Today is the day I’ve been so anxiously waiting for since I told my second grade teacher good-bye for the last time. Summer vacation is over and butterflies are beginning to dance in my stomach as I open the doors into Treebark Elementary School. Anticipation is slowly building during my walk down the seemingly endless hallway as I look for a list showing who my third grade teacher is and the kids whom I will spend my school year with.
As Homer is looking around at the different lists he notices a tall, skinny man wearing a blue shirt with a tie that looks like a pencil standing outside one of the classrooms. His name is Mr. Slink. Homer remembers seeing him in school last year. As Homer approaches, the man smiles and throws out his hand to shake Homer’s hand while at the same time saying, “I’m Mr. Slink and you will be in my class this year. Would you like to see a list of students in your class?”
Still trembling from all the excitement my shaky fingers moved down the class list as I found the kid I was hoping would be there- Eduardo-my best friend. It doesn’t get any better than this! Not caring about any other kid who might be on the list, Homer pushes the classroom door open and enters into a big new world…third grade!
Students start to rush into the classroom as I begin to look for my name on the desk. Having no luck I feel a slight tap on the back of my right shoulder and hear this familiar voice ask, “What are you looking for?” I turn around and see Eduardo with a big smile on his face. I believe he was just as excited to see me as I was to see him.
We started looking for our desks together and noticed that our desks were on complete opposite sides of the room. They seemed to be miles apart! To make matters even worse, I discovered that I was sitting right next to a girl whose name was LeeCat. I remembered her from second grade and all I know is that she spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E! My excitement about third grade turned to fear as I continued to twist around looking for “that girl” who would make my life miserable this school year.
As I tried to get Eduardo’s attention I felt a swift breeze to my left side. Scared to look but curious to find out, I made my move and discovered that LeeCat had arrived. I did not want to look at her so I just looked up at the front wall and noticed Mr. Slink had posted these seven words in big bold red letters- responsibility, respect, courage, kindness, self-discipline, integrity, perseverance and good judgment. These were Treebark Elementary school’s seven character traits and I knew at that moment that if I was to survive this year I would have to follow them.
I made one more quick glance to my left and then it happened. Our eyes meet for the first time! LeeCat was looking right at me, winked and smiled so big it seemed to have covered her whole face. Maybe this was where I was meant to be!
Copyright Dean Fink, 2009
Dean lives in North Carolina, USA.
Read our reviews of books for kids starting school.
Return to the Free page.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.