Wednesday, September 29, 2010

N?, O & P

N, like C, has turned out to be a stinker of a letter. I know what I want to do - how much I love naps - but the one picture I can think of is from 2004 & goodness knows where it is digitally. So, N has to wait & I moved on with O and P.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What a teacher deals with

I don't usually enter into the teacher arguments. I know I'm fortunate to be home in the summer with my children. I know I appear to work less hours than office workers. I also truly enjoy my job, which means that it doesn't usually feel like work - again, I'm very fortunate indeed. But sometimes I wish I could really share what my day is like. I've seen those forwarded emails about what I *should* be worth monetarily and how I educate the world. But no lie - this is what I did today outside my normal job of being in the classroom and teaching:

1. helped a student clean out his locker, organize his binders, and admit that he needed help dealing with the load of work in seventh grade.
2. Empathized with a student as he discussed his upcoming foot surgery that would take him out of school for 2 weeks.
3. Talked to a mom on the phone about one of my assignments.
4. Emailed a dad about his student who is already failing multiple classes.
5. Counseled a girl who has panic attacks & yet wants to go to on our DC trip.
6. Email-conversed with girl's mom to discuss the issue.
7. Brief hallway meeting with principal on said panic-attack issue.
8. Attempted to convince a spaced-out student that he could not read his novel in the hallway instead of being in my class today. I don't know that I succeeded.
9. Emailed set of parents saying their son was not allowed to bring a novel to class anymore.
10. Had to discuss with student that his bodily function noises (burps, mostly) needed to be handled in a better way than out loud while I teach.

On any given day, getting #1 accomplished would be a good day for me. Today I played parent to a LOT of students. I think it's going to be one of those years.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Letters I through M

Oh yes folks, I think I did actually fall off the face of the earth this week. You know how some weeks are so busy, you can only survive in your own little cocoon? And everything else in the world seems to be very far away. That was me. But I've resurfaced & have completed 5 more letters, in time to catch me up for tomorrow's letter - N - and I'm pretty sure it's going to be about taking a nap!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

F, G, H - did I fall off the face of the earth?

Charlie had some manly surgery done on Monday - outpatient, and he's feeling great - but I certainly fell behind on doing my pages. While waiting for the surgery I did have a chance to brainstorm a lot of ideas for my alpha book, so that has been helpful. Better yet - I is today, & I want to take a picture of my favorite ice cream. It calls for a trip to Baskin Robbins after dinner tonight!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

letters D & E

Yup, I know I missed C. The picture I wanted to use I had to scan in, and my scanner doesn't want to work with my laptop right now. I'll definitely get back to it though! I was able to put together both D & E during Charlie's nap today, so here they are! And now I'm back on track.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Continuing... the letter B

Tomorrow, C, will be about cats. Maybe I'll even go with "crazy cat lady."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ABC Inspiration

I began a class yesterday called "ABC Inspiration" over at Jessica Sprague's website, for digital scrapbooking. It's my first online class that I have paid for, and already I'm happy. Not only did the creator provide sets of red papers, blue papers, and "solid" (distressed) papers, she also designed 4 different templates and included 2 sets of word art. In my thinking today of the subject matter of the book, however, I decided to do something I'd always wanted but put aside - myself. It's going to be an ABC book all about ME. As yesterday was a "prep" day, today's page was "A." And here it is! It only took me about 20 minutes to do, and that's because I upgraded to Photoshop Elements 8 and am still learning the new format.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Roman (& Charlie) on football

me: You know what's cool? You can play flag football all the way until you're 15. You don't have to do tackle unless you want to.

Ro: "That's good. Because I'm not really that kind of boy."

me, before first game: Are you nervous?

Ro: "No. (pause)... Well, I kind of feel like Harry Potter right before his first Quidditch match."

me: Charlie, do you see Ro-Ro out there?

Charlie: "HI ROMAN! HI ROMAN!"

everytime we cheer or clap...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A year of learning

Roman has 2 days in his new classroom under his belt, and things are fine academically speaking. I had a chance to speak with his teacher yesterday after school & unlike most parents (so I've heard) I decided to take the high road and just commiserate as a fellow teacher how stressed she must be to have to set up a classroom in less than 24 hours. It's certainly not her fault the district is lame in adding a class at the last minute.

Socially speaking, I think Roman is going to have a harder time this year. He has no close friend in his class although he did know 3-4 kids. Roman is the kind who wants everyone to like him and there's a "mean" kid in his class who has been rude already, making fun of his shoes (which are totally cool, btw) on the playground. Roman takes everything personally so of course, this led to a meltdown this evening because he wanted new shoes immediately. It took awhile to get at the heart of the matter, and when he finally said what happened I wanted to cry for him. If only he could have an adult mind in his kid body, he could be his own person & be damned this stupid little kid. So we will attempt to empower him instead.

As for Charlie, he is loving his days at Ms. Gretchen's. He adores her, apparently has a little friend named Cooper that he plays trucks with, and is eating & sleeping well. Saves all his grumpies for us, I guess. I'm looking forward to this weekend to spend time with my boys - I've missed being around them!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

why the drama?

Monday night was really hard on Roman. He went to bed at 7:30 just to end the day and get on with school. But of course he had a hard time sleeping - up three times, ended up in our bed to fall asleep, took forever. Complained of a stomachache, headache, needed a Band-Aid, you name it. Charlie wasn't much better - he's had a cold the past few days so he's generally grumpy and at bedtime HE wants in our bed now, too.

Ro's first day of school was awesome, though - Charlie's too. We got home & I'm paging through Roman's zillions of handouts and I see one that says they've added a split class (1st and 2nd combined) because of the high number of students. I knew right then - Roman was selected. And sure enough, we had a message on our machine stating that Roman would begin in the split class tomorrow. So what do you know... he has no idea who is in his class, he knows nothing about his teacher, and he is already worrying about the get-to-know-you "homework" he was supposed to do for his first teacher, not even mentioning his class supplies in his OWN DESK. You can't underestimate the importance of his own desk, it was a highlight.

So I made a call to someone who is close to the principal, and she reassured me it was a matter of "finding bodies" and no slight against Ro that he's in a split. In fact, she reassured me that the teacher is very patient and while has good structure, understands "the trees as well as the forest." Meaning she counts kids as individuals. I suppose to Roman's benefit, as well, she has experience with IEPs (kids with special needs who have special plans) which we've wondered if Ro will need if the medications aren't enough.

Tonight was a watered-down version of last night, though - there's anxiety again. He has no idea who the other kids are who have been selected (15 2nd graders) and is concerned that his friends will consider him "out of sight, out of mind." I have decided to roll with God's plan but have a stomachache myself for him - nothing worse for an anxiety-prone child to have to do this all over again.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

a weekend to catch our breath

While traditionally we should be at the beach watching the boats from the Tri-State Regatta with my parents, or camping in Grand Haven with Doug's parents, we chose to stay home this weekend. We had a pretty busy summer coming & going to so many fun things. The past couple days have been nice to just spend as a family of 4. Yesterday we puttered around the house, doing yardwork & generally putting things away. There were a couple moments where we *gasp!* had nothing to do but watch the kids have fun. Amazing. Today we ran a couple errands but again, nothing too strenuous.
Doug came up with a fun idea for dinner tonight - I don't know how he got it in his head - but he wanted a "P" dinner. Everything had to start with P. We had pigs in a blanket, popcorn, peas, punch to drink (Doug had pale ale), & Doug also made a small bit of pork ribs for himself. Roman was sad it didn't include pears.

Tomorrow is our last day of rest. On the agenda is really, again, just things here & there. I want to get to the mall to get a good pair of grey pants... Doug has been thinking about taking Charlie's crib down... Roman would like to play with a friend. Charlie, of course, is happy just to be outside doing anything. And there it is, the last day before we plunge headlong into "normal" life again.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Fall is on its way

Besides the aforementioned Halloween conversation, other things tell me that my favorite season is almost upon us. School, of course, being the biggest one. I went back to work on Monday and feel very unprepared for the school year. Lots of ideas but lots of things to do. It's horrible to feel behind before the school year even starts! I hope to get a lot of the computer-based stuff done this weekend.

Football has started... for Roman, anyway. I don't pay much attention to college or pro sports, but Ro had his first football practice on Tuesday night. He came home absolutely excited about it - showing me how to hold a football, throw it, and explaining (in somewhat confusing terms) the first couple plays he learned. So happy that he has shown interest in something that Doug loves too.

The boys head back to school as well. We had the "bounce back to school" fun time for Ro on Monday night, and there's an Open House for Charlie's daycare on Thursday evening. It's a good thing we have no plans for Labor Day, because this week is crazy! One thing I am looking forward to is Doug not working late once school starts. He told his work that he just couldn't put in the long hours once I returned to the classroom. Not sure how that will go down, but at this point they haven't fussed too much.

I have a tummyache this evening and I'm not sure what it's from. Again, I think it's the feeling of total unpreparedness I have. Hopefully I can get a handle on things tomorrow for the half-day we work. And then bid summer goodbye this weekend!