Saturday, August 15, 2009

One down, 39 to go....

That was the looonnngggeeesssttt first week in history! Once again, I was at school until well after 5. I could barely drag myself to my car. Besides the long day, and the physical demands of herding cats, I mean dealing with 30 5 year-olds, the freakin' heat just zaps any little bit of energy I have left. It has just been so unbearable this week. By the time I leave, I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck.

I did, however, force myself to do my Wii when I got home. I just kept reminding myself that as soon as I did it, I could relax for the rest of the night. I barely made it home before Stud's friends started coming over. I told him he could invite a bunch of guys over to hang out on Friday night. It was mostly a ruse to get him to stay home. He finally came home Thursday after almost 2 weeks at his father's. He came home to cut the grass, but his father wanted to pick him up when he was done. Um...I don't think so! So, I convinced him to invite the guys over, guaranteeing that I'd get to see him another night.

His one friend arrived about 5 minutes before I finished the Wii. His other best friend was supposed to be coming with another boy, but when he showed up, he was alone. (He couldn't find the other boy.) When I realized it was going to just be "my 3 sons," I was thrilled because I realized after my shower, I could just put on my pajamas, and relax. The other boy did end up coming at about 9:30, and by then, I was already settled into bed! The boys moved down to the basement just as I was passing out, and I never heard a peep. Stud and his late-arriving buddy were both up by 7 this morning, which is unbelievable! The other little darling is still asleep.

Oh, wait, I was supposed to be writing about school, wasn't I? I can NOT wait for preps to start this week. I'm hoping it makes a difference in my exhaustion level. I have about 7 days worth of work to do this weekend, and unfortunately, I have to work tonight. I'm starting to get a little panicky. I'm probably already on New Principal's shit list because I never did turn in any lesson plans this week. I HAVE to turn them in on Monday. I'm really a little freaked out about doing them. I know that sounds crazy coming from someone who's been teaching for a couple of decades now, but let me tell you, I've gotten really lazy and out of practice after so many years of working for the Big Cheese. I always did my lesson plans (which was not the norm around that place!) but for the past 4 years, I've only had to do half the work. I decided years ago that it made more sense for me and my partner to do our plans together, with my partner doing the math and science plans and me doing the reading/language arts plans. (And, truthfully,after saving them on my computer, all I've had to do the past year was change the date!) Now, since I have NO partner, I've got to do them all by myself again. And, I can't even use the plans I have saved because we're switching to a new reading series. God, just thinking about how much work this is going to be makes me want to cry. I don't want to go back to those days when my entire Sunday was spent working on lesson plans!! And, now that I work Saturdays at our bar, I don't know how the hell I'm going to be able to do that, since most Sundays I don't get home until 5 or 6 am! OK, I'm starting to feel my chest tighten again....

This group of babies, for the most part, are just that - babies!! This is one of the most immature groups I've ever had. It says a LOT about what the hell must be going on in our preschool program. Um...that would be...NOTHING! These kids can't even write their names, nor write their letters. They think the whole day is for playing. I keep trying to tell myself it'll get better. It's only their first week, it's got to get better.

ALL of them except 1 showed up yesterday. Yikes! I had to put 5 of them at my group table, since it's the only other table I have. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do next week when I actually start doing small group instruction. I'm going to have to have a lot of movement to keep shifting them from table to table.

The pep rally was WAY too long yesterday. My babies were amazing, though. Hey, wow, did I just say that?! I going to try and focus on that fact next week. I was really impressed with how quietly they were able to sit for well over an hour. That's a long time for 5 year-olds to sit. At least without a cartoon on for them to watch! :) We ended up having to leave before it ended because we needed to start getting ready for dismissal. We should have started about 30 minutes earlier.

New Principal introduced the entire staff, and had us come up on stage, while the kids cheered us on. I have to say, I was really touched by the reaction I got when my name was called. The whole auditorium erupted! It was really cool, and reminded me that I really do make a difference in the lives of some of these kids. (My first class at the Hell-Hole is now in 7th grade, so pretty much the entire school knows me.)

After the staff introductions, New Principal and our AP, Mr. H., went over the rules and expectations for this year. We talked about the uniform policy, and each teacher was asked to send 2 students up on the stage to show the proper uniform. My 2 did a great job, but they didn't take their eyes off me for even a second. It's a little scary to stand up on stage in front of the entire school!

When all the talk about rules, etc., was finished, each class then came up on stage and did their little presentation. We were first, of course, and the kids actually did a great job. We kept if very short and sweet. I "borrowed" a line for the pledge our kids are expected to say every morning. They loudly, and proudly, said, "I am in Room XXX. I am talented, smart and capable of success!" Thankfully, I had Ms. H. to help me again yesterday. She helped get them back in their seats as I got them off the stage. Then, they were forced to sit there while the rest of the school gave their performances. We only made it to the 4th grade performances, then we had to go. Unfortunately, because the upper grades still had to perform, that meant most of the students were dismissed late, which then meant that I was stuck outside on the playground, in the blinding sun (!) waiting for big brothers and sisters to pick up my babies.

OK, I've procrastinated long enough. I'd better start working on these lesson plans. I hope you all have a great weekend. Think of me slaving away while you're doing something fun and relaxing!


jlo said...

I, too, feel like I've been hit by a truch and then run over again in reverse. I have blistyers on my feet and want to just veg on the couch. Good luck with your plans!!!!

Lakeland Jo said...

good luck with your lesson plans-there is nothing worse when you have work stuff hanging over you. I have two proposals to write-sigh

Anonymous said...

I feel for you. The beginning of school is so exhausting--all the getting things and kids into a routine. It is worth it, but what a lot of work! I taught for almost 40 years and, after the first ten, writing lesson plans seemed like a waste of time. I guess you have to please your principal--it will take too much time, but you can make a template and just fill in the blanks each week. (Maybe she will quit requiring it after a week weeks when she knows what is going on.) It does help in case of a sub, but I usually ended up writing those in narrative form anyway.

Let yourself rest whenever you can. Know that you are doing something really worthwhile in the world!

Your Sister in Education (I coined that years ago, also known as YSIE)

Busy Bee Suz said...

I hope it gets better for you and your class this year...really, I could not deal with it myself. Take care, suz

keep your chin up my friend. :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the beginning of the year is always hard, especially with a lot of kids. We should be over 30 too this year, they cut one kinder teacher due to budget cuts. I spent the day in my room today (the first day allowed back) and MY tile hasn't been mopped or waxed yet, looks pretty dirty. I actually mopped it myself today, but with out stripping the wax and re-waxing, it's not going to look much better. They did get the carpet cleaned so I did start moving things around on that part of the room. But until I can put things back on the tile, it's still a mess. We report for all those fun pre-school inservice meetings, on Wednesday, and our principal has taken the full three days so no room prep time there.
Fun, fun, fun.
Things will settle down as your babies learn their routines. Hang in there.

Life with Kaishon said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I am so excited about your first week of school! I can't imagine how hard it is to go back to work after having a few weeks of summer vacation to relax and enjoy yourself! I hope that you start feeling less exhausted soon! The winter always drains me though, when it starts to get dark so early!

Way to go with your wii too :) Awesome! It was so exciting to hear about the kids all cheering for you. Stuff like that just touches my heart : ) It means you are a phenominal teacher who has had a big impact!

Clippy Mat said...

great post! so good to hear about all of the stuff you pack in, not to mention you even find time to BLOG! well done for the big cheer in the auditorium that must have felt fantastic. and good luck with the lesson plans, "a job begun, is half done" isn't that what they say? i'm a big procrastinator so i can't say it's words i live by.
you'll get there.

Anonymous said...

I've been in Early Childhood for over thirty years, and I take issue with your comment. What's wrong with most Early Childhood programs today is that they are forcing 4 year olds to write before they are ready and many of them can't succeed and stop trying. I don't know who woke up one morning and decided to push the First Grade curriculumn down to K, and so forth, but it needs to stop. Maybe if your kids had been allowed to play more and develop some real small motor skills with clay and lego and puzzles and all those good things in preschool they would be more ready to settle down. On the other hand, that's way too big a group. I taught First Grade with 31 once and I swear there were kids in that class who I was lucky to talk to twice a day.And this was in the days when kids didn't learn to write their last names in Kindergarten and I had 3 Barbara B.s. Any chance of relief?