Sunday, January 9, 2011
Mary Louise's Take on School - Part 1
I love my new teacher, Mrs. Fink. Guess what, Mrs.Drew and Ms. Ellison! I have lockers! I also have to unpack all of my stuff before the bell rings. We don't have to wear uniforms. I do have to have snow pants and snow boots. I have to change my snow boots into my tennis shoes. I have learned how to tell time. I have two motor mouths in my class. Their names are Sarah Z. and Mary Louise, except I don't talk during class. Guess what! I have this huge super art room. The art teacher's name is Mr. Tait. I have this wonderful, wonderful music teacher and a wonderful gym teacher and computer teacher. Guess what! I ride the bus now!!! My bus number is 18. My bus driver's name is Bus Driver Bob.
The first thing I do when I get to school is to unpack my stuff and put it in my locker. Then the bell rings (8:25). I get my morning work. I write and count money. I still have timed tests. I made a 99 on my timed test. I only missed one math fact. After morning work, we go over the trick words and the spelling test words. We then count one set of coins and move on. We do some other stuff and then go to P.E., Music, Art or Computer.
The schools are divided by grades. Wilcox Primary has the Kindergarten and First Graders. There are a few Pre-K classes but it is mostly for the kids at risk.Then there is a 2nd and 3rd grade school which is about a block from our little house. The 4th-6th grade are in another school then the 7-8th and then the high school. All of the schools start and dismiss at different times. The buses make the different routes to get each school's students. Everyone is encouraged to ride the bus. Mary Louise will ride the bus, too. She is on the bus with only the children that go to her school in our neighborhood area. There are 12 classes for each grade level. Mary Louise has 25 kids in her class which is the average for all the classes. Her class has the high achievers for the most part. So her class is going to be challenging and keep her very busy. Her teacher, Mrs. Fink, is very nice. She has a nephew that plays 2nd base for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets baseball team. So that is a plus in our book. Go Jackets!!
The school is an older looking school. It has a loud old-fashioned bell like the ones I heard when in school ions ago. It has a small school feel even though there are at least 600 children there. Her room is on the hall labeled "Lincoln Lane". All of the hallways have names like that. There are lockers built into the walls in the hallways. She has a locker. I will have to get a picture of her at her locker later to show everyone. She is quite proud of it. She has had to figure out how to get her bookbag, coat, snow pants, lunch box, tennis shoes in the locker quickly and efficiently. She usually wears the snow boots to school and changes into her other boots or tennis shoes. She has to get all of her homework out of her bookbag and get everything hung up or put away before the 8:25 bell rings. Snow boots are typically left in the hall outside the lockers. So if you walk down the hall, you would see hundreds of snow boots lined up waiting to be put on.
Her lunch is around noon. After lunch is recess. They go out unless the windchill is super duper cold. They told me what it was but I was still taking in the fact that they go out at all. Anyway, students must have snow pants, snow boots, coat, gloves, hat before being allowed outside. If a student doesn't have their gear, they sit in the office and play with some coloring books and block like toys for the recess time. No uniforms but mandatory snow gear.
She has made some friends. One friend, Sarah, is a talker. But she has been very helpful orienting Mary Louise to the room's routine and other things about the school. I have met her mom and her sister who is Forrest's age. They are very nice and life-long residents. She tells me that usually a big snow comes around MLK's holiday. This is when they usually have snow days, but those 3 days have been used up BEFORE the Christmas break (highly unusual). She doesn't think we will have that kind of snow at MLK -"the weather patterns are not setting up for that kind of snow". I haven't been able to figure out any weather patterns here yet. Everything is gray, cold and snowy all the time. I am counting on her life-long experience and knowledge.
Wilcox is a nice little school. It seems to have very caring teachers and involved parents. I think Mary Louise will enjoy the remainder of her first grade year. She seems to have just picked up where she left off in Georgia with the exception of figuring out all the snow gear.
2nd Day of School- As we get in the van to go Mary Louise sees all of the snow falling and says, "Do we have to go to school today? It is snowing?" Guess what?! School is in unless there is white out conditions or 18 inches or more has fallen overnight. Very different from the South.