asked, glancing at her feet.

With her tongue, she made the tsk sound. “Why do you ALWAYS ask me that?”

“Why? Well ... I thought you may need to go.”

“NO, I don’t HAVE TO GO!” she practically yelled. Then, tossing me a sidelong glance, she stormed away.

But in a minute, she was back beside me. “LOOK, I don’t have to go,” she said, as if she were depressed, but trying to do me a favor, “but IF YOU REALLY WANT ME TO ... I'll go.”

* * *

Now, where else on earth could you hear such straight talk as this? Personally, I think nowhere else, except a first grade classroom!


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Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler -