Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I needed that...

Teaching is a great job. I love love love working with kids, and my coworkers. I also love that I am able to take a summer break each year. But teaching is hard! Sometimes I feel like I am doing a lot more managing then teaching. This year I've had 31-32 kids all year. It can be crazy day in and day out. Sometimes I forget why I chose this career when it's been crazy and hard for a long time.

I've been working with a student all year with some issues and behaviors. I think we have both learned a lot this year, and it has been hard for both of us. Most of the progress I have seen, has been really small. A lot of the time I feel like this student hates me, because I am getting after him constantly. I never see any emotion from this child.

He has been working to earn a Star Wars sticker book that I bought for him at the book fair in January. When he had 15 positive days, he got the book. Today was the 15th day! He didn't know I had totaled the points and when I called for him to come see me at my desk, he came over and said, What? I told him he had done a good job and I was proud of him and that he would get to take his book home today. He looked at me and was shocked. Then he shocked me. I was sitting at my desk, and he came next to me and put his head on my shoulder. This might seem like nothing to you. But I honestly got tears in my eyes. Here was my little tough student who hasn't shown any emotion all year long. And I honestly felt like he hated me. Here he was giving me a little hug, letting me know how happy he was. I gave him a little pat on the shoulder and congratulated him.

It's moments like this, that make you remember why. I became a teacher, because I love working with kids, I love teaching them, and being a part of their lives. They may drive me crazy, and I go home everyday exhausted... but after today, I remembered how much I love my job.

baby showering

Last Saturday I was able to attend one of my good friends baby shower. As I was driving to the shower I thought that they might ask how everyone knew Brittany. I thought back to when we met at EFY and how we had been good friends since. And then I remembered that I went to EFY when I was 14 or 15, and now  we are 25. It is so crazy that we have known each other for over 10 years. That made me feel really old!

We gathered and ate yummy treats and talked. The game of the shower was "higher or lower" for baby items. There were 10 items with a price attached. (Diapers, wipes, outfits, toys, etc.) Each person had to write if they thought the real price was higher or lower than the price stated. I think I was 1 of 3 who don't have kids and I got 100%. I was pretty proud of my mad skills and was happy to bring  home a $10 Cold Stone gift card. Bob was even happier.

It was so good to see Brittany and her baby bump. She is one of those people who always looks good, even pregnant! I am sad that after the baby is born, they will be moving back to San Diego for Tristan to work. Brittany is soooo happy to go home, so I made her future baby a onesie so she would never forget Utah, and the good times here.

And because I know that their baby will be a future surfer, I made these two.

I can't wait to see and meet baby Perdue!!! Congrats Brittany and Tristan!

Pencil Hoarder

One morning one of my students was having a hard time finding his spelling words. This is not common, and sometimes just an excuse to get out of working. We went to check out his desk when I found a disaster. (I may have known it was building up, but just didn't know how bad.) When he wasn't willing to search, I tipped his desk over so we could find things a little more quickly.

Most of the papers/notebooks/junk fell out, but there was still some stuff left in his desk. I peaked in and saw a ton of pencils.

"Why do you have 100 pencils in your desk?" -- me
"It's not a 100" -- boy
"I'll count while you clean up this mess." (I said to myself)

I found 93 pencils in his desk. It was insane. Then I saw his pencil box and when I went through that my count was to 114. I was happy to tell him he had over 100 pencils in his desk.

He now has a very clean desk, and I have a lot of pencils. I will be keeping my eye out for future hoarding going on in class.

Luck of the Irish

On St. Patrick's day we attended The Luck Of the Irish 5k held at Vineyard. I recruited Bob, Andrea & Brent, and my Mom and Ayrika. Unlike last year, we were not able to convince my Dad to run. We met at 9 and went down to my school to check in. The best part of races in March, is that they start later, since it isn't too warm yet. It was windy, and no one wanted to wait outside for the race to start. My family hung out in the car, while I talked with my students and coworkers.

The weather ended up being perfect for the race. It was cool, but just cool enough that it was comfortable while running. I started out the race with Bob for the first mile. We ran together with a few of my students. Their strategy was to run as fast as they could to pass us, and then once they were 10 feet ahead, they would stop and walk. I tried to tell them to pace themselves, but they were bound and determined to beat me.

In my class I have Viking dollars for classroom management. I give them $10 a week to do their class jobs. Then they pay to get drinks or use the bathroom and I reward them for good behavior. At the end of the month we have a store. So to get my kids to run the race, I bribed them. I told them they could have $50 if they signed up and ran. Then if they beat Bob $100 and me, $200. I had 7 kids from my class attend the race.

After the first mile Bob and I said goodbye and I kept up with one of my students T. Now T was wearing a zip sweatshirt and jeans. His race bib was pinned in all 4 corners over the zipper. About 2 miles in, he told me he was getting hot, but he couldn't get his sweatshirt off. So I told him to just roll his sleeves up. He was running with a girl in our class a few feet ahead of me and told her, "Man I sure do have a wedgie!" She couldn't wait to tell me, and I told her that's what happens when you run in jeans!

For the last mile I ran with one of the 2nd grade teachers Steffanie Williams. The race went by so quickly having someone to talk to. Also seeing my kids and cheering them on during the race made it that much more fun! In the end, I cheered T on to beat me. I was so proud of him for finishing!

In the end, K a girl in my class came in 1st for all 3rd graders, then T, and then me. Just between them I gave out $700 Viking dollars. I had to go buy some more prizes for my class store this month!

After the race we had Menchies frozen yogurt, which I loved. And then we left.

On Monday when I went to class I was surprised to find out that I won the 19-25 age division. Luckily I barely made it into that division. My time was the worst time I've ever had in a 5k race, so I was VERY surprised that I won.  Brent won the 1st for the men.

I wore the medal in class and my kids kept applauding me, they were soooo cute!