Sunday, December 23, 2007

Last Day Of School

Friday was the last day of school and I'm off for 2 wonderful weeks!! This is so needed and while I have a list of things to do that would probably give the length of Santa's naughty list a run for it's money, I am glad to do them because there will be NO CHILDREN AROUND which I think is key. I actually look forward to ticking off all those things on my list because it will feel as though I'll have a restful but also productive holiday. I always get the rest part right but feel like shit when I have to go back to work and realize that I've actually done NOTHING.

The last day was pretty standard in that the kids didn't do a damn thing other than be merry and festive and fully loaded with sugar.

We threw in a movie in the afternoon as well. There were 4 classes (all grade 1's) and the teachers in one of the bigger classrooms. One of my teaching partners was writing up her Christmas cards and told me that she was just going to go to her room to put the cards away and that she'd be right back. Well the bitch didn't come back AT ALL! She stayed in her room and cleaned up/got herself organized while I was with my class (as were the other teachers) because it wasn't meant to be a planning time for us! So while she got her shit together, we were babysitting her kids and not doing any of the stuff we had to do (which would get done AFTER school was over, which is when we'd technically have the time). That pissed me off to no fucking end. Like 10 minutes before recess I sent her kids back to her room. No fucking way was I looking after them during recess. We kept the movie playing but just sent her kids back. I don't care if that was rude, but her being gone for like ONE HOUR getting her shit together while I'm stuck in there just took the cake. I think she realized that only her kids were sent down because she sent a couple of kids back to get the movie (which belonged to her) but we told them that we'd give it back to her later. Fuck that!!!

So that totally ruined the end of my day! The next time we do a class movie I'm going to take off when it's just her in the room and not come back. Fucking bullshit.

Anyways ... Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week From Hell

This is by far the worst time of the year for a teacher. All the kids are on a constant high, anticipating the Christmas break (and let's face it the teachers are too but on a high that says I can't wait to not have to work and do absolutely nothing for two weeks).

Unfortunately, this high can be destructive in a sense. We have a specific grade in our class where I swear these kids are the spawn of satan. They are just absolutely horrid. But the kind of horrid where they get satisfaction from being asses.

The cops being at our school has become something of the norm these days. I think that since September they've been at our school about 5 times. And for having been at our school NO times in a year ... those stats aren't the greatest. The most recent incident was a grade 8 kid who stole from a teacher's purse. 20 dollars and her cell phone. Unfortunately no one saw and can't really pinpoint it was him ... but it was him. He had a key to her room (it's a storage room to the gym). Why he even had the key is beyond me.

So there's one more week left. This week is going to be killer. I'm hoping I can get the kids to sit for enough time to actually get some work done.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

8 More Days ...

Seems like just yesterday that I started the school year ... and I suppose that's because I haven't been the greatest with keeping this blog up.

These next couple of weeks are super hectic with Christmas stuff. It's pretty fun for the kids but tiring for me. We have our Advent mass on Thursday and I'm hoping that we don't have to walk to the Church and we just have it in our gym. It's so wet and slushy outside ... I can't imagine the whole school having to walk through that.

Interviews went well. I had one no show and the parents were pretty decent with me. I just hope that some of the low kids improve their reading marks. It seriously is so very frustrating for me to have so many kids at a level 0. I've never had that before and it's making me a little nervous and I feel like I'm not doing enough for them. I know that this Christmas holiday I'm going to be hammering on the literature on reading recovery and writing programs. I'm starting a new program by Lucy Caulkins come January and I need to read up on that some more. Also I was thinking of taking a Reading part 1 course ... has anyone taken that? Is it helpful?

Well I have lots more I can write but will leave it at that. It's not all good stuff and I'm just too much in an air of negativity right now to delve into it. I'll save it for another day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

To Fail or Not To Fail

It's about time I updated this puppy.

Oh my. What's my problem when it comes to this blog!! I even changed the banner for it and everything to make it look more teacher-pretty.

So report cards are done (finally!) but they go home on Tuesday which means that this week is interview week. I hate interviews with parents but I'm not as nervous as I used to when I first started teaching. I'm sure this comes with experience and the fact that I'm more confident as a teacher and the activities that I do with my students. I send home a weekely homework sheet where the students have something to do every night of the week. It's not tedious but it's extra practice and it gives the parents an idea of what their kids are working on during the day so that there are no surprises. This is partly a scheme to cover my ass as well because I hear of a lot of parents complain that they have no idea what their kids do during the day. Since I don't send home their daily work, this is the next best thing and it makes the parents happy.

I have a really low class this year. Like really, really low. I have a handful of students who aren't even at a level 1 for reading. They can't even read the first book! I've never had that before. It is a difficult year for me in this sense. I have a lot of kids who are at the level the ministry says they should be at and a few that are above ... but those 6 or 7 kids who are below ... oh my. Takes a toll on me because I'm just at my wits end when it comes to trying to teach them in such a way that will motivate them and make them understand. And I have to accomodate for them.

In all honesty, I wish that I could fail students (we're not allowed to anymore). I just don't understand the point of pushing students through to the next grades when they aren't fully grasping the concepts that needed to be learned in the previous grades. I understand that now there are IEP's (individual education plans) but by the time those are finally put into place, a few years have passed. And then when they are in grade 6, they are learning math at a grade 2 level?!?! How does that make any sense?!

I'm just frustrated that I have such a low class. They are improving, but these improvements are so small that it almost feels like I'm not doing enough. As their teacher, I of course feel responsible for how much they learn. I just hope that by June, they will be a lot further than they are now. And for kids their age, 7 months is a long time and a good chunk of time for growth. I just have to keep telling myself that.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm Still Here

Man I'm not doing a great job keeping this site updated. I have another blog that I update pretty frequently and I guess it's harder than I imagine keeping two sites afloat. But I will make a vow to myself to try and post here at least once a week. Lord knows I've got stuff to write about.

Well it's November now. Yes, yes ... I'm quite perceptive I know. First term report cards are due at the end of the month, and as usual there is a scramble to get units wrapped up. I have one more math unit and a science unit to finish up. So not too bad, but I do need to get a move on with marking more stuff. I have an idea where my kids are with reading and writing. I have a low group this year (one of the lowest I've had in my 4 years of teaching). I've been pretty good about letting the parents know where their child is at and have been having frequent meetings with a number of parents. I'm pretty sure that they'll still want to meet in December for the "formal" interview anyways. Which is fine. I actually enjoy meeting with parents. I remember this wasn't always the case and I used to be really nervous about it.

Well I will try my darndest to keep this site updated with silly anecdotal things that happen in my classroom. Like I said ... it's not for lack of material that I haven't been writing here. I've got some pretty funny students (am teaching grade 1 again) and I've got an interesting teaching partner as well. So I will gather my thoughts and be back here soon with some good stories to share.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Taking Some Initiative

Now that I've finished my master's degree, I've been stepping up more at work and getting more involved with clubs and such. My reason for doing so is because now I've got a ton of time on my hands and feel like I can contribute a lot to my school. It's a double edged sword though, my reasons. On the one hand I am doing this because I want to be noticed by administration. It just so happened to work out perfectly that our new administration came at the exact time that I finished my program. While taking my master's, I didn't really involve myself in extra-curricular things as studying took up any free time that I may have had. I'm now determined to show my usefulness and prove that I am a great asset to the staff. The other reason that I'm doing all this is because I actually want to. I enjoy getting involved and getting my ideas out there. It's good for me to show people just what I am capable of doing. It's time to let my true potential shine through.

This has been happening with my class as well. I've got lots of ideas for improving our program and am doing things differently than I did last year - trying to make it more fun for my students while having them learn all along. Basically I'm trying to trick them to learn. This year I have one of the lowest classes I've ever had with regards to their ability to read. I've got a good half of my students who are at level 0 or level 1 which isn't good considering that when students enter grade 1 they should be at a level 6. I feel badly for saying this but it makes me wonder what the hell they did in Kindergarten. It also makes me very close to asking for the SK position next year so that I would be sure that by the end those kids would definitely know their letter sounds and how to read even at a basic level. Because I haven't been so frustrated in my life. These kids don't know their letters ... never mind what the letters say. AHHHHHH!!! I still have another 2 months or so before 1st term report cards. I'll have to see how far I can get them by then.

Monday, October 8, 2007

So Far So Good

Well the year is pretty much underway. A month into school and I'm kinda sorta getting into the hang of it. We had re-organization at the end of last month but luckily my class was at the cap (20) so there were no changes to my class.

We have new administration and I have to say that I am so lucky to have them. I have heard of some major horror stories with admin and so far I haven't had to deal with anything barbaric. The new principal has adopted a new policy where every Friday evening after work is happy hour with a few MASSIVE jugs of beer. Talk about keeping your employees happy. I've been more involved with school stuff now that I'm done my master's program (I've got the time for it now).

There is this teacher there who is a story in and of herself and oh do I have plenty where she is involved but I shall keep it under wraps for now. She's just seriously a piece of work. Very childish. Anyways I'm happy to know that my grad degree will be giving me a pay increase which is nice. I figured that since I was at my cap that there was no going further but apparently there is. Woot! I won't say no to more money.

My kids are great ... aside from one tight ass (who is another story for another time) my teaching partners are great too. I'll be back with some juicy stories soon.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Back To It

So it's the third week back and I have to say that things are kinda sorta starting to calm down but not really. If that makes any sense.

I have 20 kids. Grade 1 again. And I think that these kids are going to make me age just a little more than usual this year. Especially one in particular. This is the first year in a long time that I don't have any courses to take as I'm finally finished my master's program. So I'm excited that I will be able to focus mainly on my curriculum.

I'm pretty exhausted these days. Those kids tire me out so much. I just wanted to write a post to say that "I'm still here" although barely. I have some interesting tidbits but am too tired to write them out. We have open-house night this Thursday with a bbq beforehand for the parents so that should be interesting. I'm sure I'll have more stories from that and will try to write something this weekend.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

T-Minus 18 Days

I never really understood what "T-minus" meant. I've just seen it and figured it was some sort of counting backwards type thingy.

So 18 more days for the start of the new school year for me (I realize my teacher friends south of the border have already begun so I hope you've had a good first week). I find that since I started teaching, I think of a new year not beginning in January but rather in September. In fact when I think of January 1st, I see it as being close to the mid-way point of the year. Weird I know. It confuses people when I talk of "last year" but may be talking about a time that happened in the year that we are in. Yup. Weird.

Ok so it's almost a new school year for me and I haven't really prepared for it because I've been finishing up courses for my master's. I have 2 more papers to write and have been unbelievably horrible at focusing and writing them. I want them done by this weekend though so I can email them in and not think of it anymore. I have 2 weeks left to prepare for school. I teach grade 1 again this year so should have lots of interesting tales to tell in the next 10 months. I won't be in school anymore (meaning I'm giving myself the year off from taking courses) so will have lots of time to focus on making my lessons as fun as they can be. I have no neighbour as the room next to me will be empty and will be used as a "meeting room". This kind of sucks because I can no longer make quick photocopies or go to the bathroom if need be. I guess I'll just need to learn to hold it in until recess time. Gah!

We have new administration (both principal and vice-principal) so I'm really nervous about that. I've been spoiled in that my "old" administration were very easy-going and very nice (although could be hard-asses at times). I just hope that this new admin will be good too. I don't want any admin horror stories.

Well here's to the new school year. Where in the hell did the summer go?

Monday, August 6, 2007

I Am A Teacher - John W. Schlatter

I was born the first moment that a question leaped from the mouth of a child.
I have been many people in many places.

I am Socrates, exciting the youth of Athens to discover new ideas through the use of questions. I am Anne Sullivan, tapping out the secrets of the universe into the outstretched hand of Helen Keller. I am Aesop and Hans Christian Anderson, revealing the truth through countless stories. I am Marva Collins, fighting for every child’s right to an education.

The names of those who have practiced my profession ring like a hall of fame for humanity … Booker T. Washington, Buddha, Confucius, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leo Buscaglia, Moses and Jesus.

I am also those whose names and faces have been long forgotten but those whose lessons and character will always be remembered in the accomplishments of their students.

I have wept for joy at the weddings of former students, laughed with glee at the birth of their children and stood with head bowed in grief and confusion by graves dug too soon for bodies too young.

Throughout the course of a day I have been called upon to be an actor, friend, nurse and doctor, coach, finder of lost articles, money lender, taxi driver, psychologist, substitute parent, salesman, politician and a keeper of faith.

Despite the maps, charts, formulas, verbs, stories and books, I have really nothing to teach, for my students really have only themselves to learn, and I know it takes the whole world to tell you who you are.

I am a paradox.

I speak loudest when I listen the most. My greatest gifts are in what I am willing to appreciatively receive from my students. Material wealth is not one of my goals, but I am a full-time treasure seeker in my quest for new opportunities for my students to use their talents and in my constant search for those talents that sometimes lie buried in self-defeat.

I am the most fortunate of all who labour.

A doctor is allowed to usher life into the world in one magic moment. I am allowed to see that life is reborn each day with new questions, ideas and friendships.

An architect knows that if she builds with care, her structure may stand for centuries. A teacher knows that if he builds with love and truth, what he builds will last forever.

I am a warrior, daily doing battle against peer pressure, negativity, fear, conformity, prejudice, ignorance and apathy; but I have great allies. Intelligence, Curiosity, Parental Support, Individuality, Creativity, Faith, Love and Laughter all rush to my banner with indomitable support.

And who do I have to thank for this wonderful life I am so fortunate to experience, but you the public, the parents. For you have done me great honour to entrust to me your greatest contribution to eternity, your children.

And so I have a past that is rich in memories. I have a present that is challenging, adventurous and fun because I am allowed to spend my days with the future.

I am a teacher … and I thank God for it every day.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Interviews Are Finally Over

** A post I wrote back in December**

This past Thursday and Friday were my parent-teacher interviews. What a long night Thursday turned out to be. The interviews are scheduled in 15 minute increments but my last one went on for 45 minutes! We were finally done when the dad said, “Ok, let’s let her go home” and the wife finally stopped talking (at 9:30pm). Friday the interviews were during the day, but again the last one I had lasted for 45 minutes.

The one thing that pisses me off about parents is when they tell me that their child is working so hard that they should’ve gotten an A. First off, this is the first term of Grade 1. Up until now, these kids have been in school for half days where the majority of the time was spent eating snacks or playing with toys in their centres. This is a big adjustment for the kids. Not only do they now stay in school for the entire day, but they are actually required to do seatwork for the majority of the time as opposed to playing with toys (I know this may sound like I’m over-generalizing but it’s what I see).

I’m a pretty tough marker. But at the same time I am fair. I will give an A if I know that it was well-earned. I know of teachers who will not give a child an A on their report card in the first term because it doesn’t give them anything to work towards. I don’t necessarily agree with that. If a child is CONSISTENTLY doing well, then I will give them an A without question because I have no reason to do otherwise and would not be able to justify this to a parent. However, their work needs to be CONSISTENT which is something that most parents can’t grasp for the life of them. I had a parent say to me that her little boy is trying so hard and why hasn’t he gotten an A and bla bla bla. I can sympathize with parents wanting their child to do well, but if they don’t get an A, I hate looking like the bad guy (which for some parents it ends up happening). I mean it’s one thing that someone works hard, but it’s another thing to be dishonest in giving grades that are not earned. If I could I would give straight A’s to all of my students but it doesn’t work that way and it’s not fair to the student.

The hard thing about teaching younger grades is that you are trying to build and instill good working-habits for them that they can use when they are older. I mean I don’t consider the students who get the A’s to be the only successful ones. The students who are continuously showing me growth in their strengths are the ones that I celebrate the most. These are the kids who need the encouragement the most. The one’s who may get the C’s are the one’s that I am most proud of because they struggled to get that grade.

Parents need to get it out of their heads that an A = success. If a child doesn’t get an A on a report card (especially in grade 1), it’s OK. The most important thing they are learning is the thing that cannot be measured. They are learning work habits that will hopefully be carried with them throughout their lives.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

To Spew Or Not To Spew

I wrote this post back in October.

What is it with these kids and their vomiting??? It's barely the end of October and I've already had THREE kids throw up in class (not all at the same time) ... in the 4 years that I've been teaching ... I haven't had one vomit ... up until now!

First incident:

I'm walking around looking at the children's work.

Little runt: Miss! D. is throwing up!

I look over at D. She is clearly holding a mouthful of barf. Literally. I tell her to go to the garbage can so she can make her ... ummm ... deposit. My heart went out to her. It really did. The poor girl was holding her gag juice in her mouth so she wouldn't make a mess. Talk about proper vomiting etiquette.

Second incident (one that I found quite funny after the fact):

It's nearing the end of the day. I have N (another teacher) in my room getting ready to take some kids out for resource. As usual, I have a throng of kids surrounding me as I'm standing near the door talking with N. I'm talking to a student in front of me when all of a sudden one of my students reenacts a rendition of the exorcist vomiting bile from her bed. It was full force projectile. It almost hit me, but I was one of the lucky ones. A few of my students, however, were not so lucky. The vomit hit a student's (E) desk and went on E as well.

I tried to remedy the situation by making pukey not feel so bad about vomiting all over my floor and his fellow students. However, when I told the story to my brother ..... I. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing. I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face.

I don't know how hard I would've been laughing if I were a victim and would've wound up having to disinfect and burn my clothing.

Third incident:

Circle time. Although it's not quite a circle and more of a small, yet still incredibly raucous bunch of children practically piled one on top of another. Man are they ever rambunctious! I digress! It's about 9:40am and I'm JUST about to explain our new spelling program when suddenly streams of upchuck are being emitted from a little girl's mouth. Of course she promptly begins to cry (because let's face it, no one wants to bring up their insides ... it doesn't taste as good coming up as it does going down). I immediately dismantle the munchkins from the group and page a custodian (with help from a secretary).

We had a Y.U.M.M.Y. custodian taking the shift of the (very) regular (and older) custodian. OH MAH GOD I almost kissed that child for hurling. Thank you child for bringing in the hot custodian to mop up your vile juice.

If I come across as being insensitive towards the hurlers, I'm really not. I always, always treat their situations with compassion, never drawing attention to it and always trying to make them feel better. Let's face it. Kids can be a tad cruel and I don't want my wee ones to make fun of someone being sick.

For incident number 2, I had some kids saying "EWWWWWWWWWW" but promptly put them in their place by saying, "I'm sure you've thrown up at least once in your teeny lifespan!" Once in a while a tiny "ewww" would come out of someone's mouth in which case my sidekick (a student) would yell at them, "STOP IT!!! YOU VOMIT TOOO!"

Friday, July 6, 2007

This is a story that happened in either September or October that I had written about. Gotta love the innocence of little kids.


One of my students flipped me the bird today. Literally. But I know that there was no bad intention behind it. Let me explain.

My class is gathered and talking about some useless aspect of our curriculum. One of my biggest pet peeves is students who don't pay attention during the lesson and then ask all of the questions that I would've already addressed!! ARGH!


I notice that one of my students is playing with his finger = not paying attention.

I stop talking and stare at him in hopes that he'll realize "miss" isn't speaking anymore and will look up to see why that is. Well he doesn't. So I say his name. He realizes that the reason I've stopped the lesson is because he wasn't paying attention. With a sad little frown on his face, he lifts up his right hand ... and extends his middle finger while simultaneously closing the remaining fingers against his palm.

I nearly die laughing.

I continue to look at him with a straight face and wait for him to explain why he's just mimed at me to fuck off. With a sad little voice, he proclaims that he's hurt his finger. I tell him to clean it with a Kleenex and that I'd give him a Band-Aid (though there was no blood ... I think he had a very minor paper cut) once we were through with the lesson. I then proceeded to continue on without so much as a smirk on my face. After all I didn't want to let on to the other children that this boy had done something morally wrong when they themselves don't know the meaning behind that well known action.

Thank God I don't teach an older grade. I would NEVER have heard the end of it!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Been Way Too Long

Hello my friends in blogland! My apologies for my absence!!!

It's true. School has finally ended for me. The last day was on Thursday the 29th of June. Whoever said that the last couple of weeks for a teacher are a breeze is an ass. This is probably the most hectic time. Why you ask? Well, you're finishing curriculum. Writing report cards. Grading tests/assignments needed for the reports. Cleaning up your classroom (and if you're moving classrooms, putting everything in boxes). Putting together student portfolios. It's just not a fun time. But it's over! I can't believe that it is done.

I've had no real witty stories to share. I am teaching grade 1 next year so be prepared for some new stories (and hopefully ones that won't be erased because I had to switch to stupid beta). Perhaps throughout the summer I may post some old posts that were lost in the switch (luckily I saved them on a word document). Just so I've got something up for July and August.

Sooo ... I've been tagged by Mister Teacher to do a Meme. I need to give 8 random facts about me and then I need to tag 8 more people and let them know that they've been tagged. I'm really bad at tagging (and I don't even think I have 8 people on my blogroll) so I declare all those on my list to be tagged!

Here goes:

1) When I was 16 years old I found out I was allergic to cats when my eye suddenly blew up when I was around a cat.

2) I've taught grades 1, 2, 7, 5, 1 (in that order) since I started to teach in 2003. I've finished my fourth year of teaching. Does that still make me a rookie?

3) I have some major blog crushes.

4) I'll be done my Master of Education program at the end of August.

5) I'm the youngest girl in a family of 4 children. I'm also the only girl.

6) There's a dad at my school who is oh so yummy. I hope I get his son when he gets to grade 1 just so the dad can come on all the field trips with us. He's that kind of dad. Damn I need to get laid.

7) Part of the reason why I want to work in a high school is because I know that there are more guys who teach in that environment. I swear I'm not boy crazy.

8) I've tried pot. 3 times.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Less than 3 weeks ...

.... of school left.

So. Psyched.

Can't come any sooner.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Such a busy, busy time!

School is almost done!! Can't believe it!

Friday, May 18, 2007


I'm starting a new math unit with my class on time. One of the activities for this unit is to have students make their own clocks. So they coloured the template and pasted it onto a paper plate to make it more sturdy. The template even included a minute and hour hand (which I would fasten to their clocks so they could actually move around). I had a feeling that there would be at least one student who either lost their hands (not their own but those belonging to the clock) or cut them too teeny tiny that I couldn't fasten them on.

One of my students lost a minute hand so I told him to make another one so I can fasten it properly.

Doesn't the little bugger make a PAPER AIRLPLANE and give it to me saying, "Here's my arrow." Granted the plane had a point so I suppose it could be misinterpreted as being an arrow but compared to the 2-D, one inch arrow that he had started out with, one could clearly see that the very large paper plane would just not suffice.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother's Day Bonanza

I swear no holiday stresses me more than Mother's Day or Father's Day. Why you ask? Could it be because I always want to do something special and unique for my own parents, never giving them the same gift? Nope. Sadly my own parents are an after thought ... the first thought that comes in my head is, "What the hell am I going to get my students to make for their mom/dad??"

I busted out the popsicle sticks and started to build with it. My original idea was to have the kids make this container type thing where we would put tissue-paper and pipe-cleaner flowers in it. Or pencils. Anyways, it took me no time to finish mine but then I realized that I'm dealing with less dexterous midgets who not only take their sweet time when completing tasks but have not yet mastered the art of having a conversation and doing work simultaneously. Add on top of it them needing to paint the sucker so it doesn't just look like a bunch of wooden sticks glued together? Yeah. Scratch that. Problem is I have like a day to figure out something cute/useful/won't see the wastebin in the near future craft for them to bring home.

I went through this mother's day file that a friend of mine has and came across this cute poem that was like four lines that said something along the lines of: I've made this mat so that when you take a sip of tea you'll always think of me. Then I had this ureka moment. (How the hell do you spell that word?) I figured the popsicle sticks wouldn't go to waste afterall! They/I would make coasters for their moms and glue that poem (laminated of course) on top of the coaster. How cute and original. I basically made the damn things. I made 23 frames with the popsicle sticks and the kids had to then close off the top and bottom. They painted it. They decorated that piece of paper with the poem on it. I laminated those papers and cut them out. I glue-gunned the papers on each coaster. I glue-gunned the "jewels" that the kids picked out to have on the edges of the coaster to make it look pretty. I wrapped them. I glue-gunned a daisy in the middle of the wrapped product.

I think that this went well (though I was feverishly working all day on Friday with multiple hot glue burns on my hands) but it's a cute idea. I think for next year I'll do it again but this time maybe shellack the finished product.

Mother's Day down. Father's Day to go. Damnit.

*I technically started this post on Thursday but finished it today, Saturday.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Two Months Left

I cannot believe that there are 2 months left of school. My does time ever fly. I have nothing interesting going on other than the fact that I'm trying my best to finish up curriculum before I send the buggers off to grade 2.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kids Say The Darndest Things

I hand out a phonics sheet for the students to complete. It's a rhyming sheet and they need to cut and paste the pictures that rhyme. One of the pictures is "dice" and the picture that needs to be pasted beside it is a picture of "mice". I guess some of these pictures are a bit confusing for some as some of them aren't sure what goes with what.

"I don't know what goes with mouse." My student shows me the picture of the 2 mice as she tells me this.

"That's not mouse. What's it called when there are two of them?"

Ever so softly she says, "Rat."

So cute ... I chuckled a bit and told her it was mice.


There's this little boy in my school who looks exactly like Webster ... that tv character?

(this guy)

"You know, you look just like a person who's name is Webster!"

"Yeah ... a lot of people have told me that. I haven't seen a picture of him so I don't know what he looks like ... but I have his dictionary."

Fuckin classic.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

What's the probability of a student not getting "Probability"?

Teaching probability can be fun. Especially the informal interviews that you should conduct nearing the end of a unit.

My students need to learn about the key words "sometimes, always, never" when talking about probability.


1. In the summer I sometimes go swimming.
2. In the summer I never wear my snowsuit.
3. In the summer I always have an ice cold beer on my patio every night.*

So the interview consisted of giving phrases and the students having to say sometimes, never or always. It also had me asking questions to them regarding things that they would sometimes, always and never do in some seasons.

A few snippets if you will:

"Ok, I'm going to read some sentences to you and for each one you need to tell me always, sometimes, or never."


"I haven't read any of them yet."



"What is something that you never do in the winter?"


"No ... what's something that you NEVER do in the winter?"


"Ok .... what is an ACTIVITY that you would NEVER do in the winter?"


"No ... an ACTIVITY! What's an ACTIVITY ... something that you DO .... what is an ACTIVITY that you would NEVER do in the WINTER?"


Oh ... dear God. Gotta love the 6 year olds. Seriously .... GOTTA love them.

I think I need that beer now as it is not something that I reserve only for the summers.

*Ok, I didn't use this one with them.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Even Though You Know It's a Matter of Time ...

... it never fails to knock the wind out of you when it happens.

Two years ago I did a grade 2 LTO at the school I'm at now. I was working with a teacher who had just come back from mat leave. In December of that year she found out she had cancer. Right before her 30th birthday. She took a leave and went for treatment and was back at work within a few months. Things seemed to be looking up and we were all optimistic that the treatment was successful.

I was hired permanently at the same school the following year and she was back as well. She started to feel in pain and our worst fears were realized. The cancer had spread. She took a leave again for more treatment and this time the leave was indefinite.

I found out this morning that she had passed away. I knew it was coming ... she was at her last stretch. At first I didn't really react ... just gave a kind of knowing nod. But then when I was told that she died with a smile on her face, with her entire family .... husband, 3 year old daughter ... father ... sister ... surrounding her ... I couldn't hold back the tears anymore. I cried and I couldn't stop.

Right before prayer, the principal announced it over the PA system ... I tried to keep it together because my kids were in the class but I couldn't. I cried .... right in front of them. As they just looked at me with awe I suppose. And I was going through the morning ... all the while crying. And my kids were understanding. They gave me space. They let me cry. They didn't question it or whisper about it with their peers. And I thought that was so great of them.

One of my students asked me why I was sad. When I told him it was because of the teacher ... he just nodded his head as if to say "I'm so sorry."

I didn't know her very well ... yes we worked together but not for a long period of time. Even so she's always been in my heart and in my thoughts. I always think about her. I remember the first time she went for treatment I gave her a bag full of books so that she wouldn't be too bored at home. I know she appreciated that. There are teachers in the school who she's worked with for a longer period of time and had shared a friendship beyond the school. I cannot believe how strong they were. I knew the sadness and the heavy heart they were carrying inside ... but wow did they ever show their strength. That can't have been easy for them.

I don't know what else to say. It's not fair.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Still Two Days Left Of March Break

Yes it's true. Count the weekend and you'll see. And why would you want to deny yourself the two extra days anyway?

SO .... it's officially Saturday. March Break is (almost) over. I have done stuff. Not all the stuff I wanted to do (up until now ... I still have two days left after all). But I did do ... stuff.

Let's go through the list that I wrote out on Monday to see what I can check off.

--> Clean my car .... no check.
--> Clean my study room ... check (it's not sparkling, but I see a floor and I see a desk).
--> Finish marking ... check.
--> Work on report cards .... checkidy check check check!!! I'm VERY happy with myself in this category. I still have some reading assessments to do but everything else is DONE DIGGITY DONE!
--> dentist ... cancelled (TWICE), not yet re-scheduled (he was sick)
--> time for friends ... check (does the phone count?)
--> study/read/make notes for my exam ... that's why my March Break is extended into the weekend.

So looking back on my list, it seems that I have done what I've wanted to do. I hope that I can focus enough energy into "preparing" for my exam as I am feeling under the weather.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Update Numero Tre

I'd like to apologize in advance for these posts being boring as ass. I'm not in school therefore have no student related stories to tell. I could make them up ... but I'm feeling uninspired these days when it comes to writing.

Well then. Where was I.

I've pretty much done all I can do with my reports at this point. Learning skills (which is one of the biggest aspects of reports) are pretty much done which I'm very pleased about. My usual scene with report cards is on the day they are due (at 3:30pm) the principal is standing at the office door with his coat on and briefcase in hand (close to 4pm) while he is being drawn into a conversation by a good friend of mine (read: he's being stalled purposely) about something that could remotely interest him (read: anything that gets him talking about his hometown in Italy) and keep him there for an extra five minutes while I'm in the photocopy room willing the printer to print my report cards faster than it is and cursing it to no end. I hand them in on time but not before I pee myself a little thinking that they will be late and he will hate me and fire me for disregarding deadlines.

Anyhow, I don't think that this will be the case for these report cards (woot!).

Now all I have left to think about is that DAMN exam I need to write. I've been trying the approach of pretending that it doesn't exist because when you pretend something doesn't exist it will eventually go away, yes? Unfortunately for me, not only is it NOT going away but it is looming ever so closely and breathing its putrid breath down my neck. It's tapping me on the shoulder saying, "remember me? I'm still here ... waiting for you ..."

I guess I should actually start to "prepare" for it, whatever that means. This is a comprehensive exam so it's basically an exam on Higher Education "in general".

I'm so fucked.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Feel The Need To Post

Well today I had lots of stuff I wanted to do. Mainly I wanted to start studying for my exam. But of course that didn't happen because I'm a procrastination whore. It's like a drug for me. It makes me all antsy and jittery because I know I shouldn't be procrastinating and should really get on my list of things to do but I CAN'T STOP!

I did get work done for my reports though so all wasn't lost. I've been plugging in grades and will soon start to plug in comments so it doesn't look so bare.

I have also been wasting lots 'o time on facebook. Whoever invented that was brilliant and destructive at the same time. Brilliant because I have now reconnected with people who I have not spoken to in years from elementary and highschool. Destructive because it is slowly feeding off of the time I have during the day! Seeing as how daylight savings decided to rear it's ugly head a month early ... I don't have a lot of time!

Must. Take. Control. Of. Time.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March Break Madness

Well it is here ... what I've been waiting for since Christmas Break ... March Break has finally arrived. This can only mean one thing ... school is over in 3 months. I realize that we are still in mid-March but once I hit March Break, as far as I'm concerned, the remaining days of this month are non-existent. It's just a blurry mass. So yeah ... 3 months left! Wasn't it September just yesterday?

I usually start off my March break ready to just really sink my teeth into the things that need to get done. But then I do other stuff ... and I think, "Oh but there's still 6 days left of March break" (I know I shouldn't but I count Saturday and Sunday). And then another day will pass and I'll think, "But it's still the beginning of the week ... plenty of time left." And then another day will pass and I'll think, "Ok but it's only Wednesday." And then another day will pass and I'll think, "Is tomorrow Friday?!?!? Where the hell did this week go???"

But not this time! You see, I really have no time to bum around. I have an exam to write at the end of March and if I don't use this week to really study for it ... then I might as well kiss my degree goodbye (not to mention all the money and time that I've invested in it so far).

So my to do list for this week consists of:

  • clean my car.
  • clean my study room (read: figure out where I can put all of my teaching resources in an orderly fashion so that I can actually make out that I really do have a desk ... and a floor).
  • finish marking what I've brought home for report cards (and I'm happy to say that I've been steadily going through this pile before March break began so I wouldn't need to spend a lot of time on it ... not much left to do with this one!).
  • work on report cards (I would in the least like to get my learning skills in there ... now that reports are done via the internet, it's been so much easier ... and blasting the comments through for each student is a piece of chocolate cake).
  • go to the dentist for my gum lift.
  • make time for friends.

So this is my plan. I will be coming back to update on my progress. Hopefully I won't be writing a lot of this:

I didn't do anything today.
I didn't do anything today.
I didn't do anything today.
Shit it's the end of the week already!!!

To do for today: Plug in comments in shared folder of the report cards so the other grade 1 teachers have access to them. Complete top half of learning skills.

UPDATE: Comments are in and top half of learning skills is done!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Man today was a shitty day if I do say so myself. Nevermind the fact that I'm dealing with some personal shit at the moment, but then I have to have a parent go and complain about me to the vice-principal. This has never happened before and even though I still stood by my actions, I have to say that I was extremely nervous to talk to the VP and parent about it.

First things first ... the fact that this parent decided to go directly to the VP instead of talking to me first is FUCKED UP!

Background on the scenario:

I gave a test and announced to the class that it's time to hand them all in. The kids desks are separated and everyone is quiet so I know that everyone heard me especially since I've come into the habit of repeating myself at least 3 times in a row so that I am CERTAIN that everyone has "heard" me. There were only a few kids left with the test and I figured that they all had handed them in. So then I had them put their desks back together ... this was followed by a chaotic 15 minute indoor recess because apparently we now live in the North Pole ... followed by snack. AFTER all of this chaos ... a student comes up to me and hands me her test. We'll call her Testy from now on.

"Here's my test."

"You still had your test all this time???? Why didn't you hand it in when I asked everyone who still had their test to hand it in?"

"I didn't hear you."

"But it was quiet! There was no noise! How could you not hear me???"

She shrugs. God I love when a kid shrugs and mimes "I don't know".

"Well I can't accept this. How do I know that you weren't talking to your friends about this? Or that you didn't look back on your homework to help you with it?"


And then I did something that I completely regret and wish I could take back if I had the power to turn back time ... I ripped up her test (I swear I'm cringeing right now just writing that down).

I know! I know! I'm a bitch! I lost it and I shouldn't have done that.

The end of the day was almost here so I had to get these kids all ready for home. So that was what happened yesterday.

Fast-forward to today.

The secretary comes to me with one of those pink-slips used for taking messages and says that there's a frantic message from Testy's mom about teste. Here I'm thinking the worst. I see that Testy is not in the classroom so immediately I start to think that maybe something awful has happened.

Then I think .... what could the mom possibly have to be frantic about? Then I remembered. Ah. Facing music will commence now.

So mom drops off Testy (who I see making a ripping motion with her hands as she's trying to tell a friend that her mom is here to get me in shit - this made me livid as well ... all I'm thinking is that this little 6 year old is trying to get me into trouble??). Mom goes to talk to the VP who then comes into my room and asks what happened. I explain to her the story and she replies ok well call the mom and talk to her about it (thank the Lord I have admin who actually support their teachers and don't make them look like a fool/idiot in front of the parents even if they did something wrong).

Recess comes and I call the mom. She begins to yell/talk loudly/not let me get a word in edgewise.

Her argument:

They are practically in kindergarten. She didn't give you the test because she didn't hear you (nevermind the fact that the room was not only quiet, but that I repeated myself three times). You should've given her a warning.

My argument:

I needed to prove a point. These rules have not only been set in place since September, but they have been reviewed (and continue to be) on a daily basis. They are not in kindergarten. There are certain rules that they need to follow. This isn't the first test that they've had this year so they know the rules and procedures (especially since we review them before every test I give them). I am preparing them for the older grades in terms of appropriate behaviour during tests, when the teacher is talking etc.


In the end mom was ok with what I had to say. Did this help me for the rest of the day? Hell no ... I was on edge all day long.

Thanks Testy's mom!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I'm Blue ... da ba dee da ba dai ... da ba dee da ba dai ...

I got this from Mister Teacher. It's seems pretty accurate for the most part. I don't know that I'm as mellow as they say. Is it possible for a teacher to be mellow? The teachers I know are usually frazzled most of the time, including me. In any case this was interesting.

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You Might Be A Teacher If ... (taken from an email)

1. You believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin salt lick.

2. You want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work
8 to 3:30 and have summers free."

3. You can tell if it's a full moon without looking outside.

4. You believe "shallow gene pool" should have its own checkbox on a report card.

5. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."

6. When out in public you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior.

7. You have no social life between August and June.

8. Marking all A's on report cards would make your life SO easy.

9. You think people should be required to get a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

10. You wonder how some parents ever MANAGED to reproduce.

11. You laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the "lounge."

12. You encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling.

13. You can't have children because there's no name you could give a child that wouldn't bring on high blood pressure the moment you heard it.

14. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

15. You know you are in for a major project when a parent says, "I have a great idea I'd like to discuss. I think it would be such fun."

16. Whenever you hear a bell, you have a sudden urge to pee.

17. You can eat a four course meal in 10 minutes with time to spare.

18. Meeting a child's parent instantly answers the question, "Why is this kid like this?"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Twist On Words: Parte Deux

Little boy, while running back to his seat, pummels himself into the corner of a desk ... keep in mind the height of the desk and the regions that this corner could therefore cause discomfort to.

Little boy, yelps in pain.

"Owwwww!! I hurt my privates!!!"

Little girl #1 has witnessed this event and replies matter of factly:

"Those aren't your privates ... those are your nuts."

Little girl #2 who has also witnessed these events retorts:

"No ... those are your balls."

Heard in the walls of a grade 1 class (not mine).

These are kids who can barely string together a sentence, but ask them for synonyms of a boy's private region and they've got that covered.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Twist on Words

Teaching grade 1, it's important to have a phonics program put in place. These kids need to know what letters make what sounds. It's easy when it's simple sounds that are produced by just one letter, but it can be a bit more difficult for them when you're putting together several letters to make blends.

I ordered story books that focused on different blends so that the story had more words that contains the blend in question.

I read a story that focused on the "st" blend. It had words such as string, store, stall.

At the end of the story, there's a riddle section where the kids need to answer the riddle by using the words that were highlighted in the story.

The last riddle was:

What you would call someone who was bothering you.

The answer was "pest".

When I called on one of my students, she looked as though she had the word on the tip of her tongue but it wasn't coming out. Finally she shouted out, "pissed!"

I immediately started to smile (I couldn't keep a straight face).

"No, you mean PEST."

"Oh yeah, that's it ... pest, pest."

What I wanted to say was, "No sweetie. PISSED is what you become when someone bothers you. PEST is a name for a person who bothers you."

That totally made my day. I'm usually embarassed by kids who say inappropriate things because they don't know better, but that one just made my day.

Monday, February 5, 2007

"I will shoot myself if someone asks me that question again!"

Yes, I uttered those words to my 6 years olds. I was THAT frustrated.

Why oh why, do they feel the need to ask me the same goddamn question over and over again? The thing that gets me is that they hear another child ask this question, they hear me answer it, and yet they still feel the need to ask for themselves.

It's day's like this that I just want to tell them all to fuck off.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Nocturnal Emissions

As heard in the staffroom:

Teacher 1: I have a student who told me that he wakes up with just his underwear wet and his mom told him that he still wets the bed.

Teacher 2: Oh?

Teacher 1: Yeah but he says that the only thing that's wet is his underwear. Not his pajamas. Not the sheets. Just his underwear.

Teacher 2: Oh!

Teacher 1: So I told him that he's not wetting the bed, but that he's having what's called "nocturnal emissions" where his semen is being released because there is too much being produced. His mom was telling him that he's wetting the bed! I had to tell him the truth!

Is that appropriate?

Why Blogger is a Bitch

They bullied me into changing into the "NEW AND IMPROVED" blogger so I merged it with my other "more open" blog.

Basically I had to delete that old blog so that I wouldn't have to share the same profile with the other one. And now I've lost all of my posts and I'm just really pissed about it right now.

I hate you blogger. You hear that? Fuck you.

Brand New Blog

Because blogger is a son of a bitch!