Empire Elementary School’s first day
Appeal Staff Writer
Linda King tells a nervous girl how happy she is to have her as a student.
The girl looks down.
King tells the girl how much fun the class is going to be.
The girl hugs her mother’s arm.
King tells the girl how great the year will be, how nice the girl’s clothes look and how wonderful the girl’s first day of kindergarten at Empire Elementary is going to be.
The girl doesn’t move.
Leaning close to the teacher, the girl’s mother whispers in King’s ear.
The girl saw her cat get run over by a car that morning, she tells King.
An hour and a half into the first day on Monday, however, King said she thinks she’ll be able to accomplish her main goal of the day.
“I want them all happy, no tears,” she said. “Basically, no tears. If the first day is a stressful nervous scary day, it’s going to be rough from that point on. I just have to show them that this is a fun place to be.”
As they came in with their parents, King asked for the student’s name, if the student had lunch money and who would be picking the student up after school. Most of the 17 students were excited, or at least curious, once they came in.
After saying goodbye to their parents, students searched around the room. There were building blocks in one corner, kitchen appliances in another and sketches of apples ready to be colored on their desks.
Gustavo Zacarias, 5, went to the blocks first. He built a wall, took it down, then start flicking the pieces.
“You can fire it,” he told a girl sitting next to him.
Once all children and parents stopping coming in, King counted the students.
One, two, three …
She pumped her fists in the air.
“We’re all here,” she said.
Though this is the first day for the 575 students at the school, King has been coming into plan since the beginning of August. This is her second year in kindergarten, her tenth at the school, and she said she was a little nervous because each year is different.
Letters, shapes, colors, cutting, pasting, numbers, patterns, basic reading and days of the week. She has a lot to teach them.
But once the first student walked into her room ” a girl making sure this was the class she was supposed to be in ” King was ready.
The teacher pointed to a highway-themed bulletin board.
“Yes!” she said. “You are the blue truck.”
Later, as she went around the room clipping school bus name tags on the students, Zacarias came up to her petting the gel on his head.
“My hair is stuck together,” he said.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at email@example.com or 881-1212.