Cherishing the Small Moments

This past first week of school has been busy and hectic to say the least. I’ve started a new teaching job in a new country, Singapore. Despite the excitement and newness of a new place, at times I miss and long for the familiarity of my friends and family in New York and Korea. It’s not easy being away from the people closest to you, the ones that know you inside and out while transitioning to a new place full of people that don’t know you. At the same time, I am so thankful for the school community that has made the transition really smooth for us newbies. Thus, that’s all part of the life of an international school teacher.

My school is fast paced to say the least. However, in the midst of all the first week of school busyness, I am cherishing the small moments that I’ve had with my students.

  • The first time we had independent reading, complete silence and 22 students glued to their books. I wanted to rub my eyes and make sure this was real.
  • Students telling their parents they love our class read aloud book, Wonder by RJ Palacio. I’m so glad that I decided to choose this book.
  • “School is over already?” Students that are surprised that the school day has already ended.
  • Students that get upset when independent reading time is over.
  • Students that wrote “Ms. Kim is the best teacher…” on their letters to their parents for back to school night. (I admit I might have jokingly suggested the line, but I didn’t think so many of them would really write that!)
  • High-fives from my students as they leave the classroom! Something new I’m doing this year. πŸ™‚

So on that note, to all the teachers starting school, what small moment did you cherish with your students?

Slice of Life Tuesdays is hosted by Two Writing Teachers

13 thoughts on “Cherishing the Small Moments

  1. Linda Baie (@LBaie) says:

    I am cherishing the meetings I’m having with those teachers I work with, but really, students don’t arrive until tomorrow, so we’re still waiting. I’m not surprised you’re a bit homesick-it just takes time to make a friendship, but so glad you had a great first week. Best to you!

  2. elsie says:

    What a great community you’ve already created in your new world. You know you’ve got them engaged when they aren’t looking at the clock wondering when school will be over. Sounds like a fabulous start to an interesting/learning year. So glad you are back to Tuesday.

  3. jaclynfre says:

    Now that we’re tropical neighbors, starting a new school also (near Jakarta), reading your blog has taken on a new twist. Thanks for sharing your first few days with us. Right now the teaching aspect has been a real challenge as I’m getting familiar with middle school (from elementary) and the MYP (Middle Years Program) while also problem solving with a room that has not received its full supplies order yet. At the same time, the stress level compared to US schools is much much lower–more of a sense that things sort themselves out. We just need to be patient and find the humor.

    • jee young says:

      Glad to hear that you can relate more to my posts now as a fellow international school teacher! i hope your first weeks are going well….it seems like you have found out that sometimes you just need to be patient and just go with the flow! πŸ™‚

  4. Michelle @litlearningzone says:

    Perfect moments that will continue throughout the school year! It’s healthy to sit back, take a deep breath, observe your surroundings and pluck those little moments to remember. My first day is tomorrow . . . hopefully many moments to share!

  5. Dana says:

    What a great list! We start (with students) after Labor Day – thank you for reminding me to capture these moments with students and to cherish them.

  6. Nuree says:

    So awesome! πŸ™‚ I loved independent reading time and hated it when we had to stop.

    How about handshakes? When i was teaching, we used to shake each kids hand at dismissal. they weren’t allowed to just run off. It was a way to keep track of who got picked up/went off to after school/etc. but was also a great way to teach them how to shake hands well, get into the habit of it, instill social skills and manners, and acknowledge their presence and being. It’s so easy to just hastily say goodbye to students (or not even say it at all!), and be dismissive.

    The third choice we gave to our students were hugs, which are usually danger territory in many schools now unfortunately. I don’;t remember if there was a no-hugging policy but my colleagues and I were strong believers that touch is an important part of child development. We never initiated hugs but responded when students initiated, or needed comforting.

    So glad that it’s been a good week for ya, girlfriend! I miss you here!! And I’m trying to figure out when I can go visit – let me know when would be good times!

  7. melody says:

    I make my students give me a hug, but I can do that because they are kindergarteners πŸ™‚ I had one girl who was upset every day this week when school ended. “I want school to be longer!” Was her line… melted my heart!

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