Friday, August 31, 2007

I really want to keep my promise...

to myself to post everyday. So while I was at the store just now, buying stuff for my room, a picked up a cute little journal to keep at school with me. I'm going to use it to write stuff down that I want to blog about as soon as it happens (or at least as soon as I can) so I don't forget all those "little" things that happen during the day. The older I get, the more the Alzheimer's sets in, so I'm going to need this little book more than I care to admit.


I promised myself that I would post something (anything!) everyday, so here I am. Sadly, I'm so completely exhausted, this is going to be very short and sweet. OK, short. The good news is it's Friday, on a holiday weekend. The bad news is I'm still not finished with what I wanted to do in my classroom, so I'll be at school tomorrow. But, it's my own darn fault for not getting everything done during the past 3 days. I spent far too much time socializing and catching up with colleagues about what they did over the summer. Now I'll have to pay for it by going into school on Saturday. (On a side note, due to my socialization skills (?), I'm the Social Committee Chairperson at our school. The entire staff refers to me as a social butterfly, and they decided, unanimously, years ago that I should be the committee chair. The funny thing is, I've been the chair, or at least a member, of the Social Committee at every school I've ever worked at, so maybe they're on to something.)

I've also promised myself, after 2 days of posting complaints :( , that I would put at least one positive thing here everyday. Today we received our prep/lunch schedule for the new school year. I nearly cried tears of joy! A couple of teachers took over the scheduling for this year, and they could not possibly have done a better job. This will be the first year at this school that we will be getting a prep period everyday. The kindergarten schedule, in my opinion, is the best of all of them. My partner teacher agrees. Our prep period immediately follows our lunch, so we have an 80 minute break right in the middle of the day!! We couldn't have planned it better ourselves. Our lunch periods, schoolwide, have been changed this year from 20 minutes to 30 minutes (I have no idea how they got away with that, since all CPS schools have 20 minute lunches, but I don't care either!) so that was just icing on the cake! Now that I've taken this time to write about it, I'm happy all over again, and it doesn't seem so bad that I'll be there tomorrow :)

I'm aware of the fact that the non-teachers out there will wonder why they just wasted time reading today's post, but I know my teacher friends will relate, and can appreciate my feelings. We don't ask for much as teachers (certainly not when it comes to salary!) so it's the little things, like our preps, that can make all the difference for us. Yeah, I guess that's pretty lame, but sadly, it's true.

Hmmm, I guess this wasn't short after all. I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday weekend with friends and family. Thanks for stopping by!

Today's quote:
If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in
--Margaret Fuller

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day 2

Hey there! OK, so I made it through Day 2, but I'm very tired and achy today (and in case you hadn't noticed, whiny!) I had a hair appointment last night, and didn't get home until after midnight. No, I didn't have an Extreme Makeover (although I surely could use it!). My girlfriend owns the salon, so we always have fairly late appointments, then we sit around and BS far later than we should. I did, however, have about 8 inches lopped off my hair, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. But, that's a topic for another time!

Today I did A LOT of furniture moving, so my back is killing me. I also spent a second day on my feet all day while wearing flip-flops. I know, dumb move. My legs aren't feeling so hot, either. All I kept thinking about was getting home, filling my whirlpool tub, and taking a good, long soak.

Another teacher friend of mine sent me this email today, so I thought I would share it, since it cracked me up. Even my non-teacher friends will appreciate it. Number 8 is my very favorite!! (Right, Laura?!)

1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.

2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.
3. You walk into a store and hear the words "It's Ms./Mr. _________" and know you have been spotted.
4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom at one time or another.
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty-five minutes
6. You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and prep period.
7. You start saving other people's trash, because most likely,you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.
8. You believe the teachers' lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.
9. You want to slap the next person who says "Must be nice to work 7 to 3 and have summers off."
10. You believe chocolate is a food group.
11. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.
12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."
13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.
14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.
15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.
17. You can't pass the school supply aisle without getting at least five items!
18. You ask your friend if the left hand turn he just made was a "good choice or a bad choice."
19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils.
20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer.
and finally,

21. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting his or her parents.

Since nothing very exciting happened at work today, I think I'm done! I'll leave you with another of my favorite quotes:

All children need love,

especially when they do not deserve it.

--Harold S. Hulbert

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First Day of the New School Year

OK, after some prodding from my good buddy, smileygirl, I've decided to go ahead and take the plunge. I've been contemplating starting a blog for a while now, and Laura gave me the final little push I needed to get going. Plus, I've recently finished graduate school (yay me!) so I have a little free time on my hands! ;-) Well, as much free time as a single, working mother with two jobs and a teenager can have! In between all that, I've been dealing with a remodeling job in my basement that is fast approaching the two year mark. I'm hoping this blog will provide me an outlet for venting my frustration with the slow progress of this project, among many other things that happen in my everyday life.

The real reason I've been wanting to start blogging is to share with others the day-to-day adventures of being a school teacher in the "inner city." (God, I hate that term!) I teach Kindergarten in a Chicago neighborhood known as Englewood. Last I checked, I believe Englewood had the dubious distinction of being known as the murder capital of the nation. Last weekend, another little girl was shot and killed in Englewood, bringing the total number of Chicago Public School children in Englewood killed this year alone to 30. 30! OK, I'm not ready to get on my soapbox just yet, but I want to give you an idea of the area in which I teach.

So, today was the teachers' first day back to work. Our students will be joining us next Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. These first few days back are always crazy busy, with meeting after meeting, and us trying to put our rooms back together after they were destroyed over the summer during "summer cleaning." The funny thing is, our rooms NEVER look any cleaner when we come back in August than they did when we left them at the end of June. The furniture is just moved around and our stuff is all over. Any real cleaning is done when we come back, and do it ourselves. Can you see how well that masters degree is already serving me? I still get to sweep up rodent droppings and dead roaches all by myself. Who could ask for anything more?!

Since this is my very first post on my very first blog, I'm going to try and keep the complaining and negativity to a minimum. I'm really hoping to share with all of you the good, the bad and the ugly of being a Chicago Public School teacher. Most days I laugh, many days I cry, some days I do both. Several times even! I hope my posts inspire, inform and entertain you. And, if nothing else, make you see why we need our summers off!

I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

All children are gifted.
Some just open their presents later than others.


Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to leave me your thoughts and reactions (once the posts have some substance, of course!) and come back soon!