The First Full Week Behind Us

Well, we survived! It was actually a pretty smooth first week. We got everything done that we planned to accomplish (which may be a first for this early in September!). There were no tantrums, and hardly any tears about missing mommy. Looking back over the week, I'm feeling pretty solid about calling it a success
Physically, however, it was not so successful. I was exhausted. Being on my feet and "chipper" all day, all week, just wore me down. I started falling asleep before 7pm and not really being able to do anything. I hope this is something I can get used to and regain some energy so I'm not wasting my entire evenings!


First Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday was our first official day of school! The orientations on Thursday went swimmingly, and the kids were so excited to come on Friday. 

It was sort of an odd start to the year, but everything on the whole went as well as can be expected. I sent three kiddos to the nurse before first recess (a sliver under the skin, a broken flip-flop, and an ear ache). My little friend with the ear ache also had a fever and had to be sent home, and another little friend left early for one last family vacation.

We also had a fun, unplanned fire-drill...YAY! (sarcasm: off) Apparently, the fire alarm malfunctioned (should I even say "again") and on the first day of K and preschool we had a fire drill. The kids did fantastic, all things considered, which is more than I can say for my swelling feet/ankles. They stood out in the scorching sun for 20+ minutes, and no one was crying or got lost. We were miserable and whiny, but all was soothed by some popsicles when we were let back inside the building. 

All-in-all, an exciting, exhausting, successful first day. 


Shaking My Head...

Our district tried to pass a bond last year to address our growing schools, which included rebuilding our old, deteriorating, gross building (among many other projects). It failed, much to the dismay of everyone working in my district.

Since I have been back to work these past two weeks it has been clearer than ever that we NEED a new building. The water stopped working for more than a full day, shutting down the bathrooms. When the water was fixed many of the toilets started continuously flushing, causing minor flooding in parts of the building (including by my classroom). The fire alarm went off unexpectedly because the dirty sensors malfunctioned. The rat population has exploded. I've seen more ants crawling around my room than I would like. And we just got an email that the bathrooms up on the hill will not be repaired in time for school to start (tomorrow) so all the fourth grade students, music students, and older kids at recess will need to use port-a-potties for at least the first week of school. 

All these lovely events were fun to be sure, but I can't imagine what's going to happen when they occur with all the kids actually in school. What would we do with over 1,000 kiddos who can't use the bathroom!?


Here We Go Again...

Well, school starts on Tuesday (2 days!). I've been in every day for the past 13 days, and my to-do list is still over 2 pages long!
I have met all the kids, though, and I feel like this year is going to be a lot smoother than last year. But it is all still a toss up! Once the kids come together we'll see what the combinations and class atmosphere are truly going to be like this year. Hopefully it'll be more satisfying and less stressful than last year.


Ideas are bouncing around in there!

Even though it is Summer Break (and I am EXTREMELY happy about that), I can't help but think about next year. I'm feeling in that planning mood already!? 
I want to work on all the things I can think of for next year; first up is my volunteer list/setup. I always hate the way I've set up volunteering - it never seems to work easily for me or be beneficial and time-saving, as I know it should be. So I'm changing that. I also want to get a different system/model set-up for my end-of-year scrapbooks so that they don't become a pain in my behind as we get into June. I know I won't be there after November next year, but maybe that's why I'm feeling like I need to do all this pre-planning now. 

In the meantime...here are some cute finger-print froggies we made for our Father's Day gifts this year. 


Summer Vacation!

Summer Vacation is one of the best times of the year! I'm noticing a large gap since I last posted (beginning of March, haha!), and there are many good reasons why.
First, I found out I was pregnant! My husband and I are so excited! But I severely underestimated the whole morning (aka all-day) sickness thing, and have been just struggling to get out of bed, let alone be a decent teacher. I'm now in week 18, and still having a rough time...so we'll see how that goes.
Amid morning sickness drama I also got some real sickness that landed me in the hospital over Memorial Day Weekend, but that is better now too. 
As far as the kids and the rest of the year went, let's just say it went as expected. We started our environments unit later this year because of weather and scheduling reasons, which in effect just meant I was teaching about plants, frogs, chicks, and butterflies all at the same time while trying to keep all those things alive and well (without throwing up on anything in the process). My sweet kiddos continued to be the noisiest, rowdiest, uncontrollable group I've ever experienced. Although in-class we had less physical incidents, recess was a nightmare. I kept telling the other adults involved how strict I had to be in the classroom to keep everyone safe, but our behavior adviser (for lack of a better name, not sure what title to call her...) kept excusing away incidents, and didn't want to instill 'harsh' punishments. Then one of my little friends threw a rock and permanently damaged another student's eye and they started to get serious about placing restrictions on my misbehaving friends at recess. Even with all the chaos of this year most of the kids are ready (at least academically) for first grade, and I am surprised at how we survived! I hope next year the combination of kids really blesses all of their little personalities! Most of them weren't monsters, but the mixture of those kids was horrific! I am so GLAD it is Summer Break, because I need it!


And So It Begins!

Today I have a sub so I can begin assessing all my kiddos for the March report cards. I like these days because I feel so proud and impressed with the hard work the kids have done. I'm most interested this year to see just what my kids know because I have to spend so much time on behavior management my teaching time is cut shorter than it has been in past years. Here we go!


Pity Party Friday

What a crazy week back we had! Never again will I schedule so much for the first week back after mid-winter break! 100th day of school, Dr. Seuss/PJ Day, and a field trip! Yikes!

On top of it all I had to deal with a psycho parent situation. A couple of my students were involved in a serious incident at recess which caused me to have to make a lot of depressing parent phone calls. One mom just couldn't handle the news I guess and has blown everything we spoke about way out of proportion. Although needless drama does annoy me, it is the lies and the hypocrisy that really piss me off! I just can't get past how someone feels like it is okay to just throw out random, but hurtful, accusations just to make someone feel bad, or to make out the situation was bigger than it was, or to support their own delusions (or all of the above!). Whatever the reasons may be, I am still a human being on this side of her crap-slinging and it makes my life miserable. Not to mention it now makes me more than uncomfortable to contact this family in any way for fear of how the words I actually say will be perceived by such an irrational, and unpredictable person! Can you say STRESS?

Breathe - today is Friday, and I have the weekend to compose myself and forget all about the two-face people who happen to cross my path. Rant over.


Last Day Before Mid-Winter Break!

So, yesterday was tough. The kids were really riled up, and some kiddos were just outright disobedient all day. I don't know how their parents can stand it. I hope today goes better - plus we're making peanut butter! 
I am so glad that today is Friday, but even more glad that it's a Friday before a week-long break! I know many districts are cutting out this February break to go to a 4-day weekend type thing, and I know why they do it, but I have never wanted our district to do it. The kids and I always need this break when it comes around, and I definitely need it now! I'm so excited! 


Monday Parties and District Meetings

This week has been a little odd. Valentine's Day was on a Monday-and it is exhausting to start out the week that way, but what can you do? The kids had a lot of fun, as always, and everything went off without a hitch! 
Today I was out of the classroom for a district meeting and it was a nice break from the humdrum of routine. Still, these day-long meetings frustrate me. We seem to always be asking the same questions and getting the same run-around answers...I really HATE red-tape, bureaucracy crap! I feel the same way with the other committee I'm on as well-everyone seems to be agreeing, but we just talk in circles for days and nothing gets done! I don't know if I'm cut out to be a part of committees; it's a patience thing I guess. 
It'll be good to get back and see the kids tomorrow. This week we're learning about proteins and we are going to make peanut butter! I'll post pictures soon.