I always like to check in with kiddos after a long break (or even a weekend) to see what they have been up to when they weren't in school. I had a lot of kids sharing about playing video games over break...not my favorite thing to hear, but there were a few who shared about reading books, getting books they were excited about for Christmas, and some interesting trips they went on. Both classes got right back into the swing of things and did great today. My PM class was more talkative...the AM class was pretty quiet. I wanted to review expectations and procedures, but they didn't really struggle to get back to it, so I didn't spend a lot of time reviewing. I will pop in some review here and there throughout the week, but overall I think we can just jump back in. Anyone else feel like there kiddos are just so grown up and capable all of a sudden? I have some math games that I have the kids do once a week where different levels of games are kept in color coded binders and the game sheets are in numerical order. Usually (as in prior to break), after correcting a game sheet, I would find the appropriate binder, locate the spot where the current page came from, remove the next sheet, and return it to the kiddo who needed it. Today I realized all the bending involved in that whole process and I decided it was time to have the kids get their own sheets. When I first introduced these math games to my kiddos, they never would have been able to manage opening binders, removing sheets, returning completed sheets to the right spot, and closing the binders. Today, with very little help, they did a great job. I easily passed off that part of the activity management to them and it was really helpful in terms of not having to bend over so much and being able to correct their work with less chaos. It's so awesome to see the difference between their capabilities on day 1 and now. They still have a long way to go, but it just proves how rockin' us Kinder teachers are. We make it happen!
The only real hitch to the day was upsetting a parent right off the bat. Well, to be honest, she annoyed me too, but it never feels good to know that a parent is not happy with you. We start the year providing parents with clear information about rules for how we celebrate birthdays in class and what foods are not allowed. The rules are as follows...
No cupcakes, cake, or ice cream
Please give us advance notice so we can plan accordingly to fit a birthday snack into our very full schedule
Check in to ensure an accurate head count of children in the class.
So...this morning when the kiddos were doing their morning work, a parent approaches me and says today is her child's birthday and could she bring a snack in later in the morning. My reaction may not have been super nice and I am pretty sure somewhat of a large sigh came out before I told her that no, she could not bring in a snack because I need more notice. She then turned to her child and said Mrs. Sneaker said she couldn't bring in cupcakes....to which I reminded her that cupcakes are not even allowed. I could tell she was annoyed, but I explained to her that we have rules that we provide at the beginning of the year and I cannot accommodate a birthday on such short notice (especially the very first day back after two weeks off). Our day was packed, but I also have students that don't celebrate and I need to make arrangements for where they will go if the other kids are having a birthday snack. I did tell the mom that if she wanted to plan the snack for later in the week we could do it and when she picked up her kiddo after school she asked if she could bring cookies on Thursday or Friday. I feel really bad because I don't want to come off like a snot, but if I break the rule for her, I am inviting more parents to break the rule and I just don't feel like it's THAT important for kids to celebrate their birthdays in half day Kindergarten...Yes, birthdays are huge, but it's also huge to sit down and create lesson plans for an already too short day during which every minute counts and I just don't feel the need to throw that to the wayside for a parent who didn't follow the rules. She blamed it on the break, but 1. I check my email over the break and had she emailed I would have gotten it and responded and 2. I probably would have told her that the first day back is not a good day to have a disruption to the routine...am I just mean? I was actually kind of proud of myself for standing my ground and not bending because usually I am a pushover for things like that.
What would you have said to the impromptu birthday parent?