Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I know this is old, but for some reason, it popped up in my inbox again this morning. And, I'm sorry, it STILL made me laugh out loud!! I LOVE the Fruitcake Lady. May she rest in peace. Thank you, Jay Leno, for sharing this gem with the rest of us!
Monday, September 28, 2009
This is one of my very favorite treats. And, it's all SUGAR FREE! It's surely going to help with the crazy chocolate cravings I'm having, and will keep having all week (Thank you, Mother Nature!)
Now that fall is officially here, it's going to be even harder to resist my absolute FAVORITE fall treat - Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte!! I've been resisting for at least two weeks now, but with this wonderful drop in temperature, it's going to be even harder to not pull through that drive-thru! Does anyone know if it's available in a sugar-free version? I suppose I could look myself on their website, huh? Ok, I'm going to do that right now, while I sip my hazelnut hot cocoa. yummmm.........
How cute is this kid?!
This is his "GQ pose." Man, he's handsome!!This is the cute couple. We went to one of her friend's houses to take pictures before the dance.Here are all the adorable couples. Just the men.He was so funny when we were taking pictures. He didn't want to get too close, or even, God forbid, touch her!! That's his buddy's girl, after all! This was the closest I could get them to each other so I could get a picture.We stopped at his Best Bud's house before the dance. Stud was pretty upset that he decided not to attend Homecoming this year. I think this is the first school event they didn't go to together since Kindergarten!Stud has a thing for picking up his friends. Actually, they encourage it. It's still amazing how much bigger he is than them. I thought by now they would have caught up to him.
(Close your eyes for at least part of it)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
From this trailer that I've seen, it looks pretty darn good! I can't wait to get it on video (wait, should I be saying DVD? I'm so old!) so I can show it to my babies. It's too bad we couldn't take a field trip to see it. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to connect it to some educational value, since it's based on a classic. Then again, I don't think I'm ever going to want to be seen in public with this group!!
It premiers October 16. I guess that means that by that afternoon, there will be bootleg copies circulating through the hood, and at least two of my kids will have copies by that night. If I wasn't so vehemently opposed to the whole bootleg thing, I might actually let one of them bring it in!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The cop pulled her over, walked up to the car, with that classic patronizing smirk we all know and love, asked, "What's your hurry?"
To which she replied, "I'm late for work."
Oh yeah," said the cop, "what do you do?"
I'm a rectum stretcher," she responded.
The cop stammered, "A what? A rectum stretcher! And just what does a rectum stretcher do?"
"Well," she said, "I start by inserting one finger, then work my way up to two fingers, then three, then four, then with my whole hand in, I work from side to side until I can get both hands in, and then I slowly but surely stretch it, until it's about 6 feet wide."
"And just what the hell do you do with a 6 foot asshole? he asked.
"You give him a radar gun and park him behind a bridge."
Traffic Ticket - $95.00
Court Costs - $45.00
Look on the Cop's Face................PRICELESS
Hello. You’ve reached the automated answering service of your school.
In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection.
To lie about why your child is absent, press 1.
To make excuses for why your child did not do his homework, press 2.
To complain about what we do, press 3.
To swear at staff members, press 4.
To ask why you didn’t get information that has already been enclosed in your newsletter, and several flyers that have been mailed to you, press 5.
If you want us to raise your child, press 6.
If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone, press 7.
To request another teacher, for the third time this year, press 8.
To complain about bus transportation, press 9.
To complain about school lunches, press 0.
If you realize that this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his or her own behavior, classwork and homework, and that it’s NOT the teacher’s fault for your child’s lack of effort, hang up and have a nice day. If you want this in another language, move to a country that speaks it.
Thank you for your interest in public education.
New Principal wasn't in again today. I think she was at meetings all day. Nothing really worth writing about happened today. I did get an email from a girl I met at the last PD I went to, though. I had gotten friendly with her, and another teacher, because we sat at the same table together for both days of PD, and I had promised them I would email them a link to a great website for making handwriting papers. (I think I posted it here once before, but if you're interested it's here.) I finally got around to doing it yesterday, and the one girl emailed back today with an AWESOME link to a website specifically for the new reading series (that's what the PD was for). It's a website of great resources that are all teacher-made, and I plan to make great use of everything on it. There are games, lesson plans, assessments, recording sheets, word wall words, oh, I could go on and on. (Yes, I DO know my geeky teacher side is showing, thanks!) If any of you out there use the Storytown series, here's the link. I promise, you'll LOVE it!! Even if you don't use that series, most of the things here can be used with any primary class. Be sure to click around, as there is more than just Storytown stuff here. (Click on Return to Home Page) I love that everything is ready to print right off the site. Why reinvent the wheel, I say!
On that note, I'm off to find the ream of cardstock I KNOW I bought at Sam's Club (who the hell knows where I put it, though!) and print me some games! :)
Monday, September 21, 2009
OK, this has NOTHING to do with school, but it made me laugh!
I talked to New Principal very briefly this morning. I know I mentioned that she wasn't at school Friday. I ended up leaving her a note about this K/1 split that she's been talking about. I already did my venting about this, so I won't rehash it, but I told her pretty much all my thoughts on the subject, and basically asked if I could just keep all of my babies, as to avoid the K/1 split. She said she would think about it. I'm hoping she'll take my suggestion, and use the new teacher position to make 2 1st grades, and 2 2nd grades.
I don't think I've posted about this yet, and I'm surprised I haven't. My wonderful parent volunteer, Ms. H., who has been helping me every single day, doing lots of "grunt" work, handling the homework packets, taking my kids to all their preps, etc... has YET to be paid one cent this school year!! (Maybe I'll post the whole story later.) She told me today that if the pay situation isn't resolved by the end of the week, she won't be returning after our fall intersession. OMG!!! I'm so upset about this. I wish to God I could find some money to pay her out of my own pocket. I was shocked (and, quite frankly, disgusted!) to find out that all Big Cheese had been paying her (and the other "volunteers") was $125 a week. WTF!! I can't believe she would work 35 hours a week for $125!!
I'm seriously trying to figure out a way to find this money. I've considered going back to working on Friday nights at the bar just to make the extra money to pay her. But, at the same time, I know this would kill me. I'm so torn about what to do. I've even considered talking to my dad to see if maybe his company would consider donating the funds to cover her pay. It would come to less than $5,000 for the whole school year. And, hey, they can write it off!
OK, I'm tempted to keep complaining, so instead, I'm going to go watch Night #1 of the Dancing with the Stars 3 Night Premier. woo hoo!
Ok, after reading the first few comments, I realize I should clarify something. We have two different kinds of "assistants" at school. There are 5 or 6 people who are "parent volunteers." This is not a true 'volunteer' position. There is a stipend involved, albeit a small one. I always thought it was around $5 or 6/hour. (Imagine my surprise when I realized most of them made less than $4/hour.) It's not the kind of "volunteering" your mom, or some of you, may have done in your child's classroom. It is essentially a job. A very low paying job....
Then, there are "instructional assistants" who must actually have some schooling. They make more money, I want to guess around $10-12/hour. Now, the real shame of it all is that the "volunteers" do about 100 times more work than the IAs. They have morning duty on the playground, lunchroom duty, hallway duty, after school duty outside, on top of helping in the classrooms. The IAs are almost all assigned to SpEd now, which means they do even LESS work than they used to, as they're supposed to be pushing in to classrooms and working with SpEd kids. Yeah, how convenient that no one actually knows where they're supposed to be at any given time. They essentially just walk around all day, pretending to be moving with their students. It's infuriating!
Anyway, that should clear up why the "volunteers" get paid. :)
Saturday, September 19, 2009
42 Things In The Life Of
An Italian Child
01. You have at least one relative who wore a black dress every day for an entire year after a funeral
02. You spent your entire childhood thinking what you ate for lunch was pronounced "sangwich."
03. Your family dog understood Italian.
04. Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents and extended family.
05. You've experienced the phenomena of 150 people fitting into 50 square feet of yard during a family cookout.
06. You were surprised to discover the FDA recommends you eat three meals a day, not seven.
07. You thought killing the pig each year and having salami, capacollo, pancetta and prosciutto hanging out to dry from your shed ceiling was absolutely normal. (Wow, that's really Italian!)
08. You ate pasta for dinner at least three times a week, and every Sunday, and laughed at the commercial for Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti day.
09. You grew up thinking no fruit or vegetable had a fixed price and that the price of everything was negotiable through haggling.
10. You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of seven.
11. You thought everyone's last name ended in a vowel.
12. You thought nylons were supposed to be worn rolled to the ankles.
13. Your mom's main hobby is cleaning.
14. You were surprised to find out that wine was actually sold in stores.
15. You thought that everyone made their own tomato sauce.
16. You never ate meat on Christmas Eve or any Friday for that matter..
17. You ate your salad after the main course.
18. You thought Catholic was the only religion in the world.
19. You were beaten at least once with a wooden spoon or broom.
20. You thought every meal had to be eaten with a hunk of bread in your hand
21. You can understand Italian but you can't speak it.
22. You have at least one relative who came over on the boat.
23. All of your uncles fought in a World War.
24. You have at least six male relatives named Tony, Frank, Joe or Louie.
25. You have relatives who aren't really your relatives.
26. You have relatives you don't speak to. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!
27. You drank wine before you were a teenager.
28. You relate on some level, admit it, to the Godfather and the Sopranos. I maka a meata ball you can't refuse!. Forrgetttabbboutit! Badda bing!
29. You grew up in a house with a yard that didn't have one patch of dirt that didn't have a flower or a vegetable growing out of it.
30. Your grandparent's furniture was as comfortable as sitting on plastic. Wait!!!! You were sitting on plastic.
31. You thought that talking loud was normal.
32. You thought sugared almonds and the Tarantella were common at all weddings.
33. You thought everyone got pinched on the cheeks and money stuffed in their pockets by their relatives.
34. Your mother is overly protective of the males in the family no matter what their age.
35. There was a crucifix in every room of the house.
36. Wakes would be held in someone's living room.
37. You couldn't date a boy without getting approval from your father. (Oh, and he had to be Italian)
38. You called pasta "macaroni".
39. You dreaded taking out your lunch at school
40. Going out for a cup of coffee usually meant going out for a cup of coffee over Zia's house.
41. Every condition, ailment, misfortune, memory loss and accident was attributed to the fact that you didn't eat something..
42. Those of you who get this . . . YOU KNOW who to pass it on to!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Anyway, when we came home, I let the boys build a fire in the firepit, and they helped me clean out my file cabinet. I had paperwork from 2000 in there! Jeez! I need Oprah to send someone to clean up this pig sty! By the time Best Bud went home, and we came inside, I was too pooped to post. And, yes, I realize none of you really give a rat's ass whether I posted yesterday or not, I just need to justify it to myself for breaking my own rule.
New Principal must have been at a meeting all day, because she never came to school. She called me in to her office, again, yesterday. She asked where my lesson plans were, which was one of the things she asked me the other day. I told her then that they were on my desk, and that I would bring them to the office, which I did. I put them in her mailbox. Guess where they still were? The only stuff in her box were my lesson plans, and a bunch of brochures for workshops that I'd like to attend. I had asked her a few weeks ago about them, and she gave them back to me with a note saying, "Remind me again in 2 weeks." So, I figured, what the heck, I'll bring them to her again.
She flipped through the pile, and asked which one I'd really like to go to. I told her I would really like to attend the Conference for Illinois Kindergarten Teachers. I've wanted to go to this for years, but it's always been somewhere up north, and as some of you know, I only sign up for conferences at the Hilton near my house. (Makes it much easier to ditch!) But, this one, I do NOT plan to ditch. I'm seriously excited about this. I wasn't sure if New Principal would go for it because it's two days long, which also means it's more money than a one day conference. When she asked, I told her I'd really like to go to this one, but I realize it's two days. She said, "That's fine." I said, "Well, it's also more expensive because it's two days." She said, "Oh, that's fine." Hmmm...whatta ya know.
The only 'bad' thing is, the conference isn't until December. Then again, thanks to our new year-round schedule, we only have 9 days of school in December, only 8 of those with the kids. The conference would mean one less day with the kids for me, but the second day of the conference falls on a professional development day. That's great because we won't need to pay a sub! I'll have to be sure to let her know on Monday about this. Man, December is going to fly by!!
Only 4 more days with the babies until our fall intersession!!! Gee, do you think I'm a little excited? tee hee! I actually grabbed my school calendar while typing this, and I had really better stop complaining about school. I just realized that between now and Christmas break, we only have 2 full weeks of school. Every single other week, we have at least one day off, or one day without the kids. Wow!! That's awesome!
Oh, one last little thing...Stud Muffin is FINALLY driving!!! I don't even know if I had mentioned this here before, but he's had this weird aversion to driving, despite having his permit since July. But, Monday he drove home from my parents'. Yesterday, he drove to his Best Bud's house, then he drove HOME from the Olive Garden!!! On busy streets and everything!!! I was quietly dying in my seat, but he did great. I hope this trend continues. Illinois recently changed the requirements for teens to get their licences, and now they need to have 50 hours of driving practice with their parents (or other drivers that are over 21) outside of the driving they do in drivers' ed class. Before Monday, he had a collective total of 20 minutes since July!! He's finally reached the one hour mark, so hey, only 49 to go!! As long as he's able to drive me to the old folks home....
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Turns out I was sadly mistaken regarding my early childhood status. I feel like a moron. All this time, I've assumed that I needed an early childhood endorsement, when what I needed was an early childhood certificate. Two completely different animals, unfortunately for me. I actually called down to Springfield this morning and got a real person on the phone. She very sweetly explained to me that I needed a certificate, not an endorsement, and that I should talk to someone in the alternate certification department. I left a message for "Phyllis," but I never heard back from her.
Normally, I would have to take a whole 'program' of classes, then pass the state board test to get my certificate. I'm hoping I can just take a handful of classes, then take the test. I actually am going to ask if I can JUST take the test. I'm fairly confident that I can pass it. Even if I don't, I'll know what to expect the next time I take it. I don't know what it costs to take the test, but I think it's probably around $50-75, which isn't horrible. These are all questions Phyllis should be able to answer for me, if I ever get in touch with her. I'm still not giving up on trying to get a waiver somehow, though, so I can at least move to preschool while I pursue this certificate.
Even if it doesn't work out for this year, I may be able to get this all finished by next school year. I guess this was the kick in the pants I needed to finally get my early childhood certificate taken care of. New Principal and I pulled up at the same time this morning, and we were talking about this situation, and she asked me why I never got this certificate if preschool is where I really want to be. Good question, right?
Well, I explained to her that I already started pursuing another masters degree, and I couldn't do two programs at the same time, along with working 3 jobs and raising a child, so I had to put the EC certificate on the back burner. The first masters program I started, a million years ago, was actually Early Childhood Special Ed, which would have given me the certificate, along with the masters. Now I really wish I had found a way to finish it. This was back when CSJ and I first separated, and I was a bit overwhelmed with being a newly single parent, in a house we just bought, that I couldn't afford alone, plus Stud was just a baby then. My main focus was keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table.
But, our lives are much different now. It seems like a good time to do this. Well, except for having to pay tuition, that is. This is the biggest obstacle for me right now. I just finished paying off my first masters degree! Stud's tuition is as much as a mortgage payment, and now I have a new car to pay for. Egads! But, I'm just going to have to take out a loan or something. Actually, I wish I had done that for the masters I already have, instead of using my damn credit card. (But, I DID get a buttload of points!) I could have applied for a loan forgiveness program (I have no idea if this is just an Illinois thing) which would have reimbursed me for $5,000 of my tuition. I'm going to look into doing that this time. I certainly can't take on a 4th job! ;-)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We are going to give the parents until the end of intersession to get their kids current on their shots and so on. That means I could come back on October 13 to a class of 7 children. Sweet!!!
New Principal did ask, though, "Um, how are all these children registered for school without these shot records?!" At least she realized that the office dropped the ball. I really hope she keeps cleaning house, and getting rid of all the incompetent people that I have to work with everyday. It would eliminate so much stress from my day....sigh....
Monday, September 14, 2009
My mommy and my sister came home from Italy today. Yay!
Gotta go write lesson plans. Yes, I WAS supposed to do that over the weekend, thanks for asking. I'm waiting for New Principal to say something to me about this. So far, she hasn't said a word.
Friday, September 11, 2009
A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done.
The monsignor replied, 'When I am worried about getting nervous on the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip.'
So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice. At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm.
Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:
1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.
2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.
3) There are 12 disciples, not 10...
4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.
5) Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.
6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.
7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.
8) David slew Goliath; he did not kick the shit out of him.
9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.
10) We do not refer to the cross as the 'Big T.'
11) When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, 'Take this and eat it for this is my body.' He did not say 'Eat me'.
12) The Virgin Mary is not called 'Mary with the Cherry'.
13) The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.14) Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at St. Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's..
Thursday, September 10, 2009
New Principal keeps surprising me. This morning, a lovely woman named Mrs. M. came to my room, introduced herself, and told me she was going to be with me for the morning. Woo hoo!! Apparently, she is a displaced teacher, and now goes school to school as a sub. (Another post for another day!) I later saw New Principal when I picked the babies up on the playground, and she let me know that Mrs. M. will be with me every morning that she can get her here. Again, woo hoo!
I had big plans to use her to do some small group work, but as luck would have it, our day was it's usual cluster-fucky-Hell-Hole kind of day. Right in the middle of singing our favorite morning song, little M.H., who was standing directly in front of me, proceeded to vomit all over my beautiful new(ish) carpet! Some of you may recall how I feel about vomit. (In a nutshell, I don't do puke!! I used to call CSJ in the middle of the night when Stud got sick, so he could drive all the way from his house to mine, just to clean it up. I DON'T DO PUKE!)
Anyway, a few minutes after the whole puke-isode was over, our wonderful assistant principal, Mr. H., came in and asked if I would be willing to bring my babies down the hall for a photo op with some guys who donated a large quantity of supplies to the Hell-Hole. Anything for Mr. H.! That basically blew the rest of our morning.
By the time we finished taking pictures, it was time for the bathroom and lunch. Mrs. H. was called away just as we were leaving for the bathroom, so I had to take all of them by myself. That translates into a 20 minute loss of time, making us late for lunch. The rest of the day kinda just stayed on this path.
At one point this afternoon, New Principal made an announcement over the intercom about some teachers being called down to the office. She said if we got called, to come immediately. Well, about 2 minutes later, guess who got called down? I walked into her office, and she had the screen pulled up on her computer for our online grading system. She turned, looked at it, and said, "I don't see any grades here on your gradebook for progress reports." I said, "Well, that's because kindergarten doesn't have progress reports." Her first facial expression was confusion, which was immediately replaced by a knowing look, and a "Oh, that's right! You're kindergarten!" I then got a HUGE smile, and a "Ok, bye!" It was kinda cute!
I was more than ready to get the hell out of Dodge at 2:45! I actually managed to get the kiddos out the door about a minute before the bell rang, which meant I got to the office just as the bell was ringing, which meant I could swipe out and leave! Yay! I think He knew what a craptastic day I had, so He decided to clear traffic a bit for me on the way home. I walked in my front door at 3! I NEVER get home that early! (Since it's Thursday, my MIL picked up Stud, which saved me at least a half hour in the car. Thanks, Ma!!!)
I'm so happy tomorrow is Friday! I hope Mrs. M. is able to come back, because I have big plans for her. She was actually a kindergarten teacher before she was displaced, so I plan to call on her expertise and knowledge to get me through my day. :)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I have a mom (the one I mentioned weeks ago, who kept her kid home because it was his birthday!!) who drives me freakin' craaazzzzyyy!!! Most mornings, she brings her precious little darling to school late, and then she insists on walking him all the way to the room, then she comes IN the room, hangs up his stuff for him, talking, loudly, the whole time ("Come on, Baby, give me your bookbag." "Ok, baby, have a great day!" etc.) despite the fact that class has ALREADY STARTED AND I'M TRYING TO TEACH!!!! You crazy bitch!
Then, she is always standing in the hall at the end of the day, waiting for her child, instead of being out on the playground, where she belongs!!! Today, as I'm trying to walk 30+ children out for dismissal, she starts asking me, "Are they going on the circus trip?" I gave her my best WTF look, and said, "What trip? I have no idea what you're talking about." She says, "The Univer-Soul Circus. The preschool is going." "That has nothing to do with us, this is kindergarten." In my head, that sentence finished with, "You goofy bitch!!" "Oh, really?" Yes, REALLY!!! Ugh!!! Of course, in the meantime, my other kids are all over the hall, instead of walking in two (LONG) lines.
After I dismissed my class, I was trying to get to the office to swipe out, so I could leave to pick up Stud, and she started in again! "Isn't there any way you could join the preschool?" "Absolutely not." "What if we got a lot of parents to come, like they do in preschool?" Ok, parents on field trips are the biggest problem with the field trips!!! (Keep in mind, I'm specifically referring to OUR parents, not parents in general!) "No, in preschool, the parents are required to go. We would never get enough parents to go. And, there's no way I'll be taking this many kids anywhere on my own." I wanted to throw in, "especially the way this group behaves!!" but I kept it to myself. "Well, will you be taking a lot of trips?"she whined. "No, probably not. That's the problem with having 38 kindergartners and no assistant. That's just the way it goes."
At this point, I wasn't even TRYING to be polite. She was seriously bugging my ass! I mean, seriously, WTF?! If you feel your child needs to go see the Univer-Soul Circus, then shit! Buy a damn ticket, and take him!!! I've got bigger fish to fry, like trying to teach your little cherub the damn letters of the alphabet, which you apparently were too busy to even introduce him to! How 'bout you teach him the ABC Song? Or a color? Or a number? A shape? ANYTHING!!!! I'm busy all day trying to teach the reading program, the math program, the science program, the social studies program, the NEW character education program, all while trying to get 30+ babies to sit in their seats, keep their hands and feet to themselves, and pay attention. Add the unbuttoning and buttoning of at least 20 pairs of pants at every bathroom break, unbuckling and rebuckling at least 10 belts, the tying of 100 shoe laces each day, saying 100 times a day "STOP DIGGING IN YOU NOSE AND GET A TISSUE!!" Yeah, you're right, I've got PLENTY of time to worry about taking your kid to the freakin' circus!!!!!!! UGH! Apparently, she pissed me off more than I realized... (Keep in mind that this kind of crap with this woman has been going on since school started 5 weeks ago. Today was certainly NOT the first time something like this has happened, but it obviously must have been the straw that broke the camel's back, huh?)
This is something that is really pissing me off regarding New Principal. She PROMISED us in the beginning of the year, that she was going to keep the parents out, both before and after school. Unless they have an appointment, they have absolutely NO business in the hallways, outside of our rooms. Almost every single day, I have some parent knocking on my door 10-15 minutes before school gets out because they want their child. This is exactly why we asked her to keep the parents OUT. At that time of the day, I'm trying to get every kid in and out of the coat closet, helping them pack up their bookbags, put on their jackets, etc. I don't have time to deal with people at the door. I don't even answer it anymore. How freakin' hard is it to go stand on the playground where you belong? Your child will be coming out, just like every other child. I don't get it.
OK, now that I've offended every one of my Bloggy Buddies who are parents, let me just remind you that I, too, am a parent. However, I have always followed whatever rules and procedures were in place at Stud's school. Despite my thinking that he was the single greatest child ever born, he was never treated any differently than any other child in his school, and I was expected to abide by the same rules as every other parent. I practically had to give blood just to enter the office. Parents were NEVER allowed beyond that point. We were NEVER allowed to go to the classroom. If we were picking our child up, the child was sent down to the office. We weren't allowed to just roam freely through the building, like parents are at the Hell-Hole. This is a serious safety issue, and it's being completely ignored. In that neighborhood, you can never be too careful about who the hell is walking in off the street.
Wow, so much for not having much to say. I could seriously go on and on, but it's past my bedtime, and I think I've offended enough people for one night. I hope tomorrow goes a little better. And God help this nutjob if she even TRIES to talk to me tomorrow!!!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
On the way to dinner, I stopped at the car wash and the boys vacuumed all the sand out of my car (and there was a lot!) and then washed all the dead bugs off the exterior. They did a hell of a job! After dinner, we hung out at my dad's for a while, but after Stud Muffin's friend was picked up, we headed home because he had homework. My brother came over, and we did some work for the bar. It ended up being a late night, which made for a very difficult morning, let me tell you. Stud was almost 15 minutes late for school, and I was late for work. Way to start a week!!
School wasn't so bad today, to tell the truth. It surely helped that I had 6 babies absent. And, believe it or not, I did not get even ONE new student today. That is just shocking!! We thought for sure we'd get a big influx of new students after the holiday, but I don't think we got any. I'm not really complaining, I guess, but I was hoping for about 10 so we could open that second kindergarten. And, without the no-shows on my list, I'm down to 32 children who have actually been sitting in front of me every day. That's probably not enough for New Principal to agree to half-day. But, it's still FAR too many to have in a kindergarten class. I'm going to talk to her tomorrow and do a little begging. Imagine how awesome it would be to have two classes of 16 each! I would be able to get twice as much done! Send positive thoughts my way for that conversation, please. :)
I finally started our new reading program today. Hey, it's only the 5th week of school, don't rush me!! Truthfully, before this point, they weren't really ready for it. Plus, I didn't even get my stuff until last Wednesday!! I'm still missing a substantial portion of the program, but I have enough to start. The babies did a great job today, so let's hope this trend continues.
I met with some girls from work for dinner tonight after school, which was a great way to end the day. Now, I'm ready to put my jammies on, crawl into bed, and watch some mindless television. I hope you all had as wonderful a holiday weekend as I did!!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Today was actually an OK day. The morning started with an unexpected staff meeting for primary teachers(K-2) in MY ROOM! I walked in just as the 8:30 bell was about to ring (which made me feel late, even though 8:30 is technically our start time) and New Principal had hung a sign on the time clock about the meeting. So, I rushed down to my room to gather together the handful of "grown-up chairs" I have in there.
The meeting consisted of us walking around each other's rooms with a checklist, critiquing and commenting on what we did or didn't see. (for example, word walls, student work, classroom libraries, etc.) Each category had sub-categories (Classroom Library-Is there a check out system in place? Does it have a large number of books? Are there a large variety of genres? Is it comfortable and inviting? and so on) My room right now is a hot mess (as we would say in Englewood) because I've just been trying to get through one day at a time, with too many babies crammed into too small a room.
I don't mean to toot my own horn, but for the past 8 years, my room has frequenctly received compliments and high praise for being so colorful, exciting and inviting to students. However, after the beginning of the year fiasco (cleaning issues, etc.) much of my stuff had been taken down, some thrown out (and NOT by me!!), and most never made it back up. I normally have everything that can possibly be labeled labeled. There are usually posters and so on all over the room.
My classroom library was actually organized, with every basket labeled according to genre. Unfortunately, when my stuff was moved out into the hallway for cleaning, my books were just randomly dumped then shoved back on the shelves, so it's just a disaster now. I was actually embarrassed to have my colleagues looking around.
Oh, and you'll love this one! I still don't have a word wall going. I covered my back board before school started, and put up a label that says "Word Wall," but never did anything else to it. I JUST yesterday put up the letters of the alphabet so that I can start putting up the words under each letter. That's ALL that is on there right now. Talk about doing a crappy job!! I was mortified. I thought for sure New Principal would have a lot to say about that. We were all given a checklist for each room we went to, and we were to fill it out and then leave it, face down, on each teacher's desk. I was dreading looking at the sheets on my desk.
New Principal must not be as upset with me as I thought, though, because just after school started, she came to my room with a woman and said, "This is Mrs. C., and she'll be here to help you all day, in any way you need." I almost kissed her right then and there!! Turns out, the woman was called by sub center to sub in our preschool today. However, when she went down there, no one was there. Turns out that, for some reason, there is two days of in-service scheduled for preschool, so classes were cancelled for today and tomorrow.
So, she was mine all day! It was awesome having an extra teacher in the room. Trust me, I SO appreciate having Ms. H. for the couple of hours a day that she's with me. But, having someone who actually knows how to deal with the babies was a blessing. The poor thing spent most of her day basically serving as a personal aide for one of my boys who really ought to be in a self-contained SpEd room. (Too bad we don't have those anymore at the Hell-Hole!) It was so great to not have to continually stop teaching to deal with his disturbances. Ms. H. does what she can, but she's had no formal training, obviously, to deal with these things. (She did, however, take him out of the room for me yesterday, which was nice, too.)
We had our first fire drill today, which was a bit of an inconvenience. Naturally, it happened during my prep. Now, at a normal school, the prep teacher would take the class outside and deal with things, right? Well, not here. We were told, by the parent volunteer who was walking around giving teachers the heads-up, that we needed to go up and get our kids for the fire drill. WTF? I was on my way up to the freakin' 4th floor when Mrs. H. passed me and said she was on her way to get the babies. God bless her heart! I told her I was going to duck into the bathroom real quick (cuz I'd been holding it for about 2 hours!) and I'd meet her up there. Of course, the alarm sounded as I was half-way there. I was AWESOME having another adult, in this case 2 adults, to keep the kids in line and quiet. What we're supposed to do is walk at the front of the line and guide the babies to our safe area. But, anyone who's ever walked little ones anywhere knows that you need to lead, bring up the rear, and occasionally attend to the middle, all at the same time! Now that I think about it, there were actually 4 adults because the gym teacher was with us, as well.
Luckily, the drill only lasted about 5 minutes, which meant there was still 20 minutes of gym left. I think the gym teacher thought I was going to take them back to the room, but he was sadly mistaken!! The rest of the day went pretty quickly. After gym, it was snack time. I took a small group of 6 back to the carpet with me to work on drawing and labeling a goldfish (our current science unit) while the rest ate their cookies and watched Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom. (Yes, AGAIN! They adore it, what can I say? And, I can seriously tell that it's having an impact on their letter recognition.) Before I knew it, it was time to go!
Now, you KNOW this day went to smoothly too be a day at the Hell-Hole, right? So go back up to top and remind yourself how the school day ended...go 'head, I'll wait....yeah, that's right. I'm a dork!! But, seriously, I didn't even sweat it. It took all of 5 minutes to jump it with the car parked next to me, and I was on my merry way. Right now, as I type this, there's a cool breeze blowing in my kitchen windows, and I can smell the chocolate chip cookies baking at the Nabisco factory. It smells like heaven!! I'm about to go down in the basement and do about 5 loads of laundry so I can pack for this weekend. I want to pack tonight just in case I decide to leave straight from school tomorrow.
I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. See you when I get back. :)
Wow, I just realized that I started this post over two hours ago, but half-way through my sister called me from Italy, and we talked for nearly two hours. I think my Sissy is lonely. :(
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I just realized, as I was opening my page, that I have the same number of followers as I do students! hmmm....There should be MORE of the first, and LESS of the second! tee hee!
I had a looonnnggg afternoon of running around and aggravation (caused mostly by Stud!) so I'm going to just put my jammies on and chillax.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I'm a bit confused about what will be happening tomorrow. You may remember that I was recently out for two days for some professional development for our new reading series. Well, there is a third day of PD, which is to be conducted at our school. The day that was scheduled for that is tomorrow. I had forgotten all about it until the clerk asked me this morning if I needed a sub for tomorrow. Now, our reading coach never mentioned anything to me about this PD happening tomorrow, so I don't know if it's going to happen. As far as I know, there will be two subs coming tomorrow, but I don't know if we'll actually need them. Plus, on top of that, I didn't prepare anything for the sub, if I do have one. Normally, I'd be able to get things ready in the morning, but Wednesday is our staff meeting morning, so I won't even be able to do that. I think I may go in early tomorrow, since I don't have to drive Stud to school, and get things ready. Even if I don't need it for tomorrow, I'll have a sub folder ready for an emergency.
One more little tidbit about the new schedule, which is still a work in progress. Today, Ms. H. was asked by New Principal to take a sheet around to certain teachers (they were marked on the sheet) to have them sign up for a slot in the computer lab. Up until the new schedule came out yesterday, computer lab was one of our preps. We didn't technically have a teacher in there, but there was an assistant who "ran" the lab. Now, that assistant has been pulled to work with SpEd students, so computers in no longer a prep. If we choose to take our class to the lab, we will need to stay with them.
Ms. H. and I gave a lot of thought to which slot we were going to take, and we decided we would take the last period on Friday. We will be going straight to computers from gym class. That's the perfect way to end the week. From 1:20-2:40, I will essentially be doing nothing with the babies. Hopefully that means I will be able to work on lesson plans, thus freeing up my weekend (you know, to work at the bar!!). Actually, we probably will go back to our room at 2:30 so we can get ready to go home, but still, it'll be nice. Last year's babies used to love going on PBS Kids and another awesome website called Starfall. So, that's what we'll be doing on Fridays!