Music With Mrs. Tanenblatt

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Three Stars and a Wish: First Day of School

Another first day of school has come and gone... I can definitely say that it gets easier every year, as I feel more confident in teaching my music class routines and procedures. As I decompress after another exhausting but successful first day, I thought this would be a great time for a three stars and a wish!

First and foremost, I am so happy to finally have working air conditioning again! The A/C was broken when I returned from summer break to set up my portable at one of my schools. They had to call an outside company to fix it so it was a time consuming process. 

In the meantime, I had to get my classroom ready for students, air or not. It was SUPER slow going (if you've ever been in a portable, you know that they trap in the heat like a tin can) but I got it done. And the repair folks were working in my portable at 7:00 this morning and got it up and running just in time for students! Can you say, "ahhhh!"

When I think back to my first year teaching, that first day of school was ROUGH. I remember not really having any idea what to expect, and feeling blindsided when I had to deal with a special needs student getting into a physical fight with another child. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried in the principal's office at the end of that first day. Now, a few years later, I can happily report that nothing of that nature has happened since. And even if it did, I have many more tools in my "teacher toolkit" to resolve a situation like that. 

They have re-arranged the schedule at this school so that I have two first grade classes for the last hour of the day. I'm very used to having them last and I LOVE ending my day with these sweet children. When we went over our class rules, I asked my students to explain what it means to "be respectful" and one adorable girl said, "show gratitude." How amazing is that? I'm sure we could all use a little more gratitude in our lives.

This year, I am assigned to do lunch duty. I was extremely anxious about it because it's a responsibility I've never had before. If you know me personally, you know that I like to be prepared for everything and don't like unexpected things thrown at me... But as a teacher, unknowns are pretty much par for the course! There was some confusion during the clean up/lining up for recess portion of lunch duty, because last year the kids went back to their classroom instead of directly outside for recess. So half the students went to line up in one part of the cafeteria while the other half lined up somewhere else. When the classroom teachers came in to get their kids for recess they were understandably confused about why kids were lining up everywhere! That was a major fail for me. But as I tell my students, "mistakes are how we learn!" Now I know for next time that I have to be much more explicit when giving directions about lining up. I'm sure that particular task will go much better the next time I do it. 

All things considered, I'm very happy with how the first day of school went this year. I am happy to get to know a new group of students and I'm so excited that I get to be the one to bring music into their school lives!

{Three Stars and a Wish, or 3SW, was inspired by a popular method of peer critique: you point out three things that worked well and one thing you wish for improvement. I use it as a means for personal reflection of my teaching. If you would like to share your own 3SW, download the template here and linkup below.}


  1. Congrats on a successful first day! When I first read "no tears of accidents", I assumed you meant from the students, and I thought, oh that's really good because I always witnessed tears and accidents during that first week ;)

  2. Those AC repair folks were certainly efficient and fast, enough to get the AC running just when the kids showed up. At the very least, everyone was comfortable while learning new things. It would really be distracting if the room was too hot or stuffy while you were teaching. Anyway, thanks for sharing your week with your readers. Cheers!

    Jodi Bennett @ Marsh Heating