Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Week's Crazy Adventures

Well, where to start?  There's a lot that happened this week.  I guess I'll start somewhere around the beginning of the week.  Monday, I had the students come up with table group names so that I don't always get their table numbers confused.  Here's the names they came up with:

Black & White Snow Tigers
Lake Monsters
Fighting Phantoms of Terror
Wolf Pack
Fire Ants

Great, right?  Man, they have quite the imagination!

There's this student in my class that often breaks down crying during lessons a few times a week, constantly thinks the world is out to get him, and told me the other day that the pressure of our activity made him feel like he was going to "implode."  I spoke with my facilitator, Jennifer, about him to get some insights on what I should do.  I've never had to handle a student like that before and his behavior is starting to affect other students in the class (he made another boy cry the other day).  She suggested that I talk with the Guidance Counselor to get some more advice and see what we should do.  At this point, I hadn't spoken with the parents (because I didn't know what to say or do).  As I spoke with the counselor,  she suggested putting him in an anger management/anxiety class.  She showed me the book that she uses so they can identify where they feel stress and how to better deal with it.  I thought it sounded like a good class, and she ended up calling the parents to suggest that their son join.  The next morning his dad came in a few minutes before school started and told me that he was "restraining himself" because he was so angry.  He should have heard from me first and that his son absolutely DID NOT need this class, he's just stubborn & expects the rules to be unchanged (looking back - I agree, they should have heard from me first, however being stubborn doesn't explain why he starts crying in the middle of a lesson).  We set up a time to meet the next day after school.  Later that day, I spoke with my principal and she agreed to be there at the meeting with me.

I pretty much spent the next 24 hours preparing as many notes about when things happened as I possibly could.  I prayed like crazy, cried a little, and pretty much was freaking out.  This dad scared me!  When time came for the meeting, two of my teammates agreed to stay in the room until the principal arrived so that I wouldn't be left alone with the family.  The meeting consisted of me, my principal, the student and both his parents.  It lasted roughly 40 minutes (of which I'm pretty sure the dad spoke for about 25).  Nothing really got resolved because the dad insisted that there is nothing wrong with his son.  The only thing we agreed is that I would be more consistent about writing notes home in his planner and that he would be more open in expressing himself with words so that I can help.  After they left I continued to speak with my principal for a bit and she said that I was right, there is something there that could use some help, and that she noticed those same things in the father.  Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about it because they are refusing services.  We both noticed though that the mother was aware of what is happening, but the dad wouldn't let her speak and won't budge anytime soon.

So the meeting went alright but not as well as I would have liked.  And what an adventure it was.  In other news, one of my girls got in a fight with another girl in 4th grade this week as well.  When we went out in the hall to speak with the other girl and her teacher, Katie (my student) mentioned that she has anger problems.  And she happens to be one of my two student council reps.  My goodness, my kids are just on a roll this week!  I'm about ready for our Fall Break next week!  Wednesday is a half day for us and then we have Thursday and Friday off.  My roomies and I have been keeping a countdown for the last two weeks :)  We're a little excited about it.  And we're even more excited that this weekend we only have to plan for 2.5 days!

Speaking of which...I should go do some planning.  Love you all and thanks for your support, love, prayers!

P.S. This is our class "pet."  We named him Fuzzy and he will be our Star of the Week this next week (since its a short week).

My love notes...

Here's a pic of that note that I promised you.  And the other day I gave them a journal prompt that I told them I would read this weekend.  As I was going through one kid's journal to find the right entry, I found this:

The prompt for this day was "If you could do anything tomorrow, what would it be and why?"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Best Moment So Far

Here's picture of me from this last week before the kids came that morning.  :)

As you may have noticed, I am absolutely loving every minute of this school year.  The best moment so far happened just yesterday and I want to share it all with you.  Right after lunch every day, I read aloud a book to the class.  Sometimes I wonder how much they are actually listening as they draw and whisper to their neighbors (even though they're not supposed to).  Well, yesterday we were finishing this silly little book called "Everything On A Waffle" and in the second to last chapter one of the characters dies and the way it was written, it didn't actually come out and SAY that she died, it just hinted at it.  So when I read that, I all of a sudden noticed that it was SILENT.  So silent that you could hear a pin drop.  And then when I finished that chapter, they begged me to keep reading.  I decided to give in because we get out early on Fridays anyway so there's not really any time after lunch to do anything productive. So I read the last chapter as well.  I love moments like that.  BUT that's still not the best part.  As I was reading, there was one student that was drawing and then wrapped them all up in another piece of paper, taped it and gave it to me.  I didn't get a chance to look at it until after they left for the day but when I read it I laughed & smiled SOOOO MUCH!!  (I'll be posting a picture as soon as I can get my other computer going...I can't find my camera cord to hook up to my Mac so I have to put the SD card in my HP which is currently being stubborn).

The note said:

"(Eye) <3 U!  and school"

Sweet, adorable, little Brady had drawn at least 5 of the "(eye) <3 u!" notes for me and included them in the wrapped up paper.  It was so stinkin' cute!  The only thing that makes it not so cute is that he's one of my favorite kids in the class, and he told me the other day that he will probably be moving in January!!  :(  I'm so sad!

Anyway, just wanted to share that little day-brightening moment with all of you.  Hope you're enjoying the weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Its Been a While

Sorry it's been so long folks!  School's kept me pretty busy the last couple weeks.  It's finally starting to even out a little bit (at least it seems that way).  Yesterday I felt like I was truly productive because I got so much grading done before I left school.  It felt so good and then I got to work on some extra stuff that I've put off for a few weeks.  So yesterday was a great day.

I was talking to Mom the other day and told her this but I'd like to share it with the rest of you.  I think I'm doing something right because my kids took the Block 1 Math test about two weeks ago and MOST of them passed!  I wasn't terribly surprised about the ones that didn't pass but they did better than I thought they might. So yay!!  And today we're reviewing for the next math unit test so hopefully they'll do well on that one too.  :)  We'll see!

My kids have been going a little stir crazy the last few weeks and today's not helping.  It's pretty stormy outside so they are inside for recess today and let me tell you, its a little crazy in here.  But oh so much fun :)  I love my kids so much!

Here's a little something that my kids made for a Sept. 11th memorial.  We watched a video about it and then had a discussion for about 20 minutes.  It was weird for me to realize that none of them were even alive when it happened.  They asked what it was like for me and how I remember what happened and it made me think that my kids look to me for memories of 9/11 like I look to grandparents for WW2 & the Korean War.  That was the weirdest thought for me.  Anyway, after our discussion I taught them how to make stars out of folded paper (directions were found by my roommate online) and we wrote ways that we can remember those who died.  It was quite an emotional day but since then my kids never let me forget to say the Pledge as a way of remembering.  Here's the bulletin board we made with our stars:

Also, today I received the sheet music for the songs our school choir will be singing for December.  I'm excited to start playing through those (and hopefully not annoying the heck out of my roomies!) and start that choir.

Life is going great here and I'm still loving every minute of my job.  Still waiting for it to sink in though, that I'm actually a teacher.  Hope you're all doing great as well!!!  Love & miss you all.