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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What day is it?

Yikes! It's been almost a week since my last post.  Nothing too interesting going on, just school, school and more school.  I haven't seen any friends since my birthday on the 10th which is really sad.  A few of us are thinking of doing a book club, I just have to find the time to read the books and get to a meeting. 

My class of little people numbers 21 and some days I swear they are ganging up on me!  I can seriously imagine them out on the play ground coming up with a plan to make me a little crazy.  I have 4 or 5 that are always busy (this is teacher code for not paying attention or getting anything done.)  5 out of 21 with no severe special needs and only 2 ESL children is pretty good.  I am having fun, but I am going to have to get some balance back into my life.  I feel like all I do is plan, and although I enjoy it, I do have a room full of expensive scrapbooking stuff that is being neglected.  This week has been about assessing the kids to be able to make Math and Reading groups and so that when parents ask questions I can have an intelligent answer.  Parents.  I have met some really nice parents so far.  They are a bit wary of me though as I am new and their babies are probably going home with some interesting stories.  Like how I lose things all over the classroom.  I have forgotten gym time more than once and we've only really done one art project since the start of the year.  I have been suffering with sinus problems for a couple of weeks now and blame it on that.  As I type this I am looking out my kitchen window at the tree in the front yard.  The sun is shining and the leaves are changing colour.  I'd like to be able to go outside to enjoy it, but I have many other things that I need to get done first.  Like figure out how I'm going to get 15 more reading assessments done by Friday.   It's October on Friday already and I want to change my theme to Autumn.  We'll see if I can get it done by then.   
      
We were able to get a few things done on the house last weekend, and I got my garden cleaned up and bulbs planted.  I just hope that everything comes back in the Spring.  I didn't start thinking about school until Sunday afternoon when I realized that I didn't have a plan for Monday.  Honestly, I write down things on paper, but usually end up changing them on the fly.  At the end of the day I just transfer the stuff I didn't get to onto the next day.  Tonight I want to get in my room and get a layout at least started.  We'll see....


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The week seemed to slip away (although it did go slowly at times) and it was Thursday.  I kept forgetting that we had a Pro D day on Friday.  The speaker that came up was fabulous.  Mark Mcleod from Mississippi is a motivational speaker.  His big theme is to "Relight the Fire" of teachers, to remind us about the positive things about teaching and how to make our classrooms a safe, exciting and caring environment.  He reminded me of techniques that I have used in the past, and confirmed some of my procedures as good practice.  There's nothing wrong with my "fire", as I am so happy to be back in the classroom, but I did like some of his ideas that I would like to put into practice.  We had already planned to go to GP on Saturday before we'd known that it was a 2 day event.  I was a little sorry not to go on the Saturday, but I needed to get out of town and away from school work so that my "fire" wouldn't be flickering by Monday. 
Saturday was spent in GP shopping, walking downtown and of course Tito's for lunch.  We didn't leave until around 6pm, but Chris stopped in Pouce Coupe at the Indian restaurant.  It was delicious!  Since FSJ is pretty much a fast food wasteland, the butter chicken was a nice change.  
Today is Sunday and after spending most of the day out at school, I am facing an evening of lesson planning and other prep.  Sigh... a teacher's work is never done!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

It's only Wednesday tomorrow, but it feels like the weekend will never get here!  I know that it's a short week with the kids because of Pro D on Friday, but man, am I exhausted.  I forgot what it's like to be in a room for 5 hours with a group of 20 or so needy little people.  The nose picking, the crying, pouting, shouting out, repeating myself 4 or more times (and that's with only one of them!) is starting to get to me.  By the time 2:39 came around today, I had those wonderful children lined up, coats on and waiting for that bell.  It's true.  No filler activity, no debriefing, just filing them out the door to preserve what ever sanity I had left.  I thinks it's because I feel like I'm still playing catch-up, planning only a couple of days in advance trying to get routines and structure in place and remembering as I go what bugs me and how I fix it.  Today was better than yesterday, and I know it will be better tomorrow, but when it was home time I was extremely happy.  It doesn't help that I am still starting to get sick, and it doesn't seem to matter how much Cold FX I take, it's hiding out in the background just waiting for a weak moment.  We stayed at work to "get things done" until around 6pm, and when we left I still felt that I was not done.  There is still a huge list in my head that needs work this weekend, but we need to get to GP this weekend.  We need to shop and we need to get out of here at least for the day.  It's looking like school is going to consume the better part of my weekend again this week, as there is talk of going out to school to "get more done".  Work and sleep is all that we are doing right now.  I know it will get better.....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Whew I made it!

This week was craziness and finally it is the weekend.  I found out after school Thursday that I would be the grade 2 teacher after expecting a 2/3 all week.  Part of me was estatic, the other a little thrown.  I'd been slowly setting my room up for mostly 3's with some 2's sprinkled in, so today we went out to work for the day to sort things out.  Of course it was the only sunny day that we've had in a week and half so I was a little bitter.  I did manage to get a few shots of the "Coolies", an area that we have to go through on the way to work.
I am officially 35.  I cannot deny the fact that I am getting older or that I am no longer in my early 30's.  35.  Smack dab in the middle.  SIGH...  I did have one of the best birthdays ever.  I had an actual birthday party and people actually brought me presents!  I hadn't expected presents since I'm so old, but it sure was nice.  I felt spoilt, not only because of the presents, but because of all the great people I had to celebrate with.  It was nice to hear the chatter and laughter all around me, and I felt so grateful.  Having wonderful friends certainly makes living here much better.
Here's to getting older.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Goat riding, tantrums and other good stuff

First days of school are always interesting.   Goodness knows that I've seen enough of them by now to realize that nothing usually goes as planned, that it's chaotic, confusing and exciting.  Especially when you are new to a school.  The weather was crap today, windy, rainy and basically winter.  I had "dressed up" determined to wear a shirt that I had bought in the Spring but had never been able to wear as it was always too cold.  It was too cold today too, but I was stubborn.  By afternoon, I was wishing that I'd worn jeans and a sweater, but anyway....  I went out to meet the kids like I was supposed to, but half were in and half were outside causing a traffic jam and making me feel like an idiot.  I finally got them all together and down to the room and noticed there was a group of parents making there way with us.  Hmmm  I am not one for audiences, especially when there's no and I'm not organized.  I tried to pay no attention, thinking they would go away, but they did not.  2 were EA's attached to one of the students and the other was a mom who has a nervous son in the room.  I shrugged and got down to gaining some order.  After the usual hello and intro of myself, I let them talk amongst themselves for 5 minutes and then pulled them back and asked them to introduce themselves and talk about what they like about themselves.  As we went around the room, I got a lot of typical answers but then I got "I like that I am a good goat rider and like to dance."  I stopped the student and asked her to repeat herself, thinking that I'd heard wrong.  Nope, she likes to ride goats.  I have to call her mom and ask to go and watch.  Shortly after this we were called down for an assembly and while we were lining up one of my students had a tantrum and decided to hide under a table.  Her EA helped her get it together and get in line, so that crises was averted.  We only had the kids for a little over an hour, but I really enjoyed myself.  The rest of this week is mostly a wait and see period, so there are community building activities happening tomorrow, Thursday is a reminder of PBIS rules for the school, and MAYBE Friday I will have a class that is my own. 
My picture for today is of the primary hallway, minutes before the students came in.....

Monday, September 6, 2010

I should...

I should be cleaning the bathroom.  I should also be packing my bag for tomorrow and going over last minute ideas.  I should be reading something profound to get me ready to be a teacher again.  There are many things that I should be doing this evening, but instead I baked a banana loaf, had a visit with a friend and now I am going to work on a layout that's been sitting on my desk all day.  I have holding on to the last hours of summer vacation with both hands, and have to say that I am relaxed.  Tomorrow morning on the way to school I will probably be overcome with anxiety for a few minutes, but right now, I am making every minute count.  This weekend was full of last minute visiting, dinners at friends and even a campfire.  It was nice, but busy and I have enjoyed my day of no obligations today. 
I have to admit that I am a little worried about my 30 minutes a day.  It is going to be so hard to drag myself out after being at work all day, but I know that I couldn't possibly get my carcass out of bed any earlier than I will have to for work.  It's painful enough already to be losing all that precious sleep I was able to get living out in Prespatou.  It will be worth it though in so many ways.  Enough said.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The end is near

This week was spent mostly in school finishing up the last minute cleaning and organizing for my classroom.  As I sat at my still messy desk, I wondered what it will be like.  What will the kids be like?  Am I going to like being back in the classroom full time again?  Can I do it?  We'll see I guess.  For the last three years I taught in Prespatou, a rural school an hour from town.  While I won't be in town again this year, I am a lot closer.  I've heard good things about Upper Pine, but there's still that fear of the unknown I guess.  Here's a shot of my finished classroom, at least it looks ready now. 
 
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