Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wah, wah, wah....

It's a cold and rainy day in May. The kids are all tired from the long weekend and everyone is moving around with a little bit o'bummy on their shoulder. Around mid-morning, the entire staff received an email letting us know we have a mandatory 5 minute meeting at the end of the day today. It's as if a dark storm cloud came rumbling in via the internet.

Turns out that due to budget cuts, the 2009-2010 school year will be the last year we will have a almost-year-round calendar. I suppose I knew this was coming, but there was always a glimmer of hope that our tiny, yet loved and effective program, would survive the red pen.

I wish I could be more eloquent on the subject, but right now I am just bummed out. Sort of like losing the big game at the last second.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

All-Nighter

My son has attempted to pull two all-nighters in a row. We passed this insane way of life weeks and weeks ago but appears he wants to revisit it. Needless to say, I am EXHAUSTED. One of my little kiddos did not get a good night's sleep last night and is clearly exhausted as well. When I told the kids that I was very tired and explained why, she quietly gave me the "me too" sign. If I wasn't so grumpy I might have laughed out loud. It's as if she's silently saying, "Yeah, Mrs. P., I am so there with you."

So cute.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kindergarten Honesty

"Mrs. Platt? No offense, but you look scary when you yawn."

Monday, May 18, 2009

The ants go marching one by one...

So tomorrow is our field trip to a local park to learn all about ants. My kids are REVVED up and ready to go. To prepare we have learned a fun song about the parts of the ant:

(to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Head, thorax, abdomen
And 6 legs!
Head, thorax, abdomen
And 6 legs!
And antennae that we call feelers,
Head, thorax, abdomen
And 6 legs!

Now you try it!!!!! Come on, do it.

Picture the kids wiggling their arms when they sing "and 6 legs!" It's quite cute.

After we learned about the parts of an ant, we anxiously awaited the arrival of our ants in the mail to put into our ant farm. They arrived on Thursday... dead. Ugh. REALLY? My kids were bummed out. One kiddo asked, "can we catch a bunch of ants on the field trip and bring them back to our ant farm?"

Awwww... no sorry sweetie.

Can you picture that? I bunch of 6 year olds stuffing ants in their pockets to bring back to school? My kids would try it if I let them and I get tense just thinking about the wicked case of ants-in-the-pants we would have!

So no real ants for us to observe in the room, but we're still excited for tomorrow. Onward!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bunched Undies

While I was growing bigger and bigger by the minute, I had to take a class hosted by our school district to become certified to administer a reading test. I dutifully attended each long evening class, missing only one for a doctor's appointment. I listened, I took notes, and I felt that I understood how to administer this test.

2 weeks before my due date (1 week before I gave birth), I took the assessment for the class.

While on maternity leave I was told I failed.

Now, please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't fail things, especially tests. After I calmed down and accepted that I did not perform as expected, I asked why I failed. Did I completely miss the concept? Or did I just make careless errors? I asked why I failed so that when I take the assessment again, I can be prepared.

I was not, and will not, be told why I failed. I'm just told, "you failed." If you are a teacher, you are clearly seeing why my undies are in a bunch. HELLO! SCHOOL DISTRICT?! THIS IS EXACTLY HOW NOT TO DO ASSESSMENTS.

So now I am taking another long evening class this evening, and a reliable source who just took the same "revisit" class (aka the failure class) told me we learn good tips and tricks on how to pass. Again, bunched undies. To top it off, I won't be seeing my baby boy until he's sound asleep tonight - it's the longest I've been away from him and while I know he'll be completely fine, I am not. So if you see a teacher, scowling and looking sad, at a school this evening. You know why and you know that her undies are in a bunch.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teacher Fatigue

I come to school a full hour before the kids arrive, but between walking down the hall to the room, back to the teacher's lounge to stash my lunch, waiting for my Outlook to retrieve the information, heading back out to pump (yep, we're still doing that and it's still a hassle), I only have about 30 minutes of prep time.

I used it today to decidedly not prep. I spent my precious 30 minutes of morning time reading my favorite blogs that I have neglected over the past few months. Turns out my favorite bloggers are feeling just like me. Tired, burned out, and stretched in all directions, and I am hearing the same thoughts from colleagues in the building. "Are we done yet?" "Oh, I'm already taking things off my wall." "I am so done with this group." There's not a lot of excitement or energy.

I don't think it's the kids necessarily... I think we're just, as a group, exhausted. Some of us have different factors that exacerbate the tiredness (insomnia, new baby, baby on the way, stress) but on a whole it seems like the general teaching population needs a long nap.

We have 26 school days left before summer break. And yes, I am counting.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Socks - Old or Smelly?

Our shared reading book this week is Do-Whacky-Do. A rumpus fun story about 10 clowns who want to go to town, but on each page the readers discover why each clown can't go*. The last clown decides that going to town alone isn't fun, so he decides to do a dance with a kangaroo. Strange? Oh yes, but so fun to read!

*One clown sat in sticky glue, one clown got sick with the spotty dotty flu, and one clown in particular was busy making old sock stew. When we read that page, we hold our noses. A question arose about old socks. "Why are we holding our noses? The socks are old, not smelly!" So we discussed that cooking socks might indeed smell, if we wash old socks, then they won't smell. I had to use my socks as an example. "See these socks? I've had them for a long time. They are old. But I wash them each time I wear them, so they are not smelly."

And that was the lesson of the day.