First of all, I wonder how on earth kindergarten and Head Start teachers do it everyday! They amaze me.
I have to say that today was a vast improvement over yesterday and Monday. It gives me hope. The students came in and, with minimal prompting, followed the same routine as the previous two days. I do have to remind them of things that I took for granted in the upper grades. I keep saying, "Put your name on it." I asked each child to check their backpack for their Tuesday folder (anything we send home goes in the Tuesday folder) and then I opened each one to see if there was anything I needed to read or turn in to the office. We actually practiced what we will do during a fire drill, something I've never done in the upper grades. I go through the lunch line with all of them to be sure they have everything they need, don't cause any problems, and get through the paying process okay. I actually count heads and wait for all of the kids to line up after recess. My big kids could just figure it out and find us (and then be in trouble for not lining up).
I'm also learning to celebrate the positives. My phenomenal co-teacher and I got the class started with independent reading today. I modeled what it should look like and she showed what it shouldn't look like. They shared what they had noticed us doing and then headed back to their tables to read for 5 minutes. Five minutes! We set a timer! Afterward we celebrated the fact that every student had stayed in their seats and had books in their hands the whole time. Other than that it was fairly chaotic. I took video of it so that I can compare it later in the year. I need to see tangible proof of their improvement.