Thursday, September 30, 2010

All About the Hair

Day 1: Hair down = No comment.

Day 2: Ponytail = You're wearing a ponytail.

Day 3: Up in a bun = Could you please stop changing your hair so much?!

Who knew they even noticed?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The New Kid

I had a kiddo who just started school after an extended summer break today. Glad to know that school is so important. Rrrr. His birthday was a couple days ago apparently and I hastily agreed to allow for birthday treats this afternoon. They arrived in the form of naked cupcakes with a huge bowl of runny icing, a can of whipped cream, and a handful of plastic knives. No one wanted to take the cupcakes my two frosters were trying to hand off dripping icing everywhere and the birthday boy was manning the whipped cream repeatedly asking if he could squirt some right into his mouth. Somehow I managed to hold it together and get them out the door. I was also proud to have kept my grin in check when birthday boy came to me to say the frosting bowl had spilled in the paper bag he was carrying everything home in. Oops! Sorry about that, Mom.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer's over people!

So I've decided to launch myself into/toward the frightful word of principal-ing. I spent the summer interning at summer school, which left me with about 3 1/2 days off. I quickly began to understand the complaints of those not adhering to a luxurious school schedule.

Apparently I'm a glutton for punishment because I decided not only to take on the role of principal intern in addition to full-time teaching, but to also uproot myself and change schools entirely. I'm proud to say that my biggest screw up so far was taking my class to lunch 10 minutes late. Whoops! Really, the kids didn't seem to mind at all.

My big complaint? Smelly markers!! Crayola, really??? Did you have to do this to me? The first day of school it was, "Ohhh, smell this one! (pass) It smells like ice cream! Yum! (pass) It does smell like ice cream!" The second day of school it was me saying, "Go to the bathroom and return with a skin-colored nose, please." The third day was me saying, "I'm thinking smelly markers might be turning into 'at home' markers." Not a happy teacher, Crayola.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cuff 'em and stuff 'em

I confronted my first plagiarizer today. He copied and pasted the entire report. Funny that I figured it out after he couldn't pronounce one of the words in the first sentence during his class presentation and then openly admitted that he had no idea what it meant. Sheesh!

When I talked to him about it today I told him what he'd done was called plagiarism and asked if he knew what happened to you when did that in college. "You get arrested?"

Teacher face--the most valuable tool I have.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fame & Glory

I'm always telling my students to put their name on the front of a project if they'd like to be famous and on the back if they'd prefer to remain anonymous. One kiddo watching another put his name on the back of his work today burst out, "You don't want to be famous!?!" Priceless.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Headache of the Week

We had a speaker from the community come a few days ago to give an anti-bullying presentation. He asked what kids feel like doing when they are mad. One of mine responded that he'd like to punch the person in the face. Then continued after the speaker acknowledged his response and moved on, "That means you (insert classmate's first and last name)!"

Apparently he didn't get the memo that this was an ANTI-BULLYING presentation! Sheesh!

He spent a few days picking up one piece of trash at a time--sighing and pulling up his pants after each retrieval. The principal supervised by standing behind him to keep everyone else from catching a peek of his bum each time he bent over.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sex Education

Why would I be less happy teaching third grade? Because I wouldn't get to teach sex ed every year!

I love talking with the girls about all the important juicy details of growing up and I always show them my "supply drawer" where I keep just about anything a menstruating female might need. I tell them they can come in anytime, even if I'm teaching, and take anything they need. I'll replenish if it gets low.

Just the other day I had a sixth grader (that means I had her in my sex ed class two years ago, mind you) swing by to say hi and sheepishly ask if I had any tampons. I grinned and happily rolled open the supply drawer and told her she could choose her color-coordinated size. She pointed to the pads tucked in the back and said she'd rather have one of those. I told her to take as many as she needed. As she stuffed two into her sweatshirt pocket an headed out the door. I'm quite sure I was the proudest teacher you've ever seen.

Petey: Part Deux

Last weekend I got the opportunity to see Ben Mikaelson (the author mentioned in the previous post) when he came to visit my school district. The man lives with a 750-pound black bear named Buffy in a log cabin in Montana. His presentation lived up to all my expectations. Awesome Buffy slides and stories and really interacted well with the kiddos there to see him. I'll have to tackle some more of what he's written this summer.


I recently finished the most amazing read aloud in my class suggested by my uncle who retired from teaching fourth grade not too long ago. It's called Petey by Ben Mikaelson and is historical fiction following the life of a guy born with cerebral palsy before the medical field knew too much about it. He spends most of his life in a mental institution and is such an endearing character. I cried through most of the last chapter (first time I've ever done that in class) and one of the kiddos came up to me at the end and said, "At first I thought you were just making your voice do that to get the right effect for the book. Then I realized you were really sad!"

Thanks for the great recommendation, Unc! I've passed it on to two other classrooms. The kids LOVE it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poop Day

I already wrote about Fart Day and today may have outdone it.

He came upstairs swinging a clear plastic bag tied shut with something white in the bottom. I said, "Hey, what's that?" (having a very good idea what it was). He pointed to a hip, confirming my suspicion. When I asked what happened he said, quite matter-of-factly, that he pooped his pants while running. You see, he'd had to go to the bathroom and then... I asked if someone had brought him clean clothes and he said, no, he'd just used what they gave him in the office. I had no idea they had fresh underoos in the office. How nice of them!

Later, after two birthday celebrations today, one kiddo piped up to say, "When we go home, our poop is either going to come out a cupcake or a cookie." Thus, Poop Day!

My EBM (see profile  to the right for definition) asked when teachers start telling kids what they say is inappropriate. I say: This teacher? Never!! Long live hilarious and somewhat inappropriate comments. Why else would I look forward to work each day? *grin*

Monday, February 22, 2010

Valentine's Day

An excerpt from a love note peeked at in another classroom:

"I work out to protect you."

Quite the fourth grade casanova!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Call to Action

I have never had a more scary moment. One of my kiddos was drinking from a water bottle at his desk and started coughing. When it continued, I looked over at him and he had that look of sheer panic on his red little face. It was like the panic leapt from his chest into mine. I ran over thinking, "I've never given someone the Heimlich. Can I even do it?" I got to him quickly and as I did he started to take in breath again. Through more coughs and gasps he made it clear that he was alright. I asked if he scared himself. "Yes," he said with a big nod. "You scared me, too!" I replied. Then he started to laugh (too much adrenaline and emotion, I think). "I coughed everything in me out on my desk! I think I'm going to need a new paper."

Losing a paper I can handle. Losing a student, not so much. Whew!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Law & Order

We had a sixth grader dial 911 from the second-floor copy room the other day. Ugh! Witnesses reported that he covered the phone with paper and used a pencil to press each key so as not to be detected when we dusted for fingerprints. We've refrained from telling how highly he overestimates us!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Well, at least he can spell.

I had a kiddo on my hands today who was "A-N-G-R-Y and M-A-D!" Don't worry I diffused the situation and everything was O-K-A-Y.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Latest Addition

Other teachers have the greatest ideas! One just showed me her class virtual pet and we jumped on board the next day. Her name is Phoebe. She's a cute little humming bird residing in California. The kids love her (and her growing baby) and I've never had them more motivated to write...ever! Check her out at cam.dellwo.com.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Going to be Okay

One of my favorite stories is one when I walked out to pick kids up from recess and one of my most on-top-of-it students asked me if eating fertilizer would kill you? I could see the tears welling up in her eyes and asked, "Oh no, what happened?" She proceeded tell me that she had found fertilizer on the field and ate a small piece of it. Then all the kids started telling her how you can die from eating fertilizer. I gave her a big hug and said that was only true if you ate a bunch of it.

I told her the story of when I was about her age and came in from outside telling my mom that I'd found these tasty berries in the yard. Mom said they were poisonous and sent me off to wash my hands or something. For days I waited to die wondering why no one else seemed overly concerned. I think that got her to believe me when I told her I could understand feeling scared, but at worst she'd be itchy.

You never know when your life experiences will be useful. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Glory Days

Sorry for the absence. I guess I pretty much skipped January. Oops!

Today's conversation brings me back to the blog with gusto.

A kiddo was telling a story that triggered a story of mine:

Me: When I was in high school I had a...

Them: mullet?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

My 31st birthday fell on the last day of school before the winter break this year. I wore a fun, fancy birthday dress and enjoyed the well wishes all day. Just as we were packing up to head out, one of my little ones reminded everyone, "Hey, we forgot to sing the teacher Happy Birthday!" I was in the middle of saying, "Okay, we will if we have time," when all 26 of them erupted into the loudest rendition of the traditional tune I've ever heard. Then the reminder proceeded to reproduce my own festive interrogation on me: "How old were you yesterday? How old are you today? Do you feel older and wiser? Anything special you're doing for your birthday?" Really, it was the sweetest! I've never had a class be so excited about my birthday and make me feel so special. I guess I'll keep 'em. :)