Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Look what we made...

I totally stole this from Michaele over at Kindergarten's 3 Rs. However, when I read her post yesterday, I couldn't see the pictures because I was at school, so we just made them the way I thought her's looked. We finished ours today, then when I got home, I checked her blog and could see ours are not the same at all. But, I think they're still really cute! Her class made fall apple trees, but we just made Fall Trees, hence the leaves that are also on the ground. The babies loved making these. I'm sure they would have loved it even more if their anal-retentive freak of a teacher would have given them a little freedom. I didn't let them do the fingerprinting by themselves because I was afraid they would "ruin" their trees. I actually held their little fingers, dipped them in the paint, and pressed them down on the paper. Yes, I know, I'm so mean!! But, look how cute they turned out!! I did let one of the babies attempt to do her own, but I had to literally sit on my hands to not jump in and help her. I don't think her tree is as cute as the others. (Did I just say that out loud?)

Those of you have been reading this blog for a while will undoubtedly remember my darling D.J. from last year. For those not in the know, he was probably the most difficult child I've had to deal with in my nearly 20 years of teaching. Well, his little brother, also D.J., is in kindergarten this year. Thankfully, he's in the other room. However, I've had to deal with him in one way or another every one of the past 17 school days. He makes my D.J. look like an angel! Today, he went too far, and I lost it. He had been acting up all morning, and all through lunch. Ms. W., the other kindergarten teacher, is a bit lax with her children, and even though it bugs the living shit out of me, I haven't said or done anything about it. Today, however, I couldn't keep my mouth shut. D.J. was a beast all through lunch, throwing food, getting up out of his seat, running around, etc. She finally tried to get him and three other boys to sit and behave properly, but it was pretty much a lost cause. She took the rest of the class with her when lunch was over, but left the four boys with a parent who was there helping her. Naturally, they starting acting up immediately, and completely ignoring this mom. Mrs. Meanie wasn't going to stand by and do nothing, so I went over to reprimand them. D.J. basically just looked at me and laughed, then continued to act up. I warned him that if he didn't straighten out his act, he would be staying with me while the rest of the class went to gym.

I then left with my class, walked up to the third floor to art, and ended up coming back down with two of my beasts. I mean babies. One had been punching people all morning, and did it again on the way to art, and the other wouldn't stop pushing people on the stairs, and ended up causing about 6 boys to fall, like dominoes, on the stairs. They ended up falling into ME, almost making me fall down the entire flight of concrete stairs!! Needless to say, I was NOT happy. I stopped in Ms. W.'s room, and saw that she had kept those 4 boys back from gym. They were supposed to be sitting with their heads down, being quiet, but of course, they were talking, playing, generally doing whatever they wanted. She seemed oblivious to their behavior, which really was starting to piss me off. I told them all to be quiet, and little D.J. proceeds to pick up two pencils and starts banging on the table!! I wanted to "bust my foot off in his ass!" (One of my favorite Englewood-isms!) I told him I was taking him to call his mother, and he just smirked. We started toward the office, and one of the assistants that was in the hall asked if I was looking for his mom. Mom apparently just picked up the little brother from preschool, and had just walked out. Ms. S., the assistant, literally ran out the front door to try and catch her. In the meantime, D.J. starts with the crocodile tears. (A word to the wise: That only manages to piss me off even more. Pass it on.) Ms. S. just missed catching Mom. She then told me that this morning D.J. had been banging on a door, and when Ms. S. told him to stop, he stuck his tongue out at her! Ugh! Then, another woman spoke to him about the same thing, and he stuck his tongue out at her.

All this time, D.J. is still wailing. We went back to my room to get his phone number, and he just wouldn't be quiet. There's NOTHING I hate more than fake crying, simply for the show. Especially when it's LOUD! He was being incredibly defiant. I told him to sit, he refused. I told him to be quiet, he got louder. He was so loud, the class coming from the library heard him. One boy suddenly stopped at my door, and lo and behold, it was his big brother. I explained what had been going on and why his brother was crying, and big brother started to lay into him. It actually was hard not to laugh at him because he was trying so hard to sound like a parent. "Stop all that noise, boy! If you want to cry, I'll give you something to cry about!" He knew the crying was fake, and told D.J. just that. In the windup, he went to the office and called his mom for me. He came back and said D.J.'s dad would be coming to get him.

About a half hour later, Dad knocks on my door. Now, this man is also my D.J.'s father, but I never met him once in the year his son was with me. I let him know what's been going on today, as well as the past three weeks. I've decided that this year, I wasn't going to hold back at all with my parents. They need to know exactly what their children are doing, even if they then want to deny it. ("Not MY baby!") I gave dad every detail of what I've witnessed and dealt with first-hand. I told him that no matter how D.J. is allowed to act toward the adults in their home, he was NOT going to act that way at school. He IS going to be respectful, he IS going to listen, he IS going to do what he's told, and so on. Of course, Dad is nodding his head, saying, "You're right, you're right, Mrs. L.!" and acting outraged at his son's behavior. Was it just an act? Who knows. My guess is yes, because if he really believed his child should be acting a certain way, then he would have taught him that at some point in the past 5 years, would he? Whatever, I'm just glad he showed up. At least that's a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned. I told them both that if he didn't start showing some respect to Ms. W., I would be transferring him to MY room. D.J. didn't like that one bit! I'm curious to see how tomorrow goes. God knows, I don't want to take him, but I don't want to make empty threats, either. Hopefully, it won't come to that.

Other than all the BS I had to deal with thanks to these boys, the rest of the day was pretty darn good. I loved making the trees with the babies!! I know, I know, I should have let them do it alone, but I'm really happy with the way they turned out. I'm moving them to the hallway tomorrow. My little buddy, D.B. had yet another great day. He very nearly made me cry this morning. He actually said, "Mrs. L., I gotta pee." I realize this seems like a bizarre reason to get teary-eyed, but up until now, he has NEVER said my name. It's been all grunts, pointing and banging on me. The only word he's uttered to this point has been, "pee." The first week of school, he would just burst into tears when he had to go to the bathroom. It would take me several minutes to figure out he had to go to the bathroom. I starting telling him that I couldn't understand him when he cried like that, and all he had to do was say he had to use the bathroom. He could only manage to get out "pee," but at least it wasn't crying!! Other than that, he literally has not said one single, solitary other word. At some point this morning, I felt someone banging on me (He's FAR from the only one who does it!) and then I heard, "Mrs. L., I gotta pee." I looked down, and saw that it was D.B., and I swear to you, I got teary-eyed!! He didn't say another word the rest of the day, but that's ok by me. In my opinion, today was a break-through.

As much as I'd love to keep boring you (haha!), I need to get my act together for tonight. I'm working at the bar, and we're having our third Dinner, Dancing and Drinks event. It's going to be a busy night, so I think I'm going to try and nap. I ended up working last night (maybe I'll bitch about why later) so I'm wiped out. Especially after the day I've had! Maybe I'll fill my tub, and nap in there. Hmmm, sounds heavenly....


Christina Shaver said...

That is hysterical that you dipped each one of their fingers in and put it on the paper!!!!

And OMG. THAT is a day in kindergarten?! Why are you working at a bar? You need to be drinking at a bar!

ChiTown Girl said...

Girl, all this happened before 11:15!!! If I described the ENTIRE day, I doubt anyone would still be reading this! ;-)

Suz said...

Yes, you are a bit anal. I understand though. The trees are gorgeous.
That little brat...I mean brats....really it can all be blamed on the parents.
Our kids are pretty much blank canvas's when we get them, aside from some basic character traits. We mold them into what they if they are horrible, chances are WE let them be that way.
Let the parents know the truth...that is great!

ChiTown Girl said...

Thanks, Suz, for your support, and the compliment on our trees!

Michaele said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the trees!

There are times when I give my students VERY prescribed art activities- it's more the sequencing, following directions, taking time to properly use those teeny tiny muscles for fine motor control skills that are being developed at those times.

Many of my students made the autumn apple trees again when they went to painting- they traced their hands and arms, then filled them in with brown paint or markers, then used dauber paint (Bingo markers) in orange, red, and yellow to "dot" leaves on- then finger painted some red on top for apples. Very cute, and of course, they took those home at the end of the day to enjoy while the ones we made earlier were put up on display in the hallway.

I like teaching the lesson, then letting the kids go for it a SECOND TIME on their own in the art center.