Friday, September 24, 2010

Let the Year Begin!

Ok, I realize we just finished week 3 of the school year, but in some ways it was the first REAL week. The first two weeks are part of what's called the 8-Day Count, during which time students and teachers get moved around based on class sizes, schedules are changed, extra attendance procedures have to be done, etc. Not to mention, that so much time is spent on routines/rules/welcome back activities that it seems like less learning is done. But, by week 3, the students are comfortable with each other and me and we're really starting to look like a class. We are hitting the curriculum hard and rocking it! I've been blessed with a WONDERFUL group of kids and it's been awesome to see them open up a little and let their real personalities come out.
One girl who I thought had no friends in the class and reads/keeps to herself as much as I'll allow, really woke up this week. We were playing a review game called King and Queen and it was her turn at the board. All of a sudden, she put on her crown, turned around and started dancing and giving thumbs up/pointing out into the crowd, just like a celebrity would do while receiving an award or something. Then, later that same day, she came and told me she had written a story and asked if she could read it aloud to the class. We had a few extra minutes, so I let her, and the class was absolutely captivated. It was a really cool experience and definitely inspired the rest of the kids to be writers, which I love!
So, while she was positively coming out of her shell, I also started to see the trouble-maker side of some of my sweet little boys. I was lucky enough to intercept a note being passed around that was full of lists... there was the Sexy List (which only had the names of the two boys passing the note!), an Ugly List, a Weird List, a Dome (which is their spelling of Dumb, ironically enough!) List and a Couples List. Since I can't stand having drama in my classroom, I passed the note and the culprits off to the guidance counselor who was able to spend some time talking to them about respect and other people's feelings, etc. Haven't seen anymore notes since then, so hopefully they got the point... for now at least.

Besides watching my little angels evolve into chatterboxes, it was a busy and full week. On Thursday, our school had 99% attendance, which is pretty much unheard of!  It also just so happens that it was the Autumnal Equinox and a full moon. One of the first things I remember learning from my cooperating teacher during student teaching is that kids get all sorts of out-of-whack on the day of a full moon. Walking around the school on Thursday proved that there was some truth to this statement, as literally every classroom I walked past I heard teachers saying how much recess was being lost or other consequences were being incurred.

Then today, my class and one of the other 4th grades got our chance to sit through Family Life Education. The boys got educated in the morning and the girls had the afternoon. Luckily, I had the privilege of entertaining whichever group was not in FLE and avoiding the awkwardness/stifled giggles of the kids. Thankfully, though, Danielle Bozung kept me in the loop about the topics being covered and some of the more ridiculous statements the 65-year-old Sex Ed teacher was making... (For example: She said, "blood brother, blood sister is dangerous. Find another way to be best friends or you’ll get HIV." Not to try and mortify the kids or anything, but they WILL get HIV if they touch another student's blood. Haha.) Apparently 4th grade is when they learn about their own gender/bodies/puberty and germs, and then in 5th grade they get to learn about the other gender and "how to make a baby". Another reason I think I'll stick with 4th grade. :)

Another awesome part of my week was getting to watch one of my student's football games. He told me about one last week, but I wasn't able to make it and so he came in everyday this week asking me if I could come on Thursday. At first I went to the wrong location and thought I had been given wrong information, but then found another field with the same name and his game. It was a wonderful cultural experience (I was one of 2 white people there), and I actually knew more people than I was expecting. I saw my student and his brother (who is actually one of Danielle's students from last year), and finally met their dad. I saw the mom and sister of one of my students from last year, and I saw another 5th grader from Palmer. The game was pretty typical peewee football, with not too much movement of the ball, and it ended in a 7-7 tie. My student played quite a bit, so it was fun to watch him in his element. It was truly a privilege to be able to support him and show him that I am interested in his life and what's important to him. Here are some pictures from the event.

My little All-Star. He's a scrawny little guy who plays Center and some Defense!
Teachers aren't allowed to have favorites. But if we were, he'd definitely be on the list!
Hahaha. Those players are the cutest things I have ever seen.

The Spartans vs. The Panthers under the Thursday Night Lights.

So, that was my week. In my life outside of school, the highlights had to be starting a new (challenging) series at church, ALMOST scoring a run in our kickball game (got tagged out halfway between 3rd and home in our 8-3 loss!) and the season premiere of The Office. I am blessed!


  1. Another reason I'm glad to be out of the hospital...can catch up on your posts. LOVE them!!!

  2. Another reason I'm glad to be your sister: "We are hitting the curriculum hard and rocking it!" hahah I never thought the day would come...

    All teasing aside, though, I really do love your posts and you're an incredible teacher and I know your kids appreciate your involvement in their lives. Plus little boys football is awesome.

  3. Oh, and another thing. I think it's pretty hilarious that your kids are passing around "sexy" and "couples" lists while I was making "annoying" and "talks about the civil war too much" lists when I was about their age....oh GT..

  4. First, on a serious note, I would like to echo what Molly said. Having you in their lives is something invaluable to these kids, they couldn't ask for a better teacher. And her second comment made me laugh out loud.

    Now, on an even more serious note, I think you missed one of the names on the sexy list (mine). And I like how you have a picture of two kid's butts and say "Cutest things I've ever seen!"