Thursday, July 31, 2008

And it begins...

The time: 1:15 p.m.

The place: my classroom

The lesson: pattern blocks

The people: 15 kids and me. No assistant.

The situation: we had a pooper.

Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Perspective

Me as the teacher talking to the unruly student:

"Please don't make me ask you again and again, sit down in your chair and wait for your name to be called."

My husband talking to me as the unruly wife:

"How many times do I have to ask you to turn the kitchen light off? I have to ask you again and again."

Hmmmmm...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our Rules

My kiddos came up with these rules for our classroom, with a bit of guidance of course. Without the guidance of many combining rules into one, we would have a list 100 feet long*.
  1. Listen to our teachers.
  2. Always use our brains.
  3. Be careful with our stuff.
  4. Always take good care of each other.

If everyone lived by these rules, the world would be a happier place, don't you think?

*some gems that were combined under a broader idea:

  1. Don't poke people and make them bleed.
  2. Don't push someone down and make them bleed. (Sense a theme?)
  3. Don't bump people.
  4. Don't kick people on the carpet.
  5. Don't spit on people

You get the drift...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day One is Complete

The first day of school is now over... Mondays are short days in our county and it's the perfect way to start the year. Here is what I had planned for today:
  1. Walk each student through how to unpack their backpack, where it goes, etc.
  2. Assign letters on our giant ABC carpet
  3. Read the Pledge of Allegiance big book
  4. Read our morning message
  5. Look at the calendar and discuss what day it is and the weather
  6. Read our schedule
  7. Sing the Hallway Song
  8. Go to P.E.
  9. Bathroom break
  10. Eat snack
  11. Read a story
  12. Add our names to our name chart
  13. Talk about our behavior chart
  14. Bathroom break
  15. Go to lunch
  16. Go to recess

We got through #1, #8, #9, #10, #12, #13, #14, #15 and #16. Not too bad!! Actually, now that I tally it up, it's pretty darn good. Granted, I only had 14 kiddos today so the day seemed a bit like a practice run... no way will that number stay where it is... but it was a nice way to ease into it.

Extra bonus: no tears, no bathroom accidents, and no lost children. Rock on.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Meet Your Teacher

Today is the day! In just over an hour, parents and kiddos will be filling our halls in anticipation of seeing their classrooms and meeting their teachers. I blew-dry my hair and put on a skirt for the big event.

I was talking with another teacher across the hall from me and we both laughed at how nervous we get on this day. She's been teaching for years while this is my second and we have the same insecurities. "Eeeek, will they like me?" "Will they like me more than their previous teacher?" It's like meeting your boyfriend's parents in a twisted way.

I'm looking around my room and see everything is ready to go --- caddies have new crayons and glue, names are on the cubbies, there isn't any clutter, and everything has found a home for the year (or at least the week). If only my brain was as organized and put together!

Year 2 has officially begun!!

Deep breaths.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hump Day...

... that name still makes my juvenile mind giggle.

So today is the half-way point of Teacher Work Week and I think I am starting to get panicky. I have done a lot - really, but fear that there are some major things that I am forgetting and for some godforsaken reason, I have not made lists this week. Even as I type this my desire to make a list just isn't here. There is something wrong with the universe when I don't want to make a list. Could that be yet another perk of pregnancy? Joy.

So instead of the list, ideas bounce around my head and when the planets are aligned, one bounces to the front at the same exact time I am ready to start a new task. In all reality I have been bouncing from task to task without any order or reasoning and repeatedly forgetting brilliant ideas and focusing on tasks like rearranging my paperclip drawer.

For all involved, let's hope the list making bug bites me in the butt soon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

And we're back!

Ah... this is the sound of total contentment (also the sound my one year old nephew has learned after he takes a sip of any liquid! So flippin' cute)

Total contentment. Why you ask? NEW SCHOOL SUPPLIES. Seriously, nothing makes me happier. In my former office-desk-job-life my boss and I loved the end of the year splurge at Staples. A fun new Post-It? A new type of pen? A personal laminator? YES! GET IT! Now I am a bit more responsible because it's my money that I am spending, but I still get a thrill. I found Post-It notes in SO many shapes and colors! Hooray!

My classroom is forming into a shiny, new, clean, wonderful space for my incoming kiddos to enjoy. They have no idea how excited I get creating this space for them. Where can I add more color? Ooohhhh that could be a cozy reading corner! If I sat here at this spot, how many cool things can I see from my seat? These are my guiding questions.

Not to mention I am an order-freak. I not only want my room to be a colorful wonderful spot for the kids, I want it to be functional and orderly. This takes time. This requires a few years of "woah, that totally didn't work." I have one year under my belt and I know that you can't put the housekeeping furniture anywhere near the bathroom (obviously 5 years olds are easily distracted, even when they're about to pee themselves). I know that the blocks have to be in a different part of the room as the gears (lest a turf war breaks out!) I know that no matter where I sit in the room my back shall not face anyone, ever. I wonder what lessons I will add to this list next year?

I wonder if Bravo could create a teacher competition for the coolest classroom? How fun!

I'm not really sticking to any point - possibly I'm high on the smell of new Sharpies. Point being, this is an exciting time and I am thrilled to be in the thick of it.

Brilliant move of the day? I put a STOP and GO sign on the bathroom door. Lesson learned from last year was that 5 year olds are terrible at knocking on the bathroom door, then listening for a response from within, then making decision to go in, or wait. Seriously, they can't do this. Let alone expecting the child on the pot to speak up loud enough for the knocker to hear. Hennyway...