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Ready for a new start!

Posted by Suzanne D on 8/05/03 at 21:10 (126342)

Hello, Friends! Tomorrow is our first day of school with the children. We have had meetings on top of meetings lately, but tomorrow the students arrive, and I am looking forward to it! There is only one first day of first grade, and I realize anew every year how important to the children that day is.

I know this may not be of earth-shattering interest to many people, but it is on my mind and important to me, so I will share it with you and then go to bed to be rested enough to greet the day tomorrow! Thanks to those of you who take the time to read it and share with me.

Each year, I like to start with something special, so this time we will begin with special Curious George (You know, the funny little monkey) books and activities. He was a little monkey who was always very curious, and so are first graders, so it seemed a good match. Tomorrow we will have a story and other activities which will include making a monkey sack puppet. I made some little beanbags from Curious George fabric, and we'll play a get-acquainted game where we toss the beanbag and tell something about ourselves.

Speaking of that fabric, I made myself a dress from it! Now that is pretty corny, I know, but they will like it, and I will enjoy getting into the spirit of things. One thing about outfits like that, Birk sandals look just fine with them! What else would you wear with such a dress?! ;)

I met most of my students last night at Open House. As always, some were chattering from the moment they entered the door, and others clung to their mothers like glue. They'll be fine once the moms go on home! :) (It's just convincing the moms that is the difficult part!) They are all so full of hope and excitement; I wish we could all remain that way throughout our lives.

Well, thanks for listening. I wish for each of you a good night.
Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

Carole C in NOLA on 8/05/03 at 22:31 (126352)

I LOVED Curious George! Your kids will probably love your dress. I hope the first day of school this year is wonderful and a good beginning for the class. :)

Carole C

Re: Ready for a new start!

Necee on 8/06/03 at 00:40 (126358)

I can just feel the excitment and anticipation in your post Suzanne!
The start of a new school year has to be a great time for teachers as well as students. Being able to reach out and touch those young lives has got to be the greatest feeling in the world!
All the best to you as you begin a new chapter in their lives as well as your own.

Happy trails....


Re: Ready for a new start!

Dorothy on 8/06/03 at 02:11 (126359)

I'm a little late tonight in joining the well-wishers to you and your new class. What an exciting day - and I love your insightful 'there is only one first day for the first-graders...' I, too, LOVE Curious George and think it is a delightful series. Well, Suzanne, here's wishing you and your little ones a wonderful year and continued good feet to you as well.
Isn't August 6 a little early for school to start? Well, no matter; it starts when it starts - but it's HOT in Kentucky in August! Good wishes to you ~

Re: Ready for a new start!

BevN. on 8/06/03 at 07:18 (126361)


Oh, I bet your curious George dress is so cute, you are so clever :) What a hit you will be today with those little first graders. I read Curious George to my grandchildren , I have several of the books and they love them. You have a fun day today with all of those precious little ones :) Bev

Re: Ready for a new start!

marie on 8/06/03 at 08:55 (126369)

Hope you are having a wonderfully curious George day! Best wishes to you and your wonderful new class of students!!!! You're right there is only one first day of school....I get the other end the last day of school. It's never what the Seniors think it is going to be. The underclassmen can't understand why the Seniors are so quiet. It's an emotional time for them as they begin to realize that this is the last time they will be together as a class and the changes that they are about to experience. Some will go to college, trade school, work, marriage (some have already started their families), and some have no idea what they're going to do. The best advice I can give those that have no clue what they're going to do is too just make plans for the day after graduation.

Enjoy your class!


Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/06/03 at 10:00 (126376)

Thank you so much, Carole! I took the children to art class a few minutes ago. So far we are off to a good start!

I have always loved Curious George, too. It is becoming a timeless classic. Would you believe it was published in 1941?!

Have a good day!
Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/06/03 at 10:02 (126377)

Thank you, Necee! There were a few tears this morning, but they soon passed, and everyone seems happy, excited, and curious!

That's a good way to look at it: 'a new chapter in their lives as well as mine'.

Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/06/03 at 10:05 (126378)

Thank you, Dorothy, for the good wishes! Our school district is on an 'alternative calendar'. We begin near the first of August and close at the end of May (or later depending on snow days!), having two-week breaks in October, December, and March. I'm still adjusting to the schedule, but my students have known nothing else, so it doesn't bother them. Thankfully, the schools are air-conditioned. I taught several years before we got air-conditioning, and this schedule would not have worked then. We had some hot days in late August and September during those years.

Have a nice day!
Suzsnne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/06/03 at 10:07 (126379)

Thank you, Dorothy! The children do seem to like my dress, and if that helped get them off to a smiling start (and me, too!), then it was worth it.

We ARE having fun! Thanks for the good thoughts.
Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/06/03 at 10:10 (126380)

Thank you, Marie! I have a daughter who is a senior in high school this year, so what you wrote hit close to home! I looked at her this morning and thought how very quickly her years at school have flown by. I hope she is having a good start to this final year. Sometimes the high schoolers are just as sensitive as the first graders, aren't they? They just can't let others know about it as easily.

Enjoy your last bit of summer vacation!
Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

JudyS on 8/06/03 at 14:32 (126410)

Suzanne - I want to be one of your first-graders! :) (I think I said that last year also!)

Hope your first day was fun.

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/06/03 at 15:42 (126413)

Thanks, Judy! We did have a fun first day. My FEET are not having fun right now, though (just getting used to the hard floors again and being on my feet so much). I think I'll go home soon and soak them in cool water! That sounds good to me right now.

But the monkeys on my dress are still smiling, so I am, too! ;)

Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

Kathy G on 8/06/03 at 16:55 (126417)


What a wonderful idea! My son had two teachers who were dedicated, like you, and went the extra mile. My daughter sadly had none. Most of her teachers were good but they didn't have that extra spark that you possess that makes such a difference!

I REALLY think you should have sent us a picture of you in the Curious George fabric dress! :D

Hope the day went well and your feet will recover. May this year be a good one for you and your little ones!

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/06/03 at 17:20 (126433)

Thank you, Kathy! I thought of having someone take my picture in the dress just to make you all smile, but then other than sending it to Scott (which I don't want to do since I already have one on the pictures site), I really don't know how to post photos like Carole has done or on the Shutterfly pages like some have done recently. Maybe my daughter can help me one of these days.

I'm sitting with my feet in a tub of really cold water, and it feels really good!

Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

marie on 8/06/03 at 18:01 (126437)

Oh we'd love to see you in your dress1 Please go to shutterfly.com and get signed up right away. Do you have a digital camera you can use? I just think that it must have been a wonderfully fun day for the kids!!!

Did you sing the little monkey song? Ten little monkeys jumping on the bed one fell off and hit his head, nine little monkeys... well you get the idea. That was my sons favorite song.

keep those monkeys jumping......marie

Re: What goes on the night before the first day of school

Pam S. on 8/06/03 at 21:15 (126447)

Dear Suzanne:
I read your post last night and I thought it was just so dear. I have said on hear before school teachers are right up there with angels in my book and you sound like a VERY ungorgettable one!!!

The funny thing is my sister called me today. She has one child who is 6 and just started 1st. grade today too. My sister works a long day and tried to get very organized last night. My niece wears a uniform and they had bought it several weeks ago along with a very jazzy backpack she just HAD to have and a spiffy pair of new shoes. My sister loves to bake and she make homemade peanut butter cookies for the lunch (I would have never done that!!!) (This is an only child mind you)

Anyway, they packed the backpack with all the supplies but Mary K. could not get the buckles to work to shut it properly so NO backpack for today...no way. My sister had to run out and try to find another backpack at the last minute. Could not find one so they washed an old one and it looked just fine. Then they tried on the shoes to make sure the socks were ok and she had already outgrown the shoes.....plan B and OLD pair of shoes can you imagine. Mary K did not like the peanut butter cookies at all so my sister ran and got slice and bake so her first day of school lunch would be special. Then they all collasped into bed. HAAAAAA

Who is more exhausted the MOMS or the TEACHERS. This child is not that spoiled I promise ( I do not think.......) I still cannot figure out what is wrong with store bought cookies....oh well.

Here's wishing you a great start to school, comfortable shoes, easy children and a picture of you in that dress PROMISE Warmly, Pam

Re: I forgot the most important part

Pam S. on 8/06/03 at 21:21 (126448)

One more thing happened... she lost her front tooth also. Can you believe that. Sorry about all the typos above. Take care

Re: I forgot the most important part

Carole C in NOLA on 8/06/03 at 22:21 (126452)


My daughter's first day at kindergarten was a little ragged too. The night before, at about 10:30 PM (long after Christina was asleep), I broke my toe on the coffee table as I headed for bed. It was a really bad break and the circulation to my toe seemed compromised, so I had to go to the emergency room.

We dragged my daughter out of bed, and she and my ex stayed in the waiting room of the emergency room until about 2:30 AM when I finally came out after a big burly intern set my toe. We picked up some crutches at an all night pharmacy on the way home, and the next morning I hobbled in with my daughter to her kindergarten classroom. All the other mothers and teachers were sympathizing, which probably embarrassed Christina even more than it did me.

Luckily her teacher was outstanding, like Suzanne, and she got a good start despite everything. She did have a pretty new green dress and new pink tennis shoes that she liked. :)

Carole C

Re: PS

Carole C in NOLA on 8/06/03 at 22:22 (126453)

P.S., I forgot to say that that was 19 years ago!!! My toe healed nicely and I've even forgotten exactly which one it was.

Carole C

Re: Ready for a new start!

john h on 8/07/03 at 11:11 (126479)

Suzanne: Do schools use any volunteers to assist teachers?

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/07/03 at 12:18 (126484)

John, I have a paid assistant approximately 2 hours a day. And, yes, volunteers are encouraged and needed!

Three years ago a retired man in our church talked to me about wanting to volunteer. He ended up being the most loved volunteer in the school! The children called him 'Grandpa' and looked so forward to the times he came. He would read a book to them as a group and help with individual testing in reading. I already had a volunteer that year, so he helped another class who had no one. He would call me sometimes to tell me how much he was enjoying it. After some months, he had to start having kidney dialysis and was not able to continue coming each week. The children made cards and notes for him and the teacher bound them together in a book. It meant so much to him. Volunteers really do fill a need!

Suzanne :)

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/07/03 at 12:20 (126485)

I'll try to get someone at school to take my picture with the school digital camera the next time I wear the dress, Marie. Then maybe I can figure out how to post it!

Yes, I love that monkey song! We're singing it this week, to be sure.

Suzanne :)

Re: I forgot the most important part

Suzanne D on 8/07/03 at 12:26 (126486)

Pam, your sister sounds like a very loving and concerned mother! That was sweet of her to try so hard to make her daughter's first day of first grade so special. Your neice won't forget it in years to come! And to lose a tooth at that important time ~ that is unforgettable, too! (I've found that new shoes and lost teeth are about the most special things to first graders that you can imagine!)

I hope she has a good year in first grade!
Suzanne :)

Re: I forgot the most important part

Suzanne D on 8/07/03 at 12:41 (126487)

Carole, I'll bet Christina still remembers her pretty dress and shoes! I remember through the years how excited my daughters would be to go school shopping and get their bookbag and other supplies. Then they would think long and hard about what to wear and have it all laid out the night before (which I insisted they do because I always had so much on my mind on the first day I wanted to try to be organized!)

How unpleasant for you to break your toe the night before, but, being a good mother, you still made it there for her big day, and I'm sure that is something she'll never forget as well!

Suzanne :)

Re: I forgot the most important part

CLCinNOLA on 8/07/03 at 12:57 (126491)

You are right, Suzanne... she remembers the dress, but her eyes really light up when she remembers those pretty pink shoes. :)

Carole C

Re: Ready for a new start!

Kathy G on 8/07/03 at 16:01 (126508)


Up until my daughter reached sixth grade, which was ten years ago, I used to volunteer on a regular basis. I was also always the room mother and organized refreshments, etc. for holidays. It was fun for me and I got to know all of her classmates as well as seeing the teacher in action. I wasn't able to do it as much with my son as my daugher was so much younger, but I helped out with the school 'store' at recess and my son and his friends would wheel her around in her carriage while I was working. Actually, my son would end up off playing some game but the girls would enjoy wheeling her about and acting maternal.

My friends who teach tell me that they still welcome parent volunteers or any kind of volunteer for that matter but it is tough to find them these days. I sometimes think that I might like to go back and do it again. I used to love editing their stories when they were just learning to write stories and spelling didn't count. The way some of them spelled made you and Dr. Z look like scholars! :D

Re: Ready for a new start!

Suzanne D on 8/07/03 at 16:08 (126510)

Oh, yes, Kathy, you'd be a great volunteer in any classroom! Just tell the teacher that you need to sit as much as possible. Believe me, they could use any help that you could offer! And children really relate to those who come on a regular basis. It truly enriches the classroom in many ways.

Suzanne :)