Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dear Oklahoma Christian Dept of Education,

Dear Dr. Cleveland, Dr. Vincent, and Dr. Martin,

Hi, it's me Beth. You know, the smiling, eager college student who attended your classes. You may remember that I sat on the front row, came to class in sweats, mostly with a coffee cup in my hand. I earned A's on my assignments. That lead me to believe I was sumitting work that was on par with your high expecations. You went so far to declare me the 'Outstanding Elementary Education Major of 2008'.

Lately, however as I finish my third year of teaching, I've noticed even with my college degree and state mandated education tests, somehow a part of my education slipped through the cracks. The part of my education that is missing, is no one taught me how to deal with crazy people. Crazy kids, Crazy parents, Crazy teachers. No one mentioned anything about it. There were no text book examples of 3rd graders who pee on the playground for fun. There wasn't a case study on a parent who comes in without a bra on, on state testing day, to complain about an incident that happened between students at a church event...on a Sunday. There was no lesson plan instruction on what to do when a student flips your desk and the middle of the lesson.

I would like a refund of those hours I spent learning things that I can not use because my students won't sit long enough. I think that 'movement and fine arts', maybe should be replaced with, 'dodging desks and removing sharpie'. It would be more useful. If you would like any more of my helpful, real world suggestions, I'd be happy to share them during my 15 minute lunch break.

As always your faithful alumni,
Beth (Rumker) Howard

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eternally Changed...

** This is not meant to offend anyone, of any skin tone**

I got a new student. His name is Sean, well not really, but I'm going to call him that. He moved here from Alaska. He is of some Inuit culture. (is that that polite way to say it) His skin is a little darker than mine. Anyways, this brings the total count of Non-African Americans in my room up to 3. (myself included) So one day I caught the beginnings of this conversation..yes it is typed exactly how it came out of their precious mouths, so just bear with the lack of linking verbs. :)

Smauri "Sean white like Mrs. Howard"
Mariah "Nuh-uh Miss Howard mixed"
Smauri "No she not"
Montrea "Miss Howard not mixed, she black"
Mariah "No she not, she light"
Smauri "Mrs. Howard, are you mixed"
Mrs. Howard " Mixed with what?, I'm pretty sure I'm not mixed with anything, except maybe awesome" (laughing)
Smauri "What are you then?"
Mrs. Howard "Well I think my relatives are German"
Jerome begins making his way over to me, he gently lays his hand on my shoulder, while shaking his head back in forth and glancing at the floor. He pats my back and looks up at me in the most earnest tone and says, "Don't worry Miss Howard, you be black in Heaven"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dear Parents

Dear Parents of the world,

If you teach your children manners, they will probably be in less trouble at school. If you roll YOUR eyes, while I'm talking to your son/daughter, it gives me a better idea of where they get it.

Educators everywhere

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

testing: day 1

So my kiddies had their first day of state testing. We entered the 'big kid's club' of state test today. I could not be more proud. Of the parents...or the kids! It's sad to think that sometimes I view their parents growth and feel pride too.

Day one of testing started with reading encouraging notes that their parents had written them. (I'm pretty sure I stole this idea from Amanda) (Hi Amanda!!!)
Anyways...I could not have been more proud of how awesome these parents did with age appropriate notes that showed support and love! Every single one of my kids were SO in love with the note their parent wrote. They wanted to show it off to me and every single student in the room. Way to go Parents!!!

We also got brand new mechanical pencils (because my students are always sharp!!) My kids told me today that they wished EVERY day was testing day....umm not me!

They all finished in between 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours. Pretty good for 23, nine year olds who have never taken a state test!

The proud,
Mrs. H

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We're on the downhill slide, folks. I honestly never thought it would go by so fast. Those first few weeks in 3rd grade, oh they drug by! We have state testing in a week. I flip-flop days thinking, 'they'll do great' and 'we're gonna die' the jury is still out. I can remember this time last year... i'm pretty sure I didn't blog at all. I was so stressed about what/where I was going to teach that I had nothing...and I do mean nothing to say. This year at HP has been such a blessing, when I say I have no stress teaching, I mean it. I teach the district takes care of everything else. So with the year coming to a are some things I LOVE about my little thirdies.

  1. I can see how much they've learned, easily. In 6th grade, they can read, write, do basic math it's all building on those. In third grade i've literally had kids learn to read, learn how to do multiplication, learn how to tell elaspsed time, learn how to write a paragraph. I'm not saying learning didn't take place in my 6th grade's just easier to see in 3rd.

  2. It's rewarding to teach them how to express their opinions. A lot of my kids used to say. 'This is boring' they rarely meant they were bored. So instead we've changed it to 'this is challenging because.... or i'm not enjoying this because... The difference between complaining and voicing opinion

  3. They still love to create...even the boys..

  4. They still want to learn more... even the ones who it doesn't come naturally.

  5. They still are young enough to hug on when they are upset

  6. They think I can draw the coolest things (all of my 6th graders drew better than me)

  7. They draw me heart pictures with my name in them

  8. I get to see them in my school for 2 more years. Not sure how this is going to a 6th grade teacher the kids always left for Jr. High... never saw them in the halls the next year

  9. I really do work with an awesome team

  10. They dont think they are too cool for school.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dream Job

Trevor's pharmacy school interview is coming up. I know that starting school isn't really near graduating, but to me it's a huge step. It's the light at the end of the tunnel. I like to remind him that when he's finished I'll be starting my dream job. What is the dream job you ask? Well it's multi-faceted. It includes (but not limited t0):

  • planting a big garden

  • joining a book club

  • cooking dinner each not, not rushed

  • keeping up with laundry

  • playing outside with the pups

  • reading lots of books that I want to read

  • volunteering at elementary school (teaching without lesson plans, parents, or grades!)

  • drinking sonic at 2:00 pm

  • watching Good Morning America all the way through

  • the option of taking naps

  • showering mid-morning

  • and eventually parenting, in a few years.
ahh these next 3 years can not come fast enough!