So, a new year has begun. I have new faces and old faces in my 7th grade classroom. About 5 of my 30 kids were in my class last year, much to my chagrin. They're great kids, but I just REALLY like starting my year fresh. Oh well. I have the gifted "cluster" of students, which means I have 3 or 4 gifted kids and the rest are about middle ground. After my first day, my only real opinion was, "At least I didn't have a kid come in that was aiming to be trouble from the second he stepped foot in the door." And so far, that has proved to be true. The more I think about it though, the more of a good omen it seems.
Although things are still not perfect, every year gets a little better, and I get a little bit more confident. Overall, I feel like I have a pretty decent class, near as I can tell. At one point today (Day 9), it occurred to me how well they all seem to get along, and how rare that is! Last week all the specials teachers said the class was good, but that means nothing the first week because all the kids are good. However, I give the compliment to the kids anyway. A compliment is a compliment, right? The first time I did this, my 6th graders didn't know what a compliment is, but now every kid knows what it is and is listening intently for it. The reason for the intense desire for compliments is because we have a compliment paper chain started in the classroom, so that every time they get a compliment from another teacher, they get another link. When it gets to the specified length (around 40 or 50), they get a pizza party. (I know, I know Mom, I shouldn't reward them with food...After a while with 13 year olds though, you do what works.)
Anyway, to say the least, now the kids listen very keenly for compliments. So today, they had 2 specials (don't ask me why), and it's not uncommon for the teachers to tell me as the kids are leaving if they did well. However, the kids claimed that both teachers had given them compliments which I didn't hear (it's also not uncommon for kids to make up compliments :-)) so I said I'd talk to those teachers later. However, BOTH of those teachers tracked ME down later in the day to tell me how much they enjoyed working with my class today, how good they are, and how they all participate and get along! Yay!!
Part of me feels like this is a bit too good to be true and/or that maybe I'm jinxing this, but I guess time will tell...