Recorder: "Fourth-graders nervous, excited on first day of school"

in news banner new 5


Staff Writer

Thursday, August 30, 2018

GREENFIELD — Inside Ms. Valentine’s fourth-grade Federal Street School classroom there was a burning question a couple of students had: Will there be recess today?

Sadly, the answer was “no,” but that was because Greenfield public school students only had a half-day on their first day.

With a heat advisory shortening the school day, students came back to a fairly easygoing first day. The fourth-graders in Ann Valentine’s classroom worked on getting situated with their new teacher and classmates.

As Brynn Lal, 8, filled out a name tag, she said, “I was very excited to come back because I got the teacher I wanted.”

Her friend Jillyin Eastman, 9, was excited to come back, too, but had some mixed feelings.

“I’m kind of sad that it’s my last year here,” Jillyin said.

“I don’t know if I’m ready to go to the middle school,” Brynn said.

It was all a part of those first-day jitters, with a new environment, when only some of your friends from last year are in your classroom this year.

“I’m happy because I get to be with my best friends,” Brooklyn Gaida, 9, said. “And I’m excited for fourth grade.”

In the fourth grade at Federal Street, students are given extra responsibility, before they head over to the middle school. Once a month a couple of students will be selected by teachers to be a school ambassador, which is a “big thing they look up to,” Valentine said.

Other students had more mixed feelings on their first day, especially given it was a half-day.

Ever Kennedy, 9, said she was “nervous, but excited.” Her friend Maddison Shetler, 9, said, “I didn’t really want to leave this morning because I was kind of scared. Fourth grade is the hardest grade in our school.”

So far on the first day, nothing was too difficult, the students said.

In fact, Maddison said, “Fourth grade is my favorite grade because we get to be the oldest in the school.”

Apparently, in fourth grade, it can be the best and the worst of grades.

Chris Pike, 9, sporting a Pokemon T-shirt on the first day, said he was most excited to be back so he can write. Xavier Lackey, 9, and Odyssea Camero, 9, were most excited for the challenges of this year’s math lessons.

For Federal Street School Principal Nancy Putnam, decades into the job, first day is still one for excitement.

“I don’t get nervous, but I do always look forward to the first day for everybody to come back,” Putnam said.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

413-772-0261, ext. 264