Saturday, December 18, 2010
The nickname is completely one of love. She has endless energy, asks ongoing questions, and never gets tired. She can fake cry with the best of them, and is generally tons of fun. Today I picked up our super-smart niece so she can ride to Missouri with us tomorrow.
It's 6:33 and i'm beat. After three hours in the car handing her every writing utensil I own, answering about 3 million questions, and stopping four times, I felt like I had been put through the ringer. Then we got to Edmond and the fun wasn't over yet. We got our nails done at my favorite pedicure place and Audrey choose Christmas colors. She wanted the lotion and hot rocks and specifically asked for a massage chair. She then read me all the signs in the building and did subtraction problems with my toes.
She asked a little too loudly, why there were boys in there, and why all the people working looked the same. I was too tired to run the one errand I needed to, and stopped by McD's for some quick dinner. The guy at the window gave us two chocolate milks, 'cause she is just too cute'. She had to call and tell Miss Tammy(my MIL) all about the extra milk. She came home and painted while she ate her cheeseburger.
I made it home and she promply went with Uncle Trabor to the ice cream place. Our goal is to run her out of energy... it hasn't happened yet. Thank goodness I'm dropping her off with my inlaws at lunch time tomorrow.
It must take super powers to be a parent. Aunt Bess is plum out. Spongebob Christmas, here we come.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Saturday- Pick up Audrey from Carter, Pick up Michael from airport
Sunday- Drive home/ Cooking with Mom
Tuesday- Howard Christmas & Stafford Christmas
Wednesday- Dinner with Tom and Angela
Thursday- Silver Dollar City Christmas
Friday - Rumker Christmas (immediate family)
Saturday- Trevor & Beth Christmas
Sunday- Twyman Christmas/ See Carissa at church
Monday- Leave for Ski Trip
Friday- Trev flies back to OKC
Saturday- Rumker Christmas (extended family)
Sunday- Beth Returns to OKC
any takers for Monday...haha
Monday, December 13, 2010
1. I am forcing my students to finish their benchmark tests (tests to see what they have learned this nine weeks) in two days. Last time I stretched it to four days, and that was a huge mistake. We'll see how this time turns out
2. Ezra had leg surgery around 3 weeks ago. He hasn't been showing any discomfort, but has still not regained use of his right hip. Until today. I caught him touching his foot on the ground! This is exciting, it means I didn't put my pup through surgery for no reason. (He had a fused hip from birth)
3. There our 4 school days left until Christmas Break
4. I am doing laundry in preperation for our Trips to Missouri and Colorado. This is usually T's job, but he's working extra this week.
5. It's so cold on our apt that the tv won't turn on. We are using a radiant heater (I think that is what it's called) It heats our apt really well, but it take a bit to get going.
6. I just yelled "Trevor!" at Samson. oops.
7. Trevor and I got our ski coats for our ski trip. 16 dollars each at Ross. I'm excited.
8. I spent the entire day yesterday baking Christmas cookies/candy that I then gave away, without eating any.
9. I'm really glad my grades are all in, so this week we can do Christmas Crafts. I will say this, 3rd graders like a good Christmas craft better than 6th graders.
10. I know I lead an interesting life... you don't have to tell me :D
Saturday, December 11, 2010
14. Break from School!
13. Sleeping in late
12. Seeing my grandparents in Kansas City
11. Seeing my grandma in Conway
10. Seeing my brother, who is flying in from NY
9. Going to my parents house for Christmas Eve and all of our Christmas Traditions
8. Spending time with friends in Missouri
7. Spending time with my husband
6. Christmas Presents
5. Christmas cookies
4. Christmas Pajamas
3. Being Lazy
2. Going Skiing for the first time
1. Remembering the reason for this season isn't any of the above
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I sat through the same Christmas Program 3 times. I was at school from 8-8. I didn't have a break from my students all day.
One of my students stole my chocolate
One of my parents asked me if I needed a drink
One of my boys kissed a girl on the cheek
I met one of my student's mom, grandma, and great grandma. (who looked younger than my grandma)
I drank two cups of coffee, two cups of tea, and a sonic diet dp
I'm going to bed.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
2. Because of this, we decided to move ahead with meeting with a realtor.
3. Mine and Trevor's second nephew was born this week, Connor
4. For the first time, we aren't going home for Thanksgiving. I have mixed feelings about this.
5. I always know it's time for a break from school when I start to contemplate other occupations.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
You're right! Trevor's! Man, I seriously got so lucky when I married this guy! So, In honor of my big man's 24th birthday, here is his list of 24 interesting facts/best qualities/things you should know.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
- "You may say, "no Thank-You" if you don't want to have this snack. No we are not choosing what snack we get. Yes, I know this is America. Yes I know you are free."
- "Where do you want to go? Huh? Where? Look at me while you speak. Okay, even if you have to 'wiz' you must ask to use the restroom. If you 'wet yourself a puddle,' it's going to be a big mess to clean up, and the other students might laugh. Well please quit dancing around and grabbing yourself, and just ask to be excused."
- "Why did you kick Helayna? Okay, Why did you hit Helayna with your foot? Does she know your dad? If she doesn't know him, how does she know that he is fat and dumb? That doesn't make any sense. Please keep all your body parts to yourself. Yes, even your belly.
- " It doesn't matter whose face is the darkest. No it doesn't matter whose arm is the darkest. Yes, I know that I'm the lightest in here. No, it doesn't bother me"
- That's called a vein. No, I'm not sick. I know you can see it thru my skin... why? You can see it through my skin because my skin is lighter than yours. No, that is not racist...that's simply a fact.
- Please name an animal that is a vertebrate. No, an orgasm is not a vertebrate. I think the word you are searching for is organism.
- Please put your leg down off the desk before you show me that you can flap your belt strap. Why? It looks awkward. Why? Because people don't usually swing their hips while their leg is on their desk. Put it down now. I don't care if it stretches your leg muscle. It looks weird.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sorry about that mess I made in your car, but thanks for attending my birth!
Wouldn't my mom be proud? She taught me such good manners! Now if you're completely confused as to what just took place, let me give you the very short story. L is the best friend of my birthmom. My birthmom's water broke in her car. A few short hours later, I entered the world. Through facebook all was made right. ahhh I feel much better.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Today my apartment demanded my attention. Now, the one benefit to this is, it doesn't shout 'Mrs. Howard!" ...at least not where I can hear it.
Now the dishes, laundry, and various boxes around my apartment were calling things, demanding to be cleaned, moved, or wiped. All week I had ignored them, but today they ganged up on me!
So, I decided to see to them all at once, something I'm used to from working at school.
Laundry thrown in, Bread maker filled and turned on, dishes started.
Boxes taped together and filled; while those three things were working by themselves. I could draw many illustrations how this is like my classroom, but I'll save you the pain.
So now I hear the humm of my dryer. I can smell the cinnamon rolls rising, and my dishes are drying in the dishwasher. My living room looks a bit better than it did hours ago.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I believe the biblical word is luke-warm. I understand a bit why being luke-warm was frowned upon. I’ve heard a lot of lessons taught about the original meaning of the lesson ‘be hot or cold but not luke-warm’.
I look at people who I see making huge life mistakes, but who are living, really living life. Even though I don’t condone their choices I’m glad that they taking an active role in their life.
It bothered me when 6th graders just blindly repeated and acted on what others told them. It gets ridiculous when adults do the same thing. I just want to scream at them. Probably wouldn’t be a good choice.
All summed up, life is short. Live where you want to live, work where you want to work, love who you want to love. Serve others. Be true to yourself.
*Disclaimer* I tried to leave the spiritual side of the way I see this topic out of this specific post, or it wouldn't be a 'short' rant. :)
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
2. i get to see a Bluejays game on Friday and maybe some of my GUES friends!
3. it's already wednesday
4. my defiant student has only been in the office one day
5. the parent that came and stayed ALL day, was actually helpful
6. i still am very thankful for my principal and HP staff
7. i have a fridge full of diet dp at work
8. this Sunday I'm going to missouri for a 12 year old birthday party x3
9. i just ate chinese take-out
10. i'm at home with my husband for the first night this week
11. i am healthy
12. it's already wednesday
13. next week i have a 3 day week
14. the how's are going to the borch's tomorrow!
15. i'm not too far behind on grading
16. i have a good family
17. my puppies haven't been going inside much lately
18. my dishes and laundry are caught up
19. i got to talk to my grandparents today...who are SO funny
20. i have a job
Monday, August 30, 2010
When we got back from the lake, I drove to Guthrie to eat dinner with my favorite teacher friends. It was nice to catch up, hear about school stuff, and vent a little. Teaching away from these two is super hard for me. It's SO great to see them! I think all 3 of us are ready for 6th graders again... :)
My weekend ended with a little baking with Ashley. I messed up my clean kitchen and loved every minute of it. We tried to make each cupcake a different color. They tasted good and were very nice to look at. She tried baking some in ice cream cones. That worked, but in my opinion it made the cones taste stale. Lesson learned.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Ladies. We all know that using the restroom is a part of each day. I would just like to remind you of a key step. It's actually the most important step. You must sit down on the toilet. Now I know this sounds like common sense, but if you forget this step, bad things happen. Bad things like poop on the floor. (insert kid laughter here)
Yes folks, poop on the floor, two days in a row. Glad I got to witness it. If I didn't have pups I would have been much more offended.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
What do these two pictures have in common?? Well. One a picture of Asia and the other, a long skirt both describe each of the substitutes I worked with today!
Yes. It gets better. BOTH of the experienced HP 3rd grade teachers had to take off today, not of their own choice. So I was left the lone ranger. The lone expert of 2 weeks. Yep. It was a good idea. I walked into the first subs class before school and she had her VBS supplies to manage the class. Take a guess which picture that describes. She was not wearing any form of deoderant! She had grand plans, which I knew right off the bat wouldn't work.
The second sub was lost and couldn't find the school. Mostly due to a language barrier. I started her class out for her. When she did show up, she wrote how to say my name in her little dictionary. How-werd Yes. True story. I'll let you guess which picture describes this sub.
So I will leave you with the thought, we are working in a high poverty, low education area that has great kids, great kids with discipline and learning problems. Our kids are different from VBS and Asia. It was a LONG day.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Yes, it is important to put your shoes on before you go to the bathroom.
Whose shorts are laying over here?
Did you wash your hands? No? Well then please just raise your hand, don't pat me.
No writing with highlighter is not allowed. Why? Because I can't read it. No, I'm not too old. No one can read highlighter. You can? Then please read what you just wrote for me. You forgot what it says already? Ok, then let's try again...in pencil
Please don't kick in the hall. or the classroom. please just don't kick
Why are the scissors in your mouth?
Why do you have 4 gluesticks on your desk? You were making a bridge? Can you please finish your construction project later and do your math? You don't know what construction means? Well ask your mom when you get home. Yes your auntie will be able to tell you as well. No, I dont want to know where your mom is right now. Please finish your math.
Please don't karate chop your homework. Because its hard to read in two pieces. No, it doesn't help if you staple it back together. Please put the stapler down.
Please remember to raise your hand if you need to tell Mrs. Howard something. Yes? You don't need to tell me that you are going to drop a number two. You can just ask to use the restroom. Yes you may use it. Hurry back. Okay, well if it takes a while it's okay, please just return to class when you are finished.
Lordy, help me. How many days until May?
Friday, August 20, 2010
I'm so glad you're here! Drop by this afternoon after school if you have a few minutes.
Her name isn't really MDC, I'm just calling her that. Mostly because those are the initals for the what the kids call her. She is a Dr., But they call her Mrs. Dr. C(her last name)
I would have to say in the last two years of teaching, I've never got an e-mail (let alone a birthday celebration) from a principal that was just to me. AND it was a nice e-mail...she's glad I'm here!!! So I went to see what she wanted.
I have so much respect for this wonder leader. She asked me how my first week went, if there was anything I needed. (she then provided the chalk holder, extra smart board marker, and extension cord I needed!!)
She went on to assure me that her door was always open, if I needed ANYTHING and reinterate that her whole job was to be 'my personal servant' to help me be successful. She wasn't there to judge me or tell me how things should be done. If I ever needed her to come in and work with a small group, or just needed to vent. She was my gal.
Both MDC and the assistant principal Mrs. I are wonderfully positive ladies. I respect how the juggle the job of discipline and encouragment. I love how they walk in my room in the morning just to make sure they know all the kids names. I love how they sit in the lunch room and check to see if the kids know their lunch numbers, and reward them when they do. I love how they teach our 5th graders how to fold the flag, and how to come in the younger rooms and be role models. I love how they run around with walky=talkys so they are prepared for their duties, yet out of the office. I admire how the paper work gets finished but no one seems to notice when. I love that in the first week and a half of school I've had more interaction with my principal in casual ways then I had all of last year. I couldn't be happier with where I am.
Its true when they say, the beginning of every great school is great leaders.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The honeymoon period is over. I don't know the first thing about class management of 3rd graders. For one thing, if you get on to them they cry! But if you don't get on to them, they are out of control! They talk more than my 6th graders would ever dream of! Anyways, I came the closest to yelling as I have in my 3 years of teaching. We had to play a group building game instead of continuing with Math. I had to stop Reading Workshop early because they couldn't stay on task. By the end of the day, I was ready to pull out any remaining hair, cuss, and quit teaching forever.
Then I got home..
and this was waiting for me. In my facebook messages.
Mrs. Howard!!!! Hey! :D Jr. High was good. I miss you. No teacher here is as awesome as you. Thanks for getting us ready.
Now if any of you out there know this young man, you know he is too cool for school, pretty quiet, an amazing writer, girl crazy, and just a good kid. He is extremely loyal to his friends and most of the time is in a daze from his meds.
I wrote him back, telling him that I was glad he enjoyed Jr. High. That I knew he was ready, and to have a great year. It's because of things like that, I deal with these days...
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
It was more like a week.
It all started with a quick trip to Missouri. I love going home when I get to see a few of my favorite people that I don't get to see often. This list included: my long-lost favorite cousin, VRum, my Grandma Nina, Carissa, my parents, my inlaws, and the Hefleys. Wow! So many people that have had an affect on who I am today...
After a great weekend, Monday night Trevor and I went to Shawnee to see Lindsey and Matt! Lindsey and I have been getting together for birthday lunches for a while now, but her new AWESOME husband changed things up my cooking me dinner! Steak!
Tuesday! My actual birthday! I woke up and got ready for school! It was a first on my birthday. Wow, HP really outdid it. I was announced over the intercom in the morning, donned a crown, was told Happy Birthday by practically EVERY student and faculty there. At lunch they served a birthday cake.
After cake. I went back to my classroom and these were delieved from my secret pal and husband.
Later that day my students enjoyed cupcakes. We ended the day doing my favorite subject:Science!
I came home and took a nap before going to dinner at Zach and Brian's. They cooked me a 2nd birthday dinner! I spent the rest of the evening at home with Trevor, enjoying his last day off work. If my 25th year is anything like the birthday itself, I can't wait!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Third graders are needy.
Third graders give lots of hugs
Third graders draw you heart pictures
Third graders take longer to do everything
Third graders can not have down time
Third graders need to practice everything
Third graders can not read very directions very well
Third graders like to use markers
Third graders like to show their teacher their finished work
Third graders like to save their snacks for later
Third graders like to sit on the floor and play games
Third graders are not like 6th graders
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
shave my legs
go to bed early
feed Ezra and Samson
figure out who I'm going to see when, this weekend
enjoy this very moment because I'm not behind on grading...yet
be thankful for how helpful Ms. C and Ms. S are
on another note...I've just recently noticed that I call all the teachers at HP by their first name. Now, I'm taking 65 year olds, 40 somethings, and teachers within a decade of me. I have no idea why I made the switch, maybe it's this birthday that's coming up. 25 some how gives me permission to address other adults by their first name. So, if you're someone who's has encourage me to start using your first name...I think I can now... :)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
1. I woke up wondering if I was out of my mind for switching to younger kids. Could they be self-sufficient? Would they need entertaining every moment of the day?
2. I got to school and had to walk thru the cafeteria because the back door where I usually enter was locked. They cafeteria ladies were actually NICE. I didn't get my head bit off, instead I got welcomed!
3. I had to check people's enrollment status and bills to verify with names of parents. It was an odd feeling to look at someone elses' bills and asking if they rent or own their own house. I felt intrusive
4. I was pleasently surprised by how supportive and enjoyable the parents were. Most of them appeared at my door with at least 4 kids total and appeared to be my age.
5. These kids are a lot more excited about school than then ones I'm used to.
6. My feet and knees hurt froms standing all day
7. I took my lunch to school instead of eating out..in an effort to save money and eat healthier
8. I appreciate the helpful, friendly teachers at HP while missing my favorite teachers in the world who are at GUES...I wonder if that will ever change
9. I could not be more thankful for my new principal, who is truely the GREATEST
10. I learned how to send orders to the district print shop, so they will make all my copies for me, and then deliver them to my room!!!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
1. Its pretty close to 30
2. It's an odd number, I like even numbers
3. I'm as old as the parents of my 3rd grade students...
4. I'm not in my early twenties any more
5. I feel like I need to think about having kids in the next 5 years
3 Reasons I want to be 25
1. It's another year I get to spend with Trevor
2. I get to make all my own decisions
3. I'm a year closer to owning my own home
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Oddly enough, after last year at GUES, I've thought about it. It's amazing what a change in principal helps you notice.
My simple answer to this question was school wide expectations for behavior. I have no problem with the independance to achieve the desired result the way each teacher sees best.
I feel like with out a united goal there is no goal at all, or every teacher expects different behavior and outcomes which can confuse students and cause problems between staff.
Today at HP training we chanted and cheered the districts mission statement. I am so excited to see if this makes a difference in student behavior and school pride.
So this year I pledge that:
When a young person enters my school they will be SAFE
When a student enters my room they will be CHALLENGED
When a student leaves they will be READY
Cheers to a new focused year!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I've also met some incredibly welcoming people. Each teacher at HP is so friendly. You literally can't walk by a classroom without the teacher inside coming out and chatting. It's really a breath of fresh air.
That being said, I miss the quirks of my friends at GUES. I feel like the farther I get into my teaching career at HP the less I will remember some of my first teacherfriends. So here's my attempt to capture them for myself for the years to come. Names have been coded :) Kinda.
LR- Mrs. Professional. Always in control of her demeanor. Helpful in a mature way. Keeps her emotions in check..except when in teaching meetings. Hard to explain things to, but just because she had put so much thought into her stance. Leader
JG- GIGI! Never met a person she didn't like. Very nurturing. Tries hard to keep up with new things. Always willing to take on a challenge. Legend. Vanilla coke Lover
CL- Tough nut to crack. Friendly when you make the first effort. Very knowledgable but not very understanding. Passionate about high standards. Old School
WK- Always walking fast. Helper to the brand new. Pulled in many directions. In the office voicing opinions. Strict
BK- Quiet in big groups. In control of her kids. Mature for her age. First a mom and wife and new home owner. Flexible
HJ- Artistic. Fun activities. Best wall decorations. All around teacher. Innovative ideas. Fair. Does what is best for the students. Hard-working
RL- Grouchy but loveable. So Funny. Thinks the world is out to get her. Worksheet queen. Retired.
Now, I know that I left off a certain two teachers..so if you two are reading this...its because I know we will remain friends...so I'll get to see your amazing personalities all the time! And feel free to help me add to my list. :) See you two Friday.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
new set of rules, paperwork, and other information that comes with changing districts
not knowing anyone who I'm going to be teaching with
not teaching with the teachers I've grown to respect and enjoy being with
i will miss those pesky 12 year olds, i adore
i won't see former students as often
not knowing what exactly to expect from 3rd graders
excited staff (the other teachers in the building have been calling to welcome me to the team)
neat student population
new and exciting challenges
not having to deal with certain, ahem, higher-ups I didn't enjoy at my last district
getting to be a more well-rounded teacher
Monday, July 12, 2010
I have not gone to Staples to buy things at their cent sale 3 times in 24 hours
I have not purchased over 75 packs of pencils and 75 folders...spending my own money on things my student should provide would be dumb
I am not going to get up early tomorrow to take boxes to my classroom. They are not currently sitting in my dining room, on a planet rug. I always keep my things neat and orderly.
I have not currently gained back those 7 pounds I lost for an upcoming wedding. I'm responsible for what I eat.
I did not just spend the day spoiling my niece. Taking her to the pool, park, pedicure, and shopping all in one day would have just been too much. I try to maintain balance in everything I do. I wouldn't go overboard.
I am not currently sitting in the pj pants I've worn every day this summer, and if I was I would certainly wash them at least once a week.
I did not talk 6 different people into going to Staples to buy me dry erase boards. Just because the limit is two per household. I would not break rules of a store.
I have not taken a break from blogging for the last few weeks because I had nothing positive to say. I always look on the bright side, no matter what life throws at me.
Friday, May 14, 2010
It was the first time one of my students has been on national tv.
Yep. National. The Ellen Show, to be exact. If you're a 12 year old girl, you may have heard of him. His name is Greyson, and two years ago I was his teacher.
And now, two years later...he's being called the next Justin Beiber. I take no credit, only pride. You can check out his Ellen appearance below.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I think you are selfless- the things you have up for me over the years, I know I don't know the half of it
I admire how you finish what you begin, whether its a book, a project, or a job you always tie up the lose ends
I'm thankful you're a trend-setter, I know that grandma and grandpa didn't vocalize their love very often, i'm so blessed that you told me all the time how much you love me
I admire your bravery. The guts it took to not only give me up for adoption, but to carry me for nine months inspires me.
I love how you don't every apologize for who you are. It makes me realize that what I think of myself matters far more, then what others think.
You have taught me how to support my husband. Your dedication to G and what he loves and wants to do, helps me stand by Trev and support what will make him happy.
I admire your compassion. The way you care for those in need is such a strong testimony to me to have a heart for those who need a boost
I think you are strong, your desire to hold our family together makes me proud to be a Howard.
I think you are fun! Your zest for life makes you very exciting to be around.
Love your daughter,
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I have had 3 students to date with the first intial h. yep. hard to keep straight. I'm going to name this one Helen for the sake of keeping it straight.
So when H joined my class last week, you probably read my confusion, anger, and semi (very semi excitement)
This week she humbled me.
Background information: My class has "adopted" the severe/multiple special education class. My kids don't know that title, we refer to them as our buddies. There are 7 students in there. 6 boys and 1 girl. The boy buddies are so much fun. They dance like Michael Jackson, offer big hugs, and are so funny. The girl buddy has a few more challenges. She is nearly unresponsive that we can tell, to what we are doing. So weekly we read, do crafts, and help them celebrate holidays/season. It has been a truely rewarding experience for my 12 year olds, and I hope for their class as well. I wish I had a whole post on why I choose to have my students volunteer in this way, but I don't. So I will wrap it up by saying, it make them better children, friends, students and people by forcing them out of what is comfrortable and really showing them how fortunate they are.
Back to H. So every week we read on Tuesday and Thursday. My students take turns working one on one with the buddies. They don't have the same buddy every time. Since their are different skill/cognitive levels I like to switch it up. It is almost always easier to find student who wants to work with the boys, since like I said they are very high funtioning and responsive. H who has been in my class just one week, volunteers to work with the girl, "Summer". I didn't get a chance to talk to her when she was finished reading, to be honest, I didn't think about it in the busyness of the day. Yesterday when we were making our pieces for our class quilt, H was finished with hers. She asked if she could make another one...I said yes. She then began embroidering a heart with the letter "s" in it. When she was finished she asked if she could go give it to Summer. So off she went to give her gift to Summer, a girl who might not show she was recieving anything, who would not thank H, who wouldn't be excited or wrap H in a hug. It was true selflessness. To give without asking anything in return. What an honor I have, teaching such an awesome 12 year old.
This is the reason I love teaching. I love to teach students things that transfer directly over to their life now. I like to use the curriculum and make it relevant. Teaching life things like citizenship, honestly, hard work thru my 7 core subjects is a challenge I enjoy.
So good bye test prep, hello Novel Studies, The Real Game, Fun Science Experiments and Guess Speakers!
p.s And just a little update...my new student H.... Well things are going smashingly!
Friday, April 16, 2010
I've been sitting here mulling over it since school was out at 3:15. I still don't know if I have the words. Today started like every other Friday. Until 8:30, around ten minutes after the bell. Our principal, walks in my room. This is a semi-rare occurance, especially without notice.
She broke the news to me, that I would be getting a new student.
Before I was actually a teacher, I wondered how teachers react to this kind of news. I always am a bit thrown off. I never have been excited when the principal comes to bring this news. It throws off the day, you have to find new books, a new desk, and it changes the dynamic of your classroom. I have been fortunate in my teaching career that I haven't had students leave my class, and now only 4 to date join it.
So back to today, I should mention I already have the highest count in my grade with a whooping 26. So when I recieved news that I would be getting a student who has now been in 3 different classes this year, been suspended, lived in ISS, and is generally disrespectful and unruly, I was less then excited. I was actually mad. Ticked. My friends will attest. I didn't understand why me. I have the most kids, the most kids with emotional disorders, tons of IEPs, students who don't speak English! I am stretched thinner then I ever imagined. So adding one more student to the mix who will need lots of attention frustrated me. So I went through the day wrestling with whether I should be super mad, or kinda proud. Having parents fight to get their kids in my class is kind of flattering...(that was vain, I know)
So I've decided to look at it like this, what doesn't kill me will make me stronger and everything happens for a reason. I like a challenge. I will make these next 29 days of school the best days of school this student has experienced. I won't fail her. It is not her fault for this situation we've been put in. I hope when I look back on this post at the end of the year, the end of the decade, right before I retire....that we had success. Here's to the next 29 days.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
He is extremely bright, extremely sarcastic, and extremely hard-headed. Did I enjoy him every moment at first? Nope. Was I patient with him every moment? Nope. Did I see his potential? Nope.
I will be the first to admit, I judged him wrong. It was at the beginning of the year, and we butted heads all day. (now, I know that I'm the adult, and he should respect me, but that's not Seth's way) For this young man, respect is earned, not given. I called his parents a couple of times, and no matter what I was telling them he did- from hitting a girl on the head to cussing and everything inbetween, they kept telling me I was going about it the wrong way. They said, you are either on his team or against him. Get on his team.
Now to any educator, when parents tell you what to do, it's sometimes taken the wrong way. I didn't like being told that I was failing with this student. Were his grades good? yes! Could he pass the state test? yes! But my success wasn't measured by scores. I want it to be measured by Seth taking interest, getting involved in class, and enjoying learning.
I'm not just any teacher, and I like a good challenge.
Slowly but surely, I took interest in Seth. I learned his likes and dislikes, I tried to see his strenghs and focus less on the distractions and sarcastic comments. And guess what...I did it!
I saw Seth today interact with a student in the special needs class with a huge smile on his face. Earlier this year Seth would have been either sleeping or reading while I talked about this volunteering oppertunity, but today...he raised his hand.
As I watched Seth work with Jesse, helping him glue, color, and bend the pipe cleaner for his butterfly, about how Seth is like that butterfly.....coming into himself beautifully.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Considering their previous behavior, I asked them to fill in the blank:
While Mrs. Smith is in here....
here are some of their answers
...I will not pick my nose
...do not punch her in the face
...do not throw a banana at her
...do not act like we are acting now
...raise our hands before talking
...no eating pickles
...do not embarass Mrs. Howard
This activity went over with such astounding reviews, I lead a similar activity at the end of the day. It was called give a tip. Here are some tips from the smartest 12 year olds on the planet.
-don't try to sneak up on a skunk
-don't put a lite fire cracker in a beer bottle
-don't take a shower with your cell phone
-don't forget to do your friend's homework
-don't scream into the phone when your mom calls
-don't eat pancakes naked
Yep. My job is interesting.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Now, normally I wouldn't be surprised to see her. She comes to see me often.
Up walks this teenager. complete with linebacker style eye line
straighten, hair sprayed hair
I almost didn't recognize her...
it was the hands in the hair shouting Mrs. Howard
it was the tie-dye shirt
it was the K walk
Man...my babies are growing up :(
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Things I've been told/handled so far this week:
1. A boy telling me he's going to f'n beat up another boy.
2. A boy punching another boy in the balls....for coming up to him and saying roar
3. A girl spanking another girl with her belt
4. A girl with a cell phone out taking pictures
4. "I'm a purple pony" then gallopping off
5. A boy double fisting flipping off Mrs. M
Yes. 6th grade is too old for recess.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Top ten things I would tell a teacher candidate
10. While student teaching, pay close attention to how your teacher disciplines. Ask if you can listen in when they talk one on one with a student, when the call parents, or any other situations where a teacher has to handle a student’s decision one-on-one.
9. Decide early on how you are going to reward/punish individually and as a group. Finding this balance will make your room run smoothly.
8. Don’t be afraid to change things mid-year. Communicate with your students that they are a part of their flexible class, and that you all will learn and adjust together.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your principal, especially as a first year teacher, they are their to help you.
6. Trust me that you are not a miracle worker. You can give your 110% everyday, and you will still have students that are not motivated to learn. This is not your fault. Don’t let it eat you alive.
5. Don’t try to grade everything. There are ways to assess without looking at EVERY SINGLE answer on each page. Be creative in your assignments to give the students variety AND make it easier on you.
4. Implement a no tattling rule the first day. Unless they are injured or in danger have another way for them to “tell”.
3. Start each day new with each student. This is tricky, but if you can leave each day with the mindset that tomorrow is new, your frustration level with each student will be less.
2. Find a stress-outlet. I write my “teaching happenings” in a blog and have three teacher friends that I vent to. No one is perfect, the key is releasing the hardships of teaching in a healthy manner. I try not to take it home to my husband because he doesn’t understand.
1. Keep parents on your team! Do what it takes. I try to make each parent that walks in my classroom feel like his or her student is the most important child in my classroom! People often tell me I’m too full of energy. This does not come naturally, but if I can win those parents over with my first impression, my year will be easier. Get to know each of the students and add those little tid-bits in to the conversation. If the parents can see you really know their child, they will bend over backwards to help you!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Roommate, I know that we no longer live together. But you will always be my roommate. Hope Matt is okay with that. I'm so glad we get to share the joys of teaching...friendship...life.