A Day in the First Grade

When was the last time you visited a first grade in a local school district? For me, it was decades ago...until this spring, when I went back to first grade.

Surprisingly, the program today is rigorous in content and timing of the class schedule. Most surprising is the student’s capacity to read, spell, add and subtract and understand science concepts, create original designs in art, appreciate music and seek interesting books during their library time. WOW! And they are just six years YOUNG.

Twenty-five toothless smiles on this particular week before Mother’s Day, the children were prompted to write: “The most important thing about my mother is:”

Many children wrote how much they were loved. “My mom loves me and I love her.”

Just as many wrote about the things my mom does for me: “Makes my lunch, takes care of my clothes and drives me everywhere.”

I was most encouraged when recess came and the children played on the playground. Running, squealing, playing tag, rolling on the grass and climbing on the jungle gym, as always.

These beautiful toothless children are getting $10. a tooth from the tooth fairy. Now that is inflation!

This dynamic teacher starts the day with a dance party in which the children are free to dance, socialize and just be free. I notice that the girls gather to chat about their dress, hair styles and just relate. The boys play games, talk about sports or tumble on the floor. Amazingly, when the free time is over and the music stops, the children are ready and able to start a day in writing, continue in their math books or work on reading comprehension. Each child is given a class number to log onto the computers and begin their digital training. As always, there are students who are unable to settle down and focus or simply sit in their chairs. It is heart warming to note that the administration is aware of these differences in students and in time, will offer support.

For me, the day was an incredible window offering a peek into the future generation.