Missoula teacher has 1st day on job as school year begins

2011-08-29T22:30:00Z 2011-08-29T23:04:19Z Missoula teacher has 1st day on job as school year beginsBy JAMIE KELLY of the Missoulian missoulian.com
August 29, 2011 10:30 pm  • 

Teachers still get apples.

Raenelle Dayton got two of them at 8:32 a.m. Monday, in the first hour of her first morning on the first day of the first year of her entire teaching career.

"Oh, I love homegrown apples!" said the 25-year-old University of Montana education graduate, as her third-grade students made themselves at home in her Hawthorne Elementary classroom Monday morning. "Thank you!"

Jonny brought the apples in his backpack.

It was a day of introductions at Hawthorne, and all across

the Missoula County Public Schools District.

Dayton peppered her kiddos with adjectives like "fabulous" and "phenomenal" and "amazing" and "incredible," then a few compound adjectives like "incredibly amazing" and "fabulously phenomenal" as she got to know them.

They were new to the third grade. And she let them know that, though she had been a substitute teacher for three years, that she was new to them, too.

"This is my first day as an official teacher," she beamed. "And I am so excited! You will always have a special place in my heart, because you will always be my first class."

She praised them for their curiosity. And for raising their hands. And for sitting up like good students. And for not using their loud voices.

"Tanner, thank you for doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing!" she said.

She taught them about privacy and personal space.

"This is my area," Dayton said, occupying her desk. "Should you come over and open my drawers?" ("Nooo," was the correct answer).

"Should I come over and get into your desks?" ("Nooo," was the again-correct answer).

And sometimes, she said, she will have to get everyone's quick attention, not with a "Shhhh!" or a "Pay attention!" but with the splash of a little gong.

"This is my gong," she said, before applying the gong lesson. "It's just mine. Sometimes when I ring this gong, what do you think I need you to do?"

They knew.

And they learned, too, that the hallway rules are 1) be safe; 2) be respectful; 3) be responsible; and 4) be kind.

The big purple tub? That's for lunches.

Got a question? That's for raising your hands.

The stuffed lizard? That's for putting on your desk if you have to leave the classroom.

On and on it went.

For new third-graders. And a new teacher.

On her first day of the first year of her entire teaching career.

"Busy first day, right?" she said with a big grin. "Super busy! Super crazy!"

Reach reporter Jamie Kelly at 523-5254 or at jkelly@missoulian.com.


Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick