Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Graduation Weekend

A couple weekends ago was graduation weekend here in my town....

*** Let me take a little space to say -- this was also College Girl's graduation. So darn proud of her. As her dad said, she did better than both of us, She went to the University of Kansas and they have a wonderful tradition where the graduates walk "down the Hill" and the spectators line the sidewalk and cheer them on. Her dad and I were standing there, waiting, waiting, waiting... and all of the sudden he said, "There she is!" I got a couple of nice pictures and she was off. {Kind of like in real life, if you know what I mean.} Anyway, back to the regularly schedule blog post....

So when we got home from College Girl's graduation, we got a bundle of newspapers from when we had been gone. One night, when I couldn't get to sleep, I started looking through them. 

And inside one of them, were pictures of all the graduates from our high school. Our newspaper is nice enough to do this. So I was looking through all those faces and names -- and all of the sudden, I thought, I know this one! I know her! And I realized these students that were graduating were my very first class. I started at semester, teaching 3rd grade. And here were those little babies. 

Some of them, I thought "hi you." And some, I thought "yay you!" or "good for you" and then I looked through our elementary school yearbook for that year, and realized some were missing, and wondered what happened to them.

And of course, like any teacher looking back at their first year, I wanted to apologize to those little 3rd graders - there was so much that I didn't know what I was doing.
 









Sunday, May 7, 2017

Do-Over

So, it's been awhile. There are cobwebs in the corners of this blog site. I've thought of different ways I wanted to start a post -- but haven't actually taken the time to type it out. 

I'm a little afraid -- afraid I'll post today, and then... not again. And if I make this start, I want to be more consistent. 

So here goes today: 

We've got 10 days of school left, and I want a do-over. 
This has definitely been the most challenging year I've had. I've had 3 that have challenged my thoughts on behavior management, and then 3 others that ran a close second on that. One boy, in particular, really affects the mood of the classroom. That's compounded by the fact that I have the largest class I've ever had. 

I've started most every morning thinking: I want to do better. I want to meet them where they are. I want to look for the positive. I want to give the grace that I'd like. 

And I come home thinking: argh - not the way I wanted. So frustrated. 

My do-over would involve me really taking time to get to know my students. I try - but I'm not as successful as I'd like to be. My do-over would have me asking "why" more - and hopefully have students think about the reason behind the behavior that makes it hard for me to teach, and students to learn. 

Well, I won't get a do-over. And I can't even say next year will be better. I'm changing positions and will only be teaching science next year -- it's a special in my district. The desire to have a do-over is fighting with my desire to try something new. I'm not sure how much I'll miss having my own little class of 23 or whatever. We shall see. 








Sunday, November 6, 2016

3 Happy Things

So... I thought to myself, I want to be more consistent in blogging, because....
this may be the year, the year that I end up bald because I've torn out all my hair. 
This is the year that I told a teammate, "I was not sympathetic enough to you last year."
Because this year, my blogging friends, could be my worst year yet. Ack! 
And I definitely want to record it, so I can remind myself that if I can do this, I can do anything!

I got this for myself -- 


You can see, it's simply named: 3 Happy Things. I realized this morning, I need to get that out and record 3 Happy Things from school every day so I don't feel like things are a total mess. (And I hope I NEVER have to write as 1 of my happy things: 1 day closer to the end of the year LOL!)

So how is your school year going? Are things going well, or do you need to start a "3 Happy Things" book, also? :) 








Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Caring

So the other day, I wrote about my one little friend. 

Last weekend, I started thinking that maybe my most important job with my class this year is letting them know I care. 

I've got the one little friend. 
I've got a Limited English student, who didn't get picked up until after I left school at least 3 times last week. She was one who gave me a hug on the first day of school. 
I've got a student whose dad told me they thought about holding her back, but they were getting a divorce (last year) and thought she was doing better now. (Not so sure on that, dad.)
I've got another student whose parents are separated, and she's got 7 siblings -- probably lots of half brothers and sisters.
One little girl is so interested in her possessions -- not sure what's going on there.
I'm concerned enough about what one friend wrote in her writing sample, that I'm going to copy it and show the counselor. 
And these are just what I can remember off the top of my head after 2 weeks of school. 
Oh, Lord, I just want a big lot of Love to spread around to all these little children that you've placed in my care this year. 








Monday, August 29, 2016

I have a little friend

So I have a little friend....
Wait, haven't I started another post this way? Why, yes, yes, I have! 

This little friend didn't even give me a honeymoon -- he was up and running on the first day. He talks, talks, talks. And lets me know when he doesn't like my corrections. And I'll admit, I haven't been as consistent as I should be in trying to figure out what will work with this little guy. 

But Thursday, heading out after school, I vented to the wrong teacher. And when I said something about him talk, talk, talking, she said, "I just knew there would be conflicts. I thought you wouldn't be able to handle him." I'm sure what she said was just off the cuff, and didn't really mean exactly what she said, but....

First it made me sorta sad, like "really??" And then a little mad. And finally, I was driving home, saying out loud to myself, "NO! That isn't true!"

And after Friday, I'm sorta glad she said that {well, only in the way that it spurred me on!} - because Friday, I took time to bend down and really listen to this little guy {he really is little}. And even though I didn't believe everything he told me, or at least didn't think it was the whole truth, I think it helped that he knew I was actually "hearing" him. 

It will probably be a long year with this little guy. But I want to try to keep remembering that he's an individual. Well, I don't know... that sounds pretty smalshy.  But I want him to know I care about him. And that I'm going to keep on trying with him.  








Saturday, August 27, 2016

Writing samples

So... woke up early on this beautiful, cool Saturday morning, and decided I'd get the yuck out of the way first --- grading baseline piece of writing. I got through it pretty quickly, and I'm glad I went ahead and did it because I got a few chuckles. 



Right in the middle of this piece: "I did a gasp. Then I said wow!!!"

And this one, "I pinched myself. Owch! Ouch! Nope I am not dreaming.

Another child wrote, "I am going on a hike. I forgot I was going home. I was like all men." Does this mean Amen? because he's so happy he remembered to go home?? Just using that, if that's what it's suppose to say, is certainly interesting word choice. 

One girl started hers with "There was a shooting star..." but it went downhill from there. 

Another student, one of my sweet ESL kiddos, said "we teleported to the fishing place." Wow! Love it!

Another ESL student added dialog! Whoo hoo. {No quotation marks, but I'm so happy about the dialog!!!}

One little friend added "zzzzz" for snoring. Ha, made me laugh!

I had another friend that used lots of colons. Pretty good for a 2nd grader -- except they are in the weirdest places: it jumped up and down and then: someone...

And I realize why some of my friends have a hard time spelling: "In din we wint..."  Translation: And then we went. Probably the way he actually talks, if I listened closely.

I'm overall happy with these -- and I was thinking -- I need to send the first grade teachers a happy note and let them know their work is appreciated!

Hope you feel appreciated today! 








Saturday, August 13, 2016

First Day 2016


Well, we are back at it. We started in-services a week ago, and I had kids for a half day on Thursday; all day on Friday. 

One little friend was gone on Thursday, but present on Friday -- what a little talker. That makes such a big difference in the classroom. {It also seemed to encourage two other little friends to be blurters.} 

And so, I had to have a little talk -- with myself on the way home from school. I'm the one who sets the tone of our classroom, I'm the one who sets the environment. And worst of all, I'm the adult - argh! 

So, started this beautiful Saturday by sitting outside on my patio, just enjoy the birds talking, the stray cat visiting, a piece of pie for breakfast. And now I'm doing school work -- with a refreshed mind. Starting with a seating chart, then lesson plans, grouping students for centers, what did I miss in our first two days that I want to make sure I get to. 

And just a little side note -- mainly for myself. First impressions CAN often be wrong. Like the little friend who came to Open House with his dad and was being pretty squirrely -- nice boy, who does a great job following directions. The boy with long braided hair who is almost taller than me and has a stoic look on his face -- polite and respectful and helpful. The ESL student who is willing to give me a hug. So a reminder to myself to keep an open mind, and let those first impressions be counter when I really get to know my students.