I have 24 kids in my class this year. Maybe some of you are thinking that is a lot of kids. Some of you might be thinking that number sounds nice compared to yours. For me, it's a fairly high number. The last few years we have been between 18-21, so this year when we were at 24 or 25 per kindergarten classroom we were a little in shock. You wouldn't think that a couple more kids would make that big of a difference, but let me tell you, it does.
Everything is louder, wiggly-er, more crowded, more giggly, more everything. It takes longer to meet with all the reading groups because there are so many. It's harder to hold writing conferences with each child because there are so many.
But, every once in a while, a day like today comes along. Now mind you, I don't wish any of my students to be ill, but it doesn't hurt my feelings when a couple are absent from time to time. Recently, there have been several illnesses going around the school and the office has been more like a revolving door infirmary.
This morning, as I took attendance, we counted three students who were absent. This immediately takes my number down to the amount of students I had last year. It felt nice, comfortable.
I couldn't help but think...
Another one bites the dust...
About forty-five minutes into our day, my amazing para professional gave me the heads up that one of my students had a red, gooey eye. Yep, sure enough, it looked pretty bad. I mentioned it to her and asked what was happening with it. She immediately burst into tears.
A: My mom put eye drops in it this morning.
Me: Did you go to the doctor to check on it? [fingers crossed that she had gone in over the weekend]
Me: Can you tell me why you are crying?
A: It just really stings a lot!
Me: I think maybe you should head down to the office and have them check it out.
I called and gave the office a heads up and quickly got a call back saying A was going home. We were all pretty sure it was pink eye.
And another one's gone...
Fast forward about thirty minutes. I had paired up my now 20 students to do some partner reading. All was going well, kids were reading like little rock stars. Then...
M: I don't feel good.
Me: [feeling her forehead] You feel pretty warm. How about you head down to the office and have them check to see if you have a temp.
M: [nodded up at me with the most ashen white face I've seen]
I called and gave the office a heads up and quickly got a call back saying M was going home. She had a temp, an upset tummy, and a case of very pale and lethargic-ness.
And another one's gone...
Down to 19.
Fast forward about sixty minutes. We were lining up, getting our hands cleaned with germ juice, and grabbing lunchboxes, when a the next kiddo was picked up early. Luckily, she wasn't ill, but she was leaving for a doctor appointment.
And another one bites the dust...
Down to 18...and just like that...the magic started. I'm convinced that 18 is the perfect number of kindergarten students in a classroom. Everything flows better, everyone functions better, and everyone gets the 1-1 attention that they need. Magical!
I couldn't get the soundtrack out of my head today, so here you go. Now you get to enjoy it too!