Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Cast

Thanks to friend Sarah M, the peeps in 306 have their first podcast recorded. Go here to hear our reactions to the book Crow Boy.

The Award

I applied for a big fat dissertation award this week. If I win this big fat award, I will get 5,000 dollars. I know other teachers who have won awards and then they donate the money to school programs. I'm not that kind of teacher. I'll be buying a Vespa if I win. I have my parents praying for the Vespa, though they're slightly uncomfortable about this. Please join in if you get the chance.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Hubbub

The classroom has been wickedly hot since day 1. It gets up to about 116 degrees in there, every single day. We have 2 fans blowing, blinds pulled down, the works and we're still sweating, every last one of us, young and old. But today the heroes came and fixed the a.c. Sadly, as they were fixing it, a parent got involved and insisted that a refrigerator be brought to my classroom so we could have cold water. She also brought in a third fan. The custodian was not happy with me, nor were others who hold authority. I kept telling them that I had nothing to do with the parental assistance/insistence, but I could tell they doubted me. At any rate, the room is cool now, and that's all that matters. A few kids complained of the cold about 20 minutes after the repair, but I told them they weren't allowed to do that.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Work

I'm heading into work. Wanted to get this hamster et Vespa foto onboard before leaving.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Fun

B, peep from last year, came in at the end of the day to hang out with me and the thirdies.  She got the hamsters out right off, walked over to the vespa replica on my desk and, holding it aloft, said, "Come on, Ms. H. Get your camera out while I try to put this hamster on the vespa."  It was a fantastic idea, so of course I complied immediately.  We didn't get a good shot because of the uncooperative hamster, but I did feel gratified that the former peep seemed to know me so well.  I'm not happy that she's teaching new peeps about my malleability so early in the school year, but still, it was a fun moment, so it's all good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Blends

The peeps were writing down words with r blends today.  Words like "tree" or "bridge."  A couple came up with "drunk" and "crackhead," so I know those 2 have the concept down pat.  
The year is off to a good start.  The peeps listen to me and when it's work time, most of them work.  
That's pretty wild.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Calls

I made phone calls today, to tell parents that their kids would move tomorrow from one room to the next.  In this school, parents are pretty accepting of school decisions.  They ask a few questions, but mainly they just thank you for making the call.  I didn't get through to two families because they were out of minutes.  And one mom asked me to speak quickly because she was running out of minutes.  In this school, people have a lot on their plates.  A classroom change on day 4 is nothing to get too het up about.  I could learn a few things from them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Birds

This morning we saw:

1 bald eagle
1 broad winged hawk
1 female towhee
many killdeer
many blue herons
many others that I only saw fleetingly: phoebes, swallows, gnat catchers.

Thanks, C and J, for taking us out into the wild.

The Move

In a bit, 3rdgradeteacherfriend will come over and we will make new classlists.  The fourth grade peeps in my class will now be leaving me to go to 4thgradeteacherfriend's class.  Now I'll be a 3rd grade teacher.  This is a drag way to start the school year, but this is just the way it is.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Bike

Today was "Take your daughter's bike to work Day." It only took 20 minutes and I was only moderately sweaty and disheveled upon arrival. I'm glad we're into the second day. The first day had some tough stuff in it. Wildchild went into the boy's bathroom, stuffed paper towel into all the sinks and then turned all the spigots on full blast. Water was leaking into the basement when it was discovered. He won't admit it, but I know it was him. Today he shaped up because I basically turned myself into Lou Gossett in Officer and a Gentleman. He was Richard Gere. Throughout the day I gave positive comments to the others, while I did all my teaching next to Wildchild's table, barking at him in the harshest tone imaginable. By 2:30 he was thoroughly sick of me and began earnestly taking notes during the Karla Kuskin video. Maybe there's hope.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The First

I've been at school for the past 3 days, having meetings, getting the new room set up, writing up plans. Last night we had a school picnic and I saw some of the peeps. Everyone seemed in a pretty good mood and I was glad to see their little faces. One mom introduced herself and told me her son's name. I asked her right off the bat, "Is he good?" She looked totally taken aback and began sputtering some phrases, but then I reassured her that I was just kidding with her and I knew her kid was good. She laughed somewhat nervously, but then she nodded and said, "He has some issues, but he really is a good kid." It was fun freaking out a parent. I usually just focus on the kids. Let's keep everyone on their toes this year.
Happy first day to everyone who's heading back in.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Weekend

School starts Monday for teachers. I got a peek at my class list yesterday. I kept my third graders, so they're my fourth graders now. And I know a few of the new third grader peeps. An unfortunate person bad mouthed my classlist so that got me in a bad mood for awhile, but I've put it behind me.
I'm in the small room now, so I'm thinking of only bringing one hamster back to school. Maybe I'll tell the kids the other hamster died. I wish I could find someone who wants a hamster. If you know of someone, please let me know.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Room

In one week, the peeps return to the school site. Their classroom currently is a room full of boxed items, strewn about in random fashion. It is my job to transform this room into an inviting environment conducive to learning.
I'm going in.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Reentry

We're home after the best journey ever taken. I've spent the day putzing and noodling. No barbecues, no parties, no yakking with pals, no trips to city sites, no singalongs. It's always a mix of feelings when we make it back home. I think I'll cheer myself up by going out and buying some shoes. Then I'll invite someone over for a glass of wine and a chat. If interested, come on down.