While we were celebrating a fellow 4th grade teacher's retirement at the end of last year, it was a joyous occasion and we were all extremely thrilled for her. We were also excited by the news that a new teacher would be joining our team, one who we all knew and got along well with. Well, over the summer, things change and turns out our "numbers" weren't high enough to warrant that new teacher being hired at our school. I think it was about 4 days before school started when this news was finally broken to us and we came to the realization that we'd each be maxing out our classrooms this year. I got my first 'tentative' class list with a whopping 25 students on it! There were definitely some periods of freak-out with that news, but seeing as there was nothing I could do about it, I tried to keep a positive attitude and set up the room for all of the smiling faces I'd be seeing soon. (It didn't help that every 3rd grade teacher or administrator who saw my class list made a sour face and basically said "good luck!"...). Well, the first day of school came and went. Three students from my list hadn't shown up, but three new ones got assigned to me that day. 25 students. I can work with that.
About 2 weeks into school, one of my girls moved out of state, so I was at a comfortable 24. We had gotten into our routines and we hardly even noticed that we were the second largest class in the whole school.
Fast forward a few weeks to Halloween. I already knew it would be a crazy week, but it turned out to be crazier still when I got the news that I was getting two new kiddos! Up to 26. At first it was frustrating, but the longer I think about it and adjust to the news/reality, my perspective changes. Instead of stewing on the negatives and complaining about how difficult it is, I try to see the positives. A) I get to provide a quality education to 26 students who will one day make up our nation's leaders and workforce.
B) Lots of teachers around America/the world have wayyy more than 26 students in a class and often much smaller/lower quality facilities! I should be thankful it's only 26 (for now, at least! I heard I'm not "maxed out" until I reach 30.... holy moly!) and I have a huge, beautiful classroom for them!
C) My principal/the administration must trust me with all these little ones or they'd find a way to send them (or me!) somewhere else. That's a lot of trust!
D) More students = higher probability of funny stories for my blog! :)
Hopefully I can keep this attitude up in the middle of the day when all 26 of them are talking at once and I feel like storming out of the classroom!