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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do you hear what I hear?

The sounds of summer are out today.  After a rainy inside day yesterday, the kids were out in shorts and t-shirts celebrating the first day of Summer.  I marvelled at that blue sky I barely remembered and enjoyed the feel of sun on my skin (of course not for too long, I don't want hives).  It's nice to have windows open, watching kids go by on their bikes and people out for a walk.  I even made it out myself this evening. (No I'm not trying to make it snow!) 
With only 6 official days of school left, the kids are ansty, and it's getting harder and harder to keep them focused on anything.   Poor behaviour is up, as my Superstars get more and more excited.  My AO's office is full of little offenders everyday and even she is starting to look like she needs a break.  Having the sun out today helped everyone I think.
Along with the last week of school, we are getting visitors from the Island.  I just hope they bring a little good weather with them.  Dad and Mike should arrive on Friday at some point.  They are driving up and although Dad's seen all there is to see along the way, the trip is new for my brother.  I hope they have some wildlife sightings (from a safe distance) and enjoy the ride up here.   I don't envy the drive.  I hate the drive actually.  The only thing that makes it a little okay is when we go through Jasper and we stop at the Jasper Pizza Company.  That, and Jasper is beautiful and I wish I could live there.
Along with this visit, I am wrapping up the school year (staying away from horses this year), hosting the final staff party, saying goodbye to a friend and of course applying for jobs.  The next couple of weeks are going to be hectic.  If only the sun would shine, it would make everything just a little bit better.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Field Trip in the rain

Well it is that time of year again, Field Trip Season.  When we started the year I asked my AO about field trips and was told that there was no money so I put the idea away.  I had no idea that April, May and June would turn into "selling-everything-you-can" months or better known as fund-raising time.  We as schools are supposed to be supporting the Healthy Schools initiative, but we serve pizza and hot dogs every week, and the PAC sells ice cream floats every once in a while.  When fund-raising time came, classes were selling freezies, ice cream and bake sale items.  EVERYDAY.  What do you get when you give 7 year olds a large tube of frozen sugar?  A wild ride of a sugar high, followed closely by crankiness and melt downs.  So fun. 
Anyway, with all the stuff being sold and me short on ideas, I decided to plan an almost free trip to town.  So where to go in our small community?  After being shot down by some grocery stores, (did I mention that I started calling around on June 5, wanting a date for the 15th?) I made a flurry of phone calls to community services.  The first call was the RCMP.  (I never actually talked to the Constable that planned the tour and was unsure if we would be expected when we arrived!) Next to the Credit Union, where I have a friend in high places (thanks to Sharol) and then to the Library.  I was adding to the difficulty by mixing 2 classes, equalling 41 kids plus adults.  So after some scurrying around and tight scheduling I got it planned.  On the Friday before I looked at the weather.  Rain.  All the other days leading up to the 15th changed slightly, or the rain didn't appear, so I had hope.  On the drive out to work the morning of the 15th, it started to rain.  It never stopped. 

We made it to town with time to spare and our bus driver offered to pick us up if it started to rain a lot.  I still had hope.  My kids were first at the RCMP, and to my relief they looked like they were expecting us.  It was an interesting tour, but we didn't have enough time to see all they had to show us, as the guy I played phone tag with said 25 mins would be long enough.  He lied.  We were there for 45, and it still wasn't enough time.  We hurried over to the bank and had an interesting walk through of the behind-the-scenes for around 30 minutes.  When we came out on to the pavement, it was sprinkling.  It didn't look like it was going to get worse, so we set off to our place.  Half way there, the skies opened and we got absolutely soaked!  By the time I got the kids in the house, they were soaked through and so were the adults.  I threw 3 loads of socks and jackets into the dryer, hoping that they would have something a little dryer to put on when we left for the library.  I was so concerned, but realized that the kids didn't care.  They were so excited to be at my house, that's all they could think about.  Chris' class showed up about 15 mins later (on the bus) and headed downstairs.  We had 40 students and 8 adults crammed in our little house.

After lunch, we got on the bus and headed to the Library for our tour.  At 1:55 we got back on the bus and headed back to school to arrive just in time to send them home.
Overall, things went well.  Yes it poured all day long and we couldn't picnic outside or play games at the park.  I also didn't feed them ice cream (can you imagine the mess?), and we ran a little late, but the kids had a good time and I didn't hear any complaining.  That made it worth it.
We saw the kids onto the bus home and then beat a quick retreat home to clean up the house.  45 minutes later, 2 bathrooms scrubbed, vacuming done top to bottom and floors swiffered, we collapsed on the couch.

I am ready for the weekend and can't wait to get to GP for some relaxation and some shopping.  It's good for the soul.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thankfully there was no snow this week, which made my plants a little happier.  I think I may have a pouting tomato plant, but we'll see.  The sun has come back to the "John" and the temperatures this weekend have stayed around 20, even with the wind.  Spring has arrived at last.  With 13 or so days of school left it's about time. 
This time of year for teachers is always busy.  We have assessments to get done, data to get into the office, report cards to write and of course field trips to plan.  Over and above the planning and teaching of our regular days.  Even the kids are surprised at how quickly the days are going.  It probably helps that many of them come in tired and the day blurs by them.  That's a gift and curse living in the North, the long days.  It's nice that there are so many hours of light, but the kids go to be later and later, making for a tired time at school. 
This week was the busiest for me in a month.  It seemed that everything that I'm involved in happened at the same time.  I met with the Crafty Ladies, went to a Horticultural meeting, had wine and delicious appies with Kathleen on Friday and then baby sat Lily on Saturday. Very busy.  Fun, but I wish it would have been spread out a little more.
I managed to get a few more things planted, I've decided to do some container herbs on my deck as an experiment.  I've also been planting some seeds that I've hanging around, we'll see what happens.
My stack of books has been increasing, but I have not spent a lot of time reading lately.  I am also trying to get some picture frames up on the wall, but that project has taken a bit of a back seat right now with all the school stuff that I have going. 

Lily and me

My chives and peppermint

Plants I got at the plant exchange

Chris trying to talk Lily out of crying

From my tree out front

My topsy turvy experiment

The rose that I'm afraid to put into the ground

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yesterday it snowed all day.  That's right, all day.  We had an inside day at school on June 3rd because of the snow.  None of the kids are dressed for snow anymore.  Even we have put our winter clothes away, although I did have my jacket handy.  In the last 4 years we have seen snow in almost every month.  July and August is the exception, for now.  Tonight it is pouring rain.  We managed to BBQ before the thunder started though.
As June rolls along, I am realizing that the school year is almost up.  I have so many more things that I want to try, and just never seem to have enough time to do them.  I wanted to Skype with other classes.  I wanted to put up a Voice Thread about our school.  I wanted the kids to be able to blog independently.  I'll admit the last one is high reaching, but they are almost there.  At least the classroom blog is up and running and I can start with my new class right in September.  Over the summer I really want to develop some Smart board lessons.  Of course it would really help if I could get a Smart board in my room instead of having to kick a colleague out of theirs.  There is less chance that I can use it spontaneously or as part of centers if I don't have one.  Anybody have a bunch of money they want to give me?
I have been reading more and more and have devoured a few books in the past couple of weeks.  Mennonite in a little Black Dress was amusing, especially with the background that I have with Mennonites.  I finally read the Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  It was exactly what I expected, and I enjoyed the fast pace.  I also read A Discovery of Witches.  Very good, but the next one in the series isn't due out until next year.  I usually don't read books in a series unless they are older and I can get them all.  I don't like the waiting.  I have a huge list of books that I want to read including Out of our Minds by Ken Robinson.  We got to see him last month in Dawson Creek and it was very captivating.  He was entertaining but the message he delivered was also interesting and worth listening to. 
The days are getting longer and I have to say it's messing me up a little.  We didn't eat dinner tonight until 8pm because I didn't realize how late it was!  The kids are a little crazy because they are not going to bed early enough, but thankfully it will be over in a few weeks and then we can all enjoy our summers and recharge for next year.
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