Off to a Sweet Start

by Ariel Jankord

From the moment I woke up this morning, the butterflies were swarming. I was excited and nervous about meeting my new group of students and parents. Thoughts swirled in my brain… Did they get my welcome back note in the mail? What will they think of the classroom setup? Will they think 100% parent information via tech is crazy? Have they heard good things about me?

The night was buzzing, in fact 100% of my kiddos showed up. One parent even mentioned they got the mail and headed straight over! (Yay, they did get my letter and it paid off!)

Many of the parents were intrigued by the setup. They commented on there being no desks, and how “chill” it looked. Many older siblings said they had wished their classrooms had looked like this when they were in 4th grade. One of my parents said, “Where are all the desks? Or I guess you just haven’t finished setting up the room? It looks like Starbucks in here!” Yes sir, that was the goal. (They LOVED my classroom setup!)

When I pointed my parents to the iPads on the tables asking them to fill out pertinent beginning of the year information they commented on how they loved the technology. One parent even said “ooh, isn’t this fancy?” Partly, it’s for my own sanity because I have trouble keeping track of things and my memory is shot already. But why not? Parents filling in a google forms automatically creates an easy to read, organized excel document with the information I need. Thank you Google! (Parents LOVED the ease of Google Forms vs. the millions of papers they normally fill out!)

And lastly, it warmed my heart to hear how many kids were so excited to be in my room this year. My favorite came from a student that was in the class next door to me last year, “We always heard all the fun music coming from your room!” While I was slightly embarrassed to hear this in front of her mom she assured me that she couldn’t wait to jam with me in 4th grade!

Y’all my heart is bursting with joy.