Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lunch With the Chef AKA OINK!

Soooo, she walked into the classroom this morning ready for picture day. She was dressed in new clothes from head to toe.  I knew that because her hoodie had the size sticker placed precariously on her shoulder where she'd forgotten about it after playing with it on the way to school.

She glanced my way several times as she rummaged around in her backpack (also new). Finally finding what she wanted and holding it proudly in her hand she approached me.

Just imagine I am telling you this story in the voice of a typical five year old.

"I bwung da Chef," she said.

"Ummm, what did you say, Sweetie?" I said.

"I bwung da Chef," she repeated patiently.

"Okaaaay," I said. "Why?"

She stared at me blankly.
In retrospect, I realize she just might
have been wondering why she got stuck with the slow teacher.

"I put in my wunchbox," she said.

"Soooo, did you bring that for lunch?" I asked.

(Yes! I know it was a dumb question, but we have a snack time too, people!  You wouldn't even believe what they bring for snack time!)

She nodded solemnly. Sigh.
It's tough to be saddled with the slow teacher.

"Does your mom know you brought the Chef to school today?"

"I didn't ask her," she said.

"Honey, you can't have the Chef for lunch. We don't have a way to cook it."

Leveling a flat stare at me (you know the one little kids have when they don't believe a word you are saying) she turned away.

Later on at lunch time she once again pulled out the Chef.

"Baby," I said politely, "What are you doing now?"

"Getting.da.Chef.for.wunch." This said slowly and followed with a silent DUH!

Like a good teacher, I realized that she didn't get it the first time and perhaps it was due to my explanation.

I tried another tack

"Okay, girlie, did you bring your can opener?"

She made the OH NO face and shook her head.

"Then the Chef stays in the classroom."  This said with an invisible fist pump given by the teacher.    Smile.

Yes, boys and girls, the child had bwung an unopened can of Chef Boyardee SpaghettiOs.

Sometimes you just gotta know how to explain things.

Just sayin'.....................

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dear Lesson Plans,

I don't like you anymore.

I used to take great pride in having you done weeks in advance. 
But those days left when teacher's manuals and basal readers became
the latest bad words in the vocabulary of educators.

Funny thing about that is
that kids learned to read just fine
back when teachers had a manual to follow.
Actually, there is nothing new in this world people. 
Education, like everything else in life is a cycle.
It's all been done before. 
The Powers That Be just switch it up a bit,
stick a new name on it 
and tell teachers to do it.
Then they try something else in a couple of years.

Just sayin'........

Anyway, Lesson Plans, you are a life stressor I could do without. 

You see, I know the plan.  

I've done this for years now and sometimes having to write it down is just another thing to procrastinate. 

I'm a list person. 
I like to have a column of things to do and to mark them off as I go. 
If only you could be done that way I might feel a little less animosity.

Here it is 9:01 on Sunday night and instead of finishing up the plans I started Thursday of last week
I am blogging. 

I blame you, Lesson Plans. 
I am certainly not going to blame myself.  
After all, It's my blog!

Just sayin'..................

PS-I'm working on a few new OINK stories and some stories about trees falling in our yard, and then more falling and stuck refrigerators and just how life here in this house by the lake never seems to go as planned. Plus, I've got to introduce you to the newest Chosen Baby in our extended family.

See why lesson plans are such a drag?!?!?  Smile.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Am I the only one who is tired! all! the! time!? 

I wake up tired, work tired, come home tired and go to bed tired.

I am actually a night owl IF I can sleep a good ten hours.  Seriously.  I stayed up late all summer long.  Just literally wallowing in the peace of the night until 2:00 a.m.  The only reason I got out of bed by 10:00 was because I wanted to watch Dr. Phil. 

My husband uses one of those sleep apnea machines.  I love it because even though he looks a little like Darth Vader in the dark, it muffles his snores. And while I really don't mind the snoring (I know you don't believe me but I really don't) it does wake me up. 

He tells me that I need a machine of my own. 


I did have a sleep study done and it showed no episodes of apnea. I wasn't surprised because I didn't sleep at all that night.

First of all I was in a faux bedroom where I knew that a stranger was watching me sleep all night. That's just creepy.

Plus, it was embarrasing. I have always been a squirmy sleeper. My own mother hated to have to sleep with me on vacations when we had to save money by piling as many kids as possible into as few beds as possible. 

Just thinking about being tired makes me want to go take a nap!

Just sayin'......................

Friday, September 17, 2010

Every summer I pray for the students that will be mine in August.

I learned the hard way that spending a summer in prayer was sometimes all that stood between me and a complete nervous break down sometime the following school year.

And I'm not just kidding.

Early on in my career I mostly prayed for immunity to the various stomach viruses especially the throw up ones.
(My vomit phobia is still alive and kicking by the way but that's a whole 'nother story.)
I prayed for sweet children and patience.
I prayed for patience a lot. Big mistake.
I prayed that the parents would be nice to me and that I would be able to get it all done....the plans, the documentation, the never.ending.mind.numbing.despicable.paper.work!

I was all business. I took lots of pride in quiet, straight lines, an organized, well run classroom, lesson plans done weeks (again, not just kidding) in advance and a calm, quiet classroom.

I became known as a strict disciplinarian.  And I was.  I can bark orders with the best of them and I'm pretty sure that I can levitate a kid with the 'teacher glare' I've perfected over the years.

Many times, I fell for the line ALL principals use.
(Y'all know you do it to us. Smile.)
You know...the one that begins with...I don't think anyone else can handle this kid and ends with you somehow volunteering for that one kid whose frightening reputation has preceeded them.

Anyway....somewhere along the way I changed. 

I found that I liked the challange of looking for that one little way to connect with a kid. That one thing that would make a difference. I liked civilizing them.

I still pray for immunity to the stomach viruses-especially the throw up ones-but that's about all that remains from those first several years. I never, ever ask for patience anymore. That's just asking for trouble.

Now I mostly ask for kids that make me laugh.  I have learned to relax and enjoy five year olds and after 25+ years I'm still not sick of them. I have found that a belly laugh goes a long way towards turning a bad day into a good one.

Learning to relax and enjoy them was the key to surviving this long in the classroom.

I love, love, love the quirky ones and the ones who have no filter.  I love the ones who leave us wondering what in the world is going on in their heads.  They are all a little like puzzles.  You have to line up all the edges and then fill them in with lots of little pieces of knowledge. Sometimes everything fits together easily but more often than not the pieces must be coaxed together.  

The longer I teach the more I love it. I wish I could spend more time teaching them what they really need to know and less time pushing and rushing them to grow up faster than they should. That, my friends, is also another story.

Anyway, this was my long version of a disclaimer that while I find my students infinitely entertaining I really do attempt teach them something.

Hopefully, if I can't manage to teach them their ABCs they do leave my classroom knowing that I love them and that they matter to me.

That said, this is one of the funniest classes I have ever had.

So when I post about the funny things they do and say,
just know...
the laughter
they bring me
is an
to prayer.

Just sayin'.................

Monday, September 13, 2010

That'll Show Him

Everyone knew they were my favorite shoes.


I wore them every time dark brown shoes were

Every time.

They were worn down and worn out but they never once
made my feet hurt.

Not even once.

I'm pretty sure my feet covered up the worst parts.

Well most of the worst parts.

OKAY! Some of the worst parts.

Anyway, those shoes chased fleeing kindergartners
as well as tennis shoes and slipped on and off quickly
under my desk or while working with a small group at their table.

I loved them.

Since moving in with Buddy the dog henceforth know as Satan
and a known shoe murderer, I have been careful to keep my shoes put away. 

Even so, another favorite pair of black flip flops is no longer a pair. One of them was stolen from the closet-(the one without a door, I don't know why! It was like that when we moved in!) and either completely eaten or maybe hidden. I've held on to one lonely flip flop just in case the other has not been consumed but is merely held hostage. 


The best brown shoes in the whole world were somehow hidden beneath an ottoman.

I missed them.  But he didn't.  Dumb dog.

Friday night I told my husband I was headed out to shop.  He said,
"Why don't you get yourself a new pair of shoes?"

"I don't need a new pair." 

"Trust me," he said. "Get yourself a new pair of shoes."

Like a solid punch to the stomach,  I knew.

Soooooo, I went shopping

and bought myself

a new.......


That'll show Buddy Satan him.

Just sayin'......................

Sunday, September 5, 2010

If You Can Read This-Then Please Pray With Us

Our school family has lost a much loved member. We have lost one of our own. Words cannot express the depth of our shock and our grief.  

I have taught at this school for 27 years now and it has always felt like a family. We take care of our own whether it be faculty or student. We don't always agree with each other and we can be as petty as anyone else can but we always, always take care of each other.

Because in the end....that's what families do.

Each time I closed my eyes last night I saw the beautiful face of our friend. Amy had a smile that not only seemed to be a permanent fixture on her face but it could light up a room. As great as her smile was it didn't compare to her laugh. When Amy laughed-you laughed. She was smart and funny and good at her job. She made it clear that she loved her husband and her boys! In fact, some teased her about how much she loved her husband. She just laughed and told them that they were just jealous. If you knew Amy, then you knew that she loved, loved, loved those boys of hers.

I have heard from many others that they too were unable to sleep. On our minds and in our prayers were her husband who lay critically injured in a hospital and her children. Her babies. One thought ran through my mind over and over....Oh, God her boys...please don't take their daddy. 

Today the news about Amy's husband Brian was more encouraging and we know more about how this unnecessary, horrible tragedy happened.

Grief mixed with anger can be a lethal combination. At times, I find myself completely overwhelmed with anger that someones irresponsible, illegal, selfish decision cost a husband his wife, two precious boys their mother and countless others a piece of their hearts.

Sometimes it is downright inconvenient to be the adult. Personally, I'd like to lay down on the floor and scream and kick my feet. Hearts this broken feel every emotion as keenly as the sharpest knife and it will be hard for us to rise above the pain and anger but guess what?     

We will.

We will because we are family and family takes care of it's own.  We will love those little children entrusted to us each day and we will help them to make some kind of sense out of this mess.  We will comfort them and grieve with them as they began to realize that an adult they have come to know and love will not be coming back to school.

We will rise above this pain and anger because our school family answers to a higher authority than any school administrator or superintendent.  We teach because we are called. We will do what we always do. We will take care of our kids first and then....

well then,

we'll take care of each other.

Because that's what we do at RES.

Just sayin'..........................

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Today my baby brother turns another year older. I will be spending the day with him....a rare treat indeed.  I've got the urge to share some of the escapades from our past so stay tuned.....

Just sayin................

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Time to Say Goodbye to a Friend

My precious laptop is the latest victim in the hailstorm that is my life lately.

I have been so careful with her.

The kids that live here are rarely allowed to use her. They must ask permission first and submit to interrogation as to their intended internet destinations and they must accurately recite 'the rules',

I have lovingly kept her screen clean and her keyboard crumb free.

I have been known to screech at the sight of greasy keys and to launch a subsequent investigation into the unauthorized greasing of said keys.

Despite my best efforts to protect her she is now terminally ill due to a near drowning.

And worst of all.......
It was all my fault.

I filled a new thermos with sweet tea.  I've been trying to do my kidneys a favor and stop drinking my beloved Diet Coke Plus.  This is what I get for trying to be healthy.

Although I screwed that thermos lid on as tightly as I could.....I failed to notice that the stopper for the little drinking spout...
wasn't a stopper at all.  It was just a measly lid.

So, the thermos full of SWEET tea wound up in my laptop.

When I snatched her out of my dripping school bag water poured from her USB ports....all over my the white jeans I was hoping to wear one more time this season.

My friend the Internet tells me that it is just a matter of time.

Soon the sugar will corrode my baby's connections and circuits.

I can see the tea behind the screen and several keys stick.

It took me all day to get over it.

And start shopping for a new one.  :)

Just sayin..................