Today is my first day back at the elementary school on the other side of town. My bag is packed with stickers of snowmen and penguins to hand out to those children I come across in the office and on the playground. I refilled my supply of wet wipes, kleenix and water. I have my lunch money for today and tomorrow.
The book I will be reading to the three first grade classes that I see today is “Down the Road” by Alice Schertle. The illustrations by E.B. Lewis are amazing, a cross between watercolor and photograph. The kids are going to love the pictures.
I think one of those classes may be ready for a reward for good behavior. Their star chart, which we use to record their behavior, was just one star away from another reward. They’ve already earned two this school year, and both times I’ve given them pencils. While shopping after Christmas, I found boxes of color pencils that I bought, thinking they would make a good prize. Each child will get their own box. The sad part, there were only enough boxes for one class set. I would love to give each of the 103 first graders their own box.
Today’s lunch will be beef patty and mashed potatoes, one of my favorites of the meals made at the satellite kitchen and trucked to the school. While on Christmas break, I was approached by the local paper to do a story about my photos of the school lunches that I post on social media.
The writer, who follows me on twitter, had seen my posts and thought it would be an interesting piece since there is so much in the news lately about school lunches because of new government guidelines for nutrition. The plan had been to send a photographer today to get a picture of me standing in line with the first graders to get lunch. Instead, the photographer is coming tomorrow, when the school lunch is chicken nuggets and brown rice.
It is cold and foggy this morning and may still be chilly when I arrive at school so I’m throwing a jacket over my uniform to help keep me warm on the playground after lunch. The classrooms, fortunately, will be toasty warm. I’m curious to see how many students returned after the holiday break and how many new students will be in the classes.