That's right, it's like a brand new school year! OK, so I didn't have to worry or fret TOO much about moving to a new room or decorating it (though I'm sure that I'm supposed to have more up for my bilingual students now). But 40 brand new kids, along with all of their brand new names??!! Come on, it's completely like starting over!
Thankfully, I have just enough room in my cupboard classroom under the staircase (thank you Harry Potter) to squeeze in 20 students per class, and thankfully, the kids seem to be pretty sweet. It's entirely possible they're really little monsters who are still scared of me and are waiting to show their true colors, but I really don't think that's the case. I think they worst I'll have to deal with is some chatty cathys. Or, given the makeup of my class now, some chatty carlottas.
I think I spoke more Spanish today than I have cumulatively in the past 2 years. I know all of my numbers pretty well, so any time I said a number in English, I would try to say it in Spanish. Also, a few phrases came back, so I would say them.
In one class, I have a little boy who speaks no English at all. During the morning activities, I noticed that he was moving along at a VERY slow pace. The first question on the board for the day was 79 + 231. This boy had written "79 + 231 = _______" Then he had skipped a line, and was midway through writing out the second problem. Yep, without even solving the first one.
I had told all of the kids earlier NOT to try to solve a problem like that horizontally (I used more words, but simpler words, but hopefully we're all adults reading this blog) because that's the "baby (ie, First Grade) way." I told them they need to "stack it up" so they can align the proper place values.
So when I saw this boy hadn't even solved number one, I went over, and told him, "Escribe dos cientos trienta uno aqui." The other kids at the table immediately looked at each other in amazement that this white-bread teacher could throw down a little es-pan-yole. (also, the kid solved the problem in about 45 seconds. Maybe he just needs a Spanish-language kick in the culo each morning.)
My former class went crazy whenever they saw me this morning. Which was kind of nice. They like me, they really like me.