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.