Half of my new class came today (the other half comes tomorrow) as we start our 8 1/2 month journey of discovery. It always amazes me how easy it is for me to slide into the role of teacher. Today there were tears and upsets. There was some physical problem solving, but no biting or spitting, thank whatever gods you thank for that, just the normal pushing and slapping. The parents were all calm and good natured. There were three year olds so there were lots of hugs and calm words and some lap time, but really a nice group of children. Quite an international crowd. There are Punjabi, Russian, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Spanish speakers. What is truly mindboggling is that they actually communicate quite well without speaking the same language.
I did a lot of observing today which I always do in the first days to get a feel for the individuals and the group dynamics. I am optimistic at this point that it seems like a fairly calm group, but I am not going to count on it, because they are not comfortable yet. In about 3 or 4 weeks, they will know and trust me and the rest of the teachers enough to show their true selves. Then we will know what we are up against. But, I am looking forward to it. It is one of the challenges in my life that almost always pays off in hugs and a feeling of accomplishment with both parents and children. As long as I am committed to being present and paying attention and have expectations of success, it all works out well, unlike many other aspects of my life.