>4th Grade Fears Get Temporary Reprieve

>At least for now.

Today was the day. Orientation for the new school year was today at the elementary school.
It’s days like these I truly believe there is a God. Only 4 days left before the Summer is officially over.

The days of my sanity returning are numbered and I feel for the teachers.

 We got to the school early to avoid the chaos and mayhem. We were justly rewarded by finding out for the first time Munch has a male teacher.

Now before I get assailed by all the female teachers out there, hear me out. 

Brandon isn’t your average little, sweet-natured, adorable, 4th grader. He’s hyper, impulsive, incredibly goodhearted and has a near genius IQ. Add all of these together and you have Dennis the Menace meets Calvin and Hobbes.

He has this innate nature for figuring his teachers out in about 21.6 seconds flat and he can spot a meek push over from a mile away. I honestly think he can smell them. Unfortunately with the strict rules on teachers these days he rarely takes them seriously. 

That is unless you mention “Dad” or “Mrs. Smith” the principal.

So this year he’s hanging with Mr. Kooper.

The next thing we find out is he’ll be in a modular classroom and not an open pod in the main buildings. Let me explain. 

This school is 3 years old and was built to contain 900 children. The day it opened it was 200 students over capacity. Seems the county has tried to save a few dimes here and there and has just been reusing the same blue prints for years. So what had more than enough room to hold students 10 years ago, with room to spare, no longer cuts it. Oh and did I mention Pasco County is the 8th fastest growing county in the country.

Seems this whole “pod” classroom system they’ve spearheaded is catching on nationally. This is how it works.
Instead of having one classroom or small set of classrooms where all children are in the same grade, Pasco’s Pod classrooms consist of 4 open classrooms with a shared cross hall and bathrooms. These classrooms incorporate children from 3 different grades 1-3, 2-4,3-5 grades. In the beginning of the year children are assessed to determine their specific grade level for each subject. Then they will go to that particular class for that subject. So for example, last year Munchie was working at 4th grade math, 3rd grade Reading and 2nd grade writing. So although he was in 3rd grade he would walk across the pod to the 4th grade class for math and the 2nd grade class for writing. Once a student surpassed or decreased their current level of competency they could be changed grade level without having to truly change classes. 

All the kids in the pod knew each other and the teachers shared an office. The child would also usually stay in the same pod for the full three years that pod offers to help provide stability and prevent those “new year, new kid, new class” jitters.

Well with Munchie you might remember he’s a bit of a challenge, to say the least and this whole open pod/4 classroom thing just didn’t quite work out for him. So now he’s still considered in a pod but is confined to a single closed classroom at any given time. Less distraction, less disruption, less noise… well you get it.

That’s plus #2.

The third plus is this year instead of all the pods being named after bird species only (hawks, eagles, egrets etc) they have incorporated all wildlife species and he just happens to be in the Gator pod. This makes Daddy very happy being Florida Gators are his fav college team.

We took Munchie down to meet Mr. Kooper and he was a very nice guy. We gave him the lowdown on him, what to expect and he’s ready. We both really liked him and he’s very qualified to work with Munchie.

So far so good. We’re off to a good start but school hasn’t started yet and only time will tell. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂


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