Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘students’

*It is currently 93 degrees. Earlier in the week, the high was only in the 50s. There is something wrong with that in my opinion.

*The dog had emergency surgery this week. We were told to prepare for the worst. It has all ended well. She now has a 10 inch incision in her stomach. 

*My 5th grade boys freaked out about spiders twice this week while the girls could care less. 

*I went to a softball game this morning. That was fun. 

*Some of my students are begging me to teach 6th grade next year so that they can have me again. I taught them in 4th grade last year and 5th grade this year. I can not believe that they would want me for a 3rd year. 

*We got our preliminary state scores back (for the students) this week.  Our 5th grade students made a 65% increase in reading. That’s pretty amazing, especially considering how tough this year was. 

*I can’t get the dog to take her antibiotics without a treat, yet when I laid the cat’s antibiotic down on the bed so I could pry her mouth open, the dog came along and willingly ate it. WTH?

*A friend in Washington was told that she won’t be re-hired next year for teaching. All teachers with 3 years or less of experience have received pink slips due to the budget crises. That’s 83 teachers in her district. Meanwhile, my district is still trying to figure out what they are going to do. They are considering 4 day school weeks. 

*Government needs to get into the schools and see what is really happening instead of creating all of these regulations based on perceptions and cutting funding constantly. It’s not good for the kids and it’s not good for the future of America. We need to look at Japan and some of the other countries and get our schools straightened out. 

*Parents need to start parenting their children and stop being afraid to be the bad guy.

*I need to work on breaking my coffee addiction. It’s getting out of hand.

*I got my hair done today. That’s always a treat.

Read Full Post »

campfireA typical day at work includes putting out several fires. I work with fifth graders. If you have worked with, or been the parent of a fifth grader, you know exactly what I am talking about. Hormones are raging, tempers are flaring, emotions are soaring. We tend to relate these things to the girls, but the truth is that boys are equally “terrible” in their own way. 

This year, my classroom has consisted of 33 students. I have 14 girls and 19 boys. It’s been an adventurous year!! In addition to the classroom, I have also been attending school full time to complete my master’s degree (I’m done!), am on various “teams” and committees, and am the Administrative Assistant. Administrative Assistant is the fancy way of saying, “We don’t have enough money in our budget to hire an assistant principal although we recognize that we need one. Instead, we will pay a teacher a small stipend to take on the roll of ‘administrative assistant’.” Of course, they are always able to find someone willing. 

This week, I have taken off my teacher hat and stepped completely into the principal role due to an illness. Whenever you cover for someone else, you find yourself in a position of knowing minimal history and trying to base decisions on what you know. For example, has this student been in a fight before or is this the first time? Is this a trustworthy student/parent or should I listen with caution? 

dinosaur_asteroid_5This is not the first time that I have stepped into the role, but this is perhaps the most difficult time. It is nearing the end of the year, the weather is in the 90s and beautiful, kids are tired of each other, tired of the system, and ready to move on to the next year. This week, instead of  in addition to the normal fires that I put out, I am finding myself battling forrest fires. I am trying to tame fires without knowing exactly how or where they began, a very difficult task.

Tonight, as I was unwinding, I found myself wondering if I had committed to attend any games this weekend and realized that I was smiling. You see, whenever a student invites me to attend one of his/her games, I makes sure that I attend at least one a season. The truth is that I am lousy at watching. I usually get caught up in talking and when a shot is made or the ball is hit, I find myself scrambling to catch up to what just happened. I’m good with paying attention during action packed games, but the reality is that my students are still learning basic skills. Few of their games are action packed. 

Years down the road, when my students look back to the fifth grade, I hope that they will remember me in a positive manner. I am willing to bet that the “athletes” will not remember that I taught them math, science or writing, they will remember that on Saturday, I came and watched their game. They will remember that;

A champion team from Garner, NC.

A champion team from Garner, NC.

“My teacher saw me make my first touch down!”

“You saw me pitch for the first time!”

“Did you see that triple home runner that I hit?!?!?!”

They will remember that I sat in the bleachers and cheered them on and we talked about it for the rest of their time at the school. They will know that I care, not because I have to, but because I really do. They will know simply because, “You really came to my game!”

This simple thing is what makes all of the fires worth it. 

 

 


Read Full Post »

In summary, today was a good day. Here are a few good things:

  • My 2nd grader decided to read Harry Potter today. He’s already on page 64. The book is a 5th grade level book. As such, he reads better than several of my 5th graders. 
  • I had a 2 hour meeting today. I dragged my son along. He behaved excellent and I received several compliments. In fact, he was better behaved than I was. True story.
  • I love when people look at me and try to ponder how old I am while stating, “I would have never guessed you old enough to have a 15 year old.” Yep, I’m plenty old enough. On the same lines, she looks older than 15, so it’s also fun to go out in public and watch people try to figure it all out. I don’t know how old they think I am, but not old enough to have a 15 year old, let alone an 18 year old. Nice.
  • One of my 5th grade students calls me Mommy. He is from a gang family and yet he calls me Mommy. He even told his home room teacher that I am his Mommy. This has gone on for most of the year and I find it very interesting and flattering.
  • I walked into a classroom today in which a couple of former students were. One of the girls told the assistant that I am her best friend. I’ll take that.
  • Another student who has only been here for a couple of months and has remained very introverted asked me today if I would write him an office referral so he could play an April Fool’s joke on his mother.  I wrote that he beat up another student causing a black eye and a bloody nose. I signed it Tooth Fairy. I can’t wait to hear how that one played out. 
  • When I picked my daughter up from school, one of my students was there to get her sister. She came to my car and talked to me. Most kids, especially as they get older,  are too embarrassed to seek their students out in public. 
  • One of my cats just went and cuddled with my dog. Long story, but the cats were adopted in August and were afraid of the dog for a long time. From a cat perspective, who wouldn’t be afraid? The dog is nearly 100 pounds and a lab/rotweiller mix. That’s a lot of dog. We adopted the dog nearly 5 years ago after she had spent about a year and a half in a shelter. She had one prospective family who took her home and brought her back because she chased the cats. We have 4 cats. The only time she chases them is when they run by her and all are participating in play. In fact, a year after adopting her, I felt she needed a puppy. I wasn’t going to get a pup, but I did get her a kitten. She has treated that cat as her puppy ever since. They can be seen snuggling at any given time. 

I’m sure I am overlooking more things, but it’s always nice when we have enough “simple” things happen in a day that it constitutes a good day. These are what make life good. The big things are wonderful, but they tend to be fleeting happiness. It’s the small things that sustain us.

Read Full Post »

“GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.”

I saw this on myspace today. I like it. I like it a lot. I am definitely growing older, but I refuse to grow up. Ok, I do have to grow up somewhat. The responsibilities at this stage in my life are pretty endless, but I refuse to give into them. Being goofy and silly is so much more fun. I teach 5th graders. At that age, they are beginning to think that they are too good for being silly. Let me tell you, when they see their teacher acting silly, singing songs, making up rhymes, doing crazy dances to help them remember things, etc., it doesn’t take much for them to let their shields down and have some fun. One student in particular gives me the craziest of looks. It’s simply become a game between us. The more that she looks at me like I have lost it, the odder I get. We laugh, we joke. I tell her to stop giving her parents a hard time. She confides in me that she is being a “brat” at home. It’s all good.  During that terrible fifth grade year when hormones are going crazy, boyfriend and girlfriend relationships are being explored, the body is changing, kids don’t know who they are (child, teen or adult), don’t know what they want from life, during all of the demands and stresses and frustrations, they can look back at their teacher and say, “She was nuts!”

Ok, that’s not the impression that I hope to leave on my students, but oh well. So far this year I have taught my students a few songs and dances. During our bookstudy when the book started talking about a fawn, I sang to them the song from Sound of Music – you know, “Doe, a deer, a female deer…” The reaction that I received? Most of them started to sing with me. I taught them a random dance that I made up to help them learn some math terms. Months later, it’s stuck. I look like a complete idiot/dork, but they know what those words mean. 

The older I get, the crazier I get. You might find this hard to believe, but I am not really getting crazy, I have just let go of the image that I felt that I had to uphold. I don’t care if my kids think I’m nuts. I don’t care if someone walks in and sees me being a dork. I care that my students are learning and that we all enjoy being there. At the end of the day, I want my students to know that I care about them and I enjoy being with them. 

Grow up? Nah. I want to enjoy my life as an off the wall kind of person, not as a prim and proper, predictable person. Someone’s gotta be me, and I think I’m doing a pretty fine job of it.

Read Full Post »