stuff

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

This has been a long week. I had to write my first classroom teacher sub plans for Wednesday morning. They were about 5 pages long for 3 hours of class coverage! However, the problem was that I spent so much time worrying about my sub plans that I neglected my OWN planning. THAT made for a fun afternoon. I felt like the worst teacher in the world until Chicklets took me by the shoulders and said, "Your first year is not for you to succeed. It's for you to learn. You will make a lot of mistakes and that's ok as long as you learn from them." (Or something close to that...it's not an exact quote.) I felt better after that.

Today was a lot better because I spent a long time making sure that I knew what we were going to talk about and do and when. My students were amazing. We had a fire drill today and they were one of the only classes walking quickly, silently and using self-control! They were awesome! They have gotten MANY compliments from teachers and administrators in the hallway. Yay!

After a great day, I had to rush home for an appointment. It felt weird to know that I didn't have to go to bed an hour after I got home. I was excited! And then.........I walked into my bedroom to find that my cat had HAIR-BALLED on my white comforter, my sheets, through to my mattress pad and my DS! Mom got a fun phone-call at that point (i.e. tears). It's a good thing that I love her because she very possibly could have mysteriously disappeared. Just kidding. Let's hope that my third Friday will be as awesome as today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Watching You

One of my students is so funny! Yesterday he gave both Spaceballs and me the "I'm watching you" fingers (point at his eyes, point at us), with a GLARE! She told him to stop goofing off in my line and I asked him (yet again) to be quiet. I could barely keep a straight face!

This has been an interesting week. I will have my first guest teacher tomorrow morning, which meant that I had to write my first classroom sub lesson plans. I've been freaking over them because I didn't want to leave anything out, but I feel like I am still missing something! Ugh. My guest teacher will be there from 8:00 until 11:00 and my sub plans are 5 pages long. I don't have a guest teacher by choice. One of the things that my school is doing this year is 2 Wednesdays a month every classroom teacher in the building gets a sub so that teams can meet uninterrupted for 3 hours. (7:30-11:00 and 11:00-3:30 I think.) I like this idea because I have so many questions for my team and we are able to meet for an extended period of time without having to stay after school. (Although I am usually there until 6:00 or later.) Should be fun!

I found out today that I have a volunteer in my room every day! Psyched!! :) She is 87 years old and a real fire-cracker. It's awesome that I have her in my room because she is fluent in Spanish and is able to give better translations than I can. She is ON TOP of things! It was amazing how much smoother things went today simply by having an extra body in the room.

A struggle that I will be thinking of in the coming days: What do I do with my behavior problems short of pulling my hair out? Kidding about the hair, but I have some great kids who need some assistance. A topic to bring up tomorrow?? We shall see.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Deodorant

It has been an interesting, tiring and trying two days. I have a student who CONSTANTLY has to have the last word. I will ask the students to quietly put their things away and he will loudly and emphatically respond "OK, Miss D-M!" or "You GOT it, Miss D-M!" or "Of COURSE, Miss D-M!" Oh my gosh!

He is an extremely quirky and well spoken boy (and constantly speaking!) He tells me a different story every day. Today, the story happened to go like this: "Miss D-M, do you remember me telling you that I have a very strong sense of smell and that it is very sensitive?" I said, "Of course I do. Why do you ask?" "Well," he responded, "I can smell your deodorant. Don't get me wrong! It smells nice. I just wanted you to know that I could smell it." I had to stifle a laugh while I replied "Well, thanks for the compliment!" If only I could convince him to write the way he speaks!

I got the nicest compliment yesterday! Our second grade interventionist, The Donald, was in my room in the afternoon while we were doing our math and for a bit of free time. She said, "I just want to let you know that your classroom management seems to be working really well. Your students are under control and understand the directions and options that you give them" I was so surprised! I gasped, "Really?! I thought they were a little nuts this afternoon!" "Oh no," she said. "Your class looks great, especially being only the first week of school." I hugged her in the middle of my classroom! I had a great example set for me in student teaching, with my partner teacher at the beginning of last year, and in some of my friends' rooms at my former school.

I think this year is off to a great and interesting start!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Apples for la maestra.

The last two days have gone pretty well. I am not quite as exhausted as I thought I was going to be. However, I have been dragging my tushie out of bed at 4:30 am each day so that I can get to school early and make sure that I am ready for my day and to try to get ahead a little bit. I have started training for a 10k on top of my first year in a classroom. Am I CRAZY?? I have been pulling 12 hour days at school and then coming home and running around 2 miles a night.

Things have been going well in my room. My students are so stinking funny! I have a little one who draws monster-truck helicopters on everything. I have another one who can't sit still. He keeps falling off of his chair! I also have a little friend who likes to move around my feet when I am not looking. I sat on her last week, and stepped on her twice today. I had her sit on a red place-mat so that she could see where I wanted her to stay and so I didn't hurt her or break my neck!

I have gotten two APPLES from my students in the last few days. I thought that was ancient now!!! They sure know how to suck up to the teacher! :)

I bought a mirror to put by my sink that serves two purposes. Little girls like to primp (before school, of course) and I wanted to put inspirational quotes or questions on it that they could see along with themselves. I found a great quote today. "Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try." I think this quote is perfect because we were given a CD of positive songs for students that includes one called "Perseverance". I'm excited to use the two hand in hand.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fan-TAS-tic!

Oh. My. Goodness. Today was AMAZING! My students were ON this morning. I only had to tell them some of my directions once and we made it to our 8:10 special on time! The morning went very smoothly and we only had to take 4 bathroom breaks. :-/ They are still on "unstructured time" in their little bodies, so it seems like they need to use the restroom every 5 minutes!
Today we created a magic word that releases them from the carpet. I had heard my friend San Diego use a magic word with her class and I liked the idea. I told them that we were going to work together as a class to pick an alternate word for "Go" to use in the classroom. We made a list of words that the kids could think of. (My favorites were watermelon, lasagna, and soap.) The highest vote was for "puppies". I said it quite a bit today, so I guess it's a good thing that my class didn't pick a food word!
I thought of my Potter this morning as I lugged my case of DDP (Diet Dr. Pepper) up the stairs and into my room. We loved gifting each other with random acts of carbonation last year, so I think of her whenever I crack on open. These came in very handy after lunch because my friends were on a downward spiral. We were able to get through the first bit of our math calendar packet, but Quizmo was a bit of a mess. That's to be expected this early in the school year, especially when it's so hot out!
Today put a smile on my face as I continue my walk down the road of the unpredictable joy of teaching.

My First Weekend

I was exhausted this weekend! I was still in a bit of an emotional funk on Saturday, but was able to pull out of my tail-spin for a while on Sunday. It was predetermined that I needed to go into school on Sunday in order to do some more work in my room and do some planning as well. My mother met me there (brand-spanking new label-maker in hand) to help me with some bits and bobs in my room.
Well, she ended up doing a lot more than that. I was not prepared for how unwieldy the new technology (amazing, by the way, but SUPER confusing) would prove to be. After a technological break-down, including a bit of a high-voiced rant, I wisely reclaimed my formerly unwanted overhead projector from the workroom.
After that whole mess, mom and I commandeered Spaceballs from her room and asked if she could explain some of the curriculum for me. She spent an hour going over everything with mom and me, which was majorly needed. I managed to plan a pretty great day and only spend 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm in my room...this weekend.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

First Day of School!

Friday was interesting to say the least! It was my very first first day as a teacher in my own classroom. I was so nervous that I was going to mess everything up right off the bat. However, my boyfriend gave me a great snippet of advice. He said, "Just pretend you know more than they do and you will be fine!"
The day started with a bang on our HOT playground. I was very excited to say hello to all my new friends. I can see how important procedures are going to be in my room this year. I was frustrated for a minute when I couldn't get any of them to listen to me for a moment until Spaceballs reminded me that they came into my room as FIRST GRADERS and it was my job to MAKE them second graders. That helped me to relax a great deal.
The day went pretty smoothly. I did have a few incidents where students were pushing my buttons. For example, while we were getting settled in the group area, one little friend thought it would be funny to sneak into my reading chair when I wasn't looking. Well...I promptly sat on her! (On accident, of course!) Then, later that afternoon, I had to ask another friend to please get down off the counter because counters are for our computers and not to STAND ON.
I had such a release of emotions at the end of the day, I could barely stop crying. I wasn't crying because things went badly. I was crying because it was the only way to relieve the tension I had been building up about the first day of school and how I was going to do. My poor, wonderful, rose-bearing boyfriend received some of that on the phone in the form of an EXTREMELY funny voicemail.
All that being said, I have to admit that the day went very well and that I am wicked excited to see what next week has to bring.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bea


We had an amazing day with a morning led by an amazing woman named Bea who showed us once again what it looked like to break out of our boxes. Today was the "first day of school" for Goshen School Corporation. On Friday we get our amazing students. Today was filled with things we needed to know and things that we felt as if were puncturing our brains in order to make room (at least in my head!)
Today I was able to see my favorite friends from the school that gave me my first chance at teaching. I have missed my Roomie and Potter immensely! (I have decided to give people that I have worked with and currently work with nicknames, so that they can stay precious to me and 0nly me :)). I was able to begin the new year thanks to my amazing partner teachers, Princess and Spaceballs! I reserve the right to call them what I will because of the few names that they have been called. Love you both and I am wicked excited to be in your presence in the next few years.
I am super excited to begin my year and life as a classroom teacher and see what my favorite friends have to add to my experiences!
I did have a super fun time setting up classrooms with my amazing LONG, Spaceballs and Princess tonight! Hope I can have an amazing update soon! Love, La Maestra!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mailboxes!


Before I got a job as a classroom teacher, I never imagined that there would come the day that I would be overjoyed to find free mailboxes! However, when I went to a local "store" for teachers I found exactly what I was looking for! I had rigged some hanging shoe racks in a closet and that would have worked for now, but then I got lucky! I got them completely free!
I ran up to my mother clutching the box and grinning ear to ear in the middle of the "store". I couldn't even tell her, I was so excited. I simply bounced up and down on my toes and gasped, "Guess what?!?!" I held the box up for her to look at and said, "I know!! Right?!" (This is the actual conversation. I am usually a pretty well-spoken person, but I simply couldn't achieve it at that moment.)
When I got back to my classroom I immediately set them up and put them in their rightful place on my beautiful new shelves by the door. As I said, before I was a teacher, it was difficult to imagine being excited about mailboxes. However, I am over the moon today!
This is a marvelous photo of my fan-TAS-tic new (FREE!) mailboxes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?


Blowing bubbles with my little Dominican amigos.

This blog is about my first year as a classroom teacher (maestra) and the shenanigans that my students and I get ourselves into. Most of you have probably heard the phrase "Kids say the darndest things!" Well, it's true, so I wanted a way to share the funny, interesting, downright outlandish things that go on in my classroom this year. There will probably be tears as well (mine).