Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Boo... to Halloween. This is such a silly holiday.

As a mother...
I have a 6 year old so I understand how much a child loves an excuse to dress up and go show off their costume. If it were a day to dress up and have fun, I would have no problem with that. The kids could go house to house and just look cute and say hello to neighbors and friends. I think that might be more fun and less stressful.

As a teacher...
The kids were so wound up today with the excitement and anticipation of the night to come it was difficult to get any teaching done. My student teacher did a great estimating activity with candy in a jar and we wrote about Halloween in our journals. That seemed to contain them a bit and focus the excitement in a more academic way. I just hope that they are all on a sugar crash instead of a sugar high tomorrow!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let the power of "Diet Coke" compel you

I know. It's a bit tacky to substitute "Diet Coke" for the word "Christ" but it's so fitting for what happen to me today.

I was teaching my class today and became thirsty. I grabbed my Diet Coke and took a big drink. As the first of the drink went down my throat I realized it was going down too hard and I was going to choke if I swallowed any more. Seeing as I was in front of all of my students I quickly decided I would go outside (I'm in a portable) and spit the Diet Coke out so as not to die trying to swallow and choke. Before I could even react, I coughed. Yes, I coughed with a mouth full of Diet Coke. It spewed everywhere! On top of that, I then couldn't catch my breath and continued to cough.

The kids were just looking up at me, shocked. They didn't know what to do. I began laughing uncontrollably. I couldn't stop. It was so funny! Nothing like that has ever happen to me in front of anyone. Especially not in a classroom full of children!

Oh well! Makes for a funny story!

Live, laugh, learn!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Too Many Questions!

I think I, unfortunately, have reached a point where I'm done. I'm done answering everyone's questions. I'm done explaining everything that I do. I'm done. It's so hard to be happy and live life when you feel like you are constantly having demands put upon you. I want to just BE ME! I want everyone to do their job (correctly) and leave me alone. Ugh! Just one of those days I guess. Tomorrow will be better...right?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Take A Breath

Why is it that we get so caught up in the "to do's" of life that we don't take time to actually enjoy the gift of life and the world around us?

Today I ... just was.

I didn't make a to-do list. I didn't worry about the millions of things I have to do in the week to come. I didn't worry about every speck of dust in the house.

Today I ... just was.

I sat outside and watched the trees blow in the wind. I watched the birds and squirrels go about their busy lives. I was at peace.

Today I ... just was.

I played games with my daughter and enjoyed EVERY minute. I watched my dogs run around the yard in complete bliss. I caught up with some old friends.

Today I ... just was.

I hope I can have more days such as today. Last week was so overwhelming and hectic, I don't remember it all. I hope I don't allow myself to do that again.

Enjoy life to the fullest daily.

That's my new mission.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kids... Gotta Love 'Em

After such a crazy and stressful week, it was nice to pick my daughter up today. I was looking forward to quality time with her. We got home, sat out on the front porch and she read a book to me. We then got her bicycle out and went around the block. The weather is great here and it was nice to go for a long walk and watch her ride her bike. We read another book when we got home. It was turning out to be a very peaceful and relaxing evening. I made her dinner and then she wanted me to read to her. I read her two more books. She wanted me to read more but I told her my throat was hurting and we would read later. She came and sat in my lap. We talked about her day and about the boy that sits at her table that distracts her all day long. She said he was moved to a seat by himself. I told her that sounds like it should help her pay attention in class now that he sits away from her. She said he still gets up and walks around and bothers her all day.

She then says, "I don't know why Mrs. A doesn't just tape or glue C to the chair. Then he wouldn't get up and bother me anymore. Tape might be better because she could cut it when he needs to get up to go the the restroom or lunch. Yeah, tape would be the best one."

What a great idea coming from the mind of a 6 year old! I'm sure no teacher has ever thought of or wanted to do that. (yeah right!!!) We need to start allowing children to come up with solutions that will help them actually learn and not be bothered by others in school.

It truly bothers me, A LOT, that this child is allowed to distract my child so much in school that she is beginning to fall behind. I work my ass off teaching all day long and then come home and teach until I go to bed. Teacher/mother/counselor/referee/cook/chauffer/entertainer/ organizer... This is my new title, 24/7!

Gotta love it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I feel completely overwhelmed today.

This has been a very busy week, and it's only Wednesday!
I had a million (exaggeration) books delivered to my classroom Monday afternoon that had to be distributed to other teachers. I divided them all out (they took up all of my "carpet" area) and had teachers come in a pick them up. The teachers brought their entire classes into my room to help them get the books. At one point I had two entire classes in my room being very loud and disruptive. Another teacher's class ran up and down the portable steps screaming and playing the whole time. Ugh!

Tuesday I had a meeting during my planning about testing information. I had a meeting with my daughter's teacher about her progress after school. Tuesday night when I got home I prepared for my parent conferences that will be this Thursday night from 4-8. I typed out what the kids should know by now and forwarded it to the other members of my team. I then got a phone call from a team member who was unfortunately selected to be on a jury. She will not be at school for the next three days. I told her I would write a letter to her student's parents informing them that she would not be there for parent conferences Thursday night and she would reschedule. She was also concerned about SST (referrals for testing or interventions)meetings she had for Friday. I told her I would get them rescheduled. So, I type the letter for the parents and e-mail the woman in charge of SST's to let her know. Finally, at midnight, I get to sleep.

I wake up this morning with all of the things I need to do on my mind. I have a horrendous migraine. I can barely walk it hurts soooo bad. I check my e-mail and see a message that says I will need to attend the other teacher's meetings. What? I don't know her kids or their issues. How is this beneficial at all? Why should I miss teaching time with my students to go to a meeting for someone else's students?

Moving on...
I get ready, get my daughter to school, and get to my school. As soon as I pick my students up the principal says she needs to speak with me. My student teacher takes my class back to the room. The principal says that the teacher who has jury duty does not have a sub and I will be subbing in her room all day. What?!? I'm not a sub. My student teacher is not suppose to be teaching all day by herself. This stresses me out beyond belief. I am a teacher. I have my own students. I also have an ARD at 8:30. I convince her to let us "split" the kids amongst the rest of the classes. So, at 9:45, I am able to split the kids up and deliver them to other classes. I finally get to my classroom. I am now trying to organize my thoughts and decide what I need to do. I have conferences tomorrow night, I have 2 SST's of my own Friday to finish paperwork on, I have another teachers SST's Friday to work on, and, oh yeah, I'm suppose to be teaching! And... I still have the damn migraine. My head is almost numb at this point.

Here I am, Wednesday night, overwhelmed, with a migraine, and not loving the crap that comes along with teaching. AT ALL!!!!

Wow! That was a lot of venting! Feels good!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Return of SpiderQueen

As we were walking out to our classroom today, we passed by a huge spiderweb. We stopped to look at it. We have been talking about life cycles and our big book story was titled... SPIDERS. This was a perfect opportunity to connect learning! The kids oohed and awed and then we began walking again. I was next to a student who turned around and grinned at me and said in a whisper, "You know, I'm the spider queen". This is the same student I wrote about a few weeks ago that had a long conversation with me about her being the spider queen. Gotta love those first graders!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Literally Literal

I want to start off by thanking a few people for positive thoughts last week. (FrumTeacher, JP, MH, AJ, MS) It really helped! I'm still struggling but I'm dealing.

Today I decided to do a rubric for quality work. Just a reminder... I teach first grade. We all gathered on the floor, I made a poster and asked them to tell me what a "good" paper would look like. This would be the middle row. I would then go higher for excellent work and lower for poor work. So, we start with what a good paper looks like.

Some responses:
not crumpled up
not torn

I then clarify that by "paper", I mean work products. The answers improve. I get appropriate responses like capitalization, name, date, neat handwriting, punctuation, etc.

Now we go to what a "not quality" paper looks like.

Some responses:
crumpled up
spit on
balled up in a tiny wad and spit through a straw

First graders are very a literal creature! We eventually got through the process and I think they understood and took a little more control over their learning.

Made the day interesting though!

Have a good one!
(Tell someone you love them today!)