if you were a first grader in my classroom…

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would be excited to come to school everyday.

You would get your very own desk and your very own weekly job and your very own box filled with books that are just right for you.

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would learn to read.

You would learn to make words and sentences and you would learn that stories are a way to worlds near and far. You would read a lot and in meaningful ways. You would read independently and you would read to your friends and you would read to me, your fun-loving, book-loving teacher. You would learn to read and you would discover that you love it.

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would become a writer.

You would write about your life and the little bits and pieces that make it important and the days that are fun and the times you were scared and the moments you were happy and excited and sad. You would write about the small moments of your six big years of life and you would celebrate your writing and you would be proud.

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would become stronger in math.

You would learn the way addition and subtraction work. You would learn about shapes. You would learn about money and you would learn about time. You would play a lot of number games and you would win some and you would lose some. And you would say that math is fun.

If you were a first grader in my class you would have technology at your fingertips.

You would learn lessons from the Smart board and you would do work on the computer and you would listen to books on iPods and you would read and record stories and use apps on the iPad. You would feel excited and connected and motivated by a digital environment which is very much a part of our world today.

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would learn what it means to be a scientist.

You would learn about living things and keeping fit and healthy and properties of the earth and all about the weather and seasons. You would plant seeds in soil and take a field trip to the Aquarium. You would learn to collect and discover and record and observe and ask questions and to never stop wondering.

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would think that learning is exciting.

You would know that your opinion matters.

You would believe that you are smart.

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would learn responsibility.

You would know how to problem solve and use strategies.

And you would understand that books are magic.

If you were a first grader in my classroom you would learn to be a kind and empathetic friend.

You would laugh a lot.

And have dance parties and be silly.

But you would also feel safe.

And accepted.

And important.

And most of all,

you would be loved.


  1. Sounds like a magical place, I’m going to pull strings (in 8-10 years) to have you as my child’s teacher! Your classroom looks like a dreamland!

    • My friend Hannah has been trying to get me to move to Maine to teach her future kids, too. She’s been trying for years!

  2. Anna, I am wishing so hard that I could be a first grader in YOUR classroom right now. What a lucky group of young students! You’re a very special teacher. Xo, Liz

  3. this is so precious!

  4. This is so sweet :) And I really want to know what happens to Oliver the elephant in that book!

  5. Can I be a first grader in your classroom? It sounds like a wonderful place and you are the ‘Miss Honey’ type of teacher that every kid hopes to have

  6. I want to be a first-grader in your class!! I’m sure you are the most wonderful teacher…

  7. So sweet! I want to be a first grader too!

  8. I’d like to be a first grader in your classroom. It sounds like so much fun :)

  9. I wish I’d had you as a first grade teacher! Your class sounds so amazing. Those kids are so lucky to have you. I hope one day, if I ever have kids, they’ll have a teacher just as good as you. Or, perhaps actually YOU, if destiny takes me to Boston, lol. I wouldn’t complain! I’d love to see your city!

  10. Love this. Love your classroom and all the pictures. You sound like a wonderful teacher!

  11. The combination of the words and photos (the b+w really did it!) are just amazing. As someone who’s studying to become a teacher, it’s reading blogs like yours that make me want to be one even more! Thanks for being such an awesome + super stylish inspiration for me. I’d love to be in your classroom!

    • Thank you, Kiki! I was debating between b+w vs. color (because my classroom has so much color in it, of course!), but I decided to go with the simple– to really focus in on the words.

      So thanks for your sweet comment! Made me smile.

  12. This post absolutely warms my heart. I’m second grade teacher and I found myself nodding with excitement while reading your words. What a magical and beautiful space you have created to share with your little ones. keep loving & inspiring those little minds.

  13. oh anna how lucky are the kids you teach? i mean, i redl all these blogs of new moms who are like I BREATSFEED EVERY FOUR HOURS AND ALL THE HANDS ARE WASHED AND I’M MONITORING HIS POOP SCHEDULES and i usually think “jesus, what are these ladies going to do when they realize they can’t control everything and their kids head off to school?!” and they must find wonderful people like you because i can’t imagine a better way for a child to spend a day in first grade then to spend it with a teacher like you. i hope any children i may have are just as lucky!

  14. I know I have told you many times before, but every child that steps into your classroom is one lucky kiddo. You are a wonderful teacher (and blogger too!)

    And yes, I have been recruiting for YEARS to have you teach my future kids. I will send you any job postings I come across ;-). SOMEday i think it will happen. Maine is meant to be yours!


  15. Oh, would that I were a first grader in your classroom! Teachers like you and classrooms like these are such an inspiration.

  16. This is a wonderful post. I work in a nursery in England and I love the look of your classroom. It looks like a brilliant environment for children to learn in. :D

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