Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day...

...which almost turned into a week. And I was ready to move to Australia.

I mentioned in this post that we had a mold issue in our school at the beginning of the year. I ended up being allergic to the kind of mold in the school so I worked in another building to find grants. The McElroy grant worked for my classroom and I began working on it on my own. It was due last Friday. On Thursday I was thisclose to having it finished and needed to add the final touches before sending it to a coworker to have it looked over. I went to open it and it was nowhere to be found! I even took it to our IT queen and she couldn't find it. We found the blank application document but not the hours-spent-being-worked-on, nearly-finished one! The only solution we could come up with was that my (old) computer had to force quit (as it does often without my okay) and lost everything. But I know thought I saved it! So I didn't have it. The coworker that was going to look it over helped take the idea and rewrite it that night so it was ready to turn in on the due date!! (Okay, maybe that wasn't so bad but I definitely feel guilty for taking up so much of my coworker's time on it. And it hurt that I had already put so much time and effort into it for nothing.)

Friday morning I signed the grant and we sent it in. (Fingers crossed!) The other second grade teacher popped in to see how things were going especially after having to rework the grant and the stress of conferences coming up. (Did I mention I have the BEST coworkers EVER??) She also asked to borrow some change to buy lunch that day. I'm the type of person to carry change around until there's not room for anything else so I was happy to give some away and lighten my load. I hurried to put my wristlet back into my purse before greeting the kids as they came in from recess. Fast forward to 4:30 Friday afternoon. I had to have everything ready for conferences on Monday so I was in a hurry to get things done. Hubby called to ask when he could expect me home since we needed to get on the road. We were going to our college homecoming game and celebrating my mom's birthday. I reached for my purse and realized it seemed much lighter than usual. Low and behold, my wristlet was missing. The very wristlet that Hubby had given me for my college graduation/wedding gift. It matched our wedding colors perfectly! Hubby came to help me look for it but it was nowhere to be found. I even called Mrs.OtherSecondGradeTeacher to see if she remembered what I had done with it. She watched me put it back into my purse. Hubby called and cancelled our credit cards and I called the police.
I don't expect to see it again. What a way to start the weekend. I thought about just staying home to get things taken care of but Hubby convinced me that I would feel better if I didn't let one person's stupid action ruin my fun weekend. He also pointed out that all of my family and friends would be there too so I would probably end up forgetting about it. (Yes, I have the best husband, too!)

I don't appreciate the fact that I had to spend an hour Saturday morning at the DOT to get another license. But, once that was taken care of, I did forget all about those problems and had a great time with my family and friends. The weather was beautiful and the only thing that could have been better was if State had won the game.

On Monday we still hadn't found or figured out what happened to my wristlet. It was a long 12 hour day with conferences but I have a great group of kids so that wasn't so bad. Tuesday was our state visit and conferences. The state visit went really well but the day ended with me having a migraine and some difficult conferences (but I survived, hooray!) I'm just happy today is Wednesday and we don't have school again until Monday!Okay, I have three conferences during the day tomorrow, but I'm not too concerned about those. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids and my job, but I really need a mental and physical break!

I've really missed blogging and Pinterest but I will have plenty of time to catch up over this long weekend.

I hope you don't have a week like mine and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

At least the Cardinals are in the World Series!

This week has got to be over soon! Right?

We had Cognitive Abilities Testing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. First thing in the morning for one hour and this is their first standardized test. Ever. They actually did really well with their focus and stayed quiet for longer than I ever thought possible.

Of course these tests require #2 pencils and every single one of my students needed to sharpen theirs. Oh, I forgot to mention that my only pencil sharpener broke last week. And the school doesn't have any spares. So I went to Target (my favorite store) and bought one that's purple! I also bought some cool tie-dye #2 pencils for the kiddos to have. I went to sharpen the pencils at school Monday morning and the pencil sharpener requires four AA batteries. All of the batteries in the building are rechargeable and none of them were charged. Just my luck.

Then Mrs. Principal decides to do an informal observation. As I'm testing! The only comment I received afterward was "Good job reading those directions." Hmm, could this have anything to do with the fact that we have our state visit next week? Anyway, at least those tests are all done and over with for this year!

Fast forward to today. I had previously been working on a grant to get iPods for my classroom. It's due tomorrow and I was going to send it to a coworker to have it looked over before sending it. It's nowhere to be found. My computer
ate it! I took it up to our technology genius and she couldn't find it either! Ugh. Back to the drawing board. I'm not even sure that fits into my schedule now. (And here I am blogging instead of working on things I should be doing...)

Next week we have conferences. And the state visit. I still have 2 parents to track down and schedule with. And of course, those are the parents I have been trying to schedule meetings with for 6 weeks now! Tuesday is going to be a very long day. Teaching all day then sitting in on a panel of teachers to answer questions from the Board of Education. Then rushing back to school to have conferences until 7:30. Good thing we have a three day weekend next week! I'll definitely need it to recover!

On the up side, the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series and they won Game 1! Go Cards!

Have a great Friday and enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mold Attacks: One Scary Story That's True!

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that our school had a big mold "fiasco". Here is that story...

Once upon a warm August day, Mrs. Not-Much-Taller was excited to get back into her classroom after a long, relaxing summer away. She entered with a very long list of things to accomplish and fantastic dreams for her home-away-from-home. She spent hours upon hours preparing it for the little darlings to join her. It was almost complete when the time came for the teachers to meet for professional development. Mrs. Not-Much-Taller just had a few finishing touches to add and it would be ready. The teachers were downstairs in the cafeteria discussing important things for the upcoming year. Some of the teachers were beginning to not feel well when Mrs. Principal called for a break. The teachers went back to their rooms for the brief break and regouped before they were to start the afternoon meetings. Mrs. Third-Grade-Teacher said that she was breaking out into hives and others agreed that they were not feeling well when they were in the cafeteria so the meetings were moved upstairs. The incident was investigated and the Evil Mold was found to be growing in the cafeteria and had affected the whole school. Evil Mold shut down the school for 10 long days. The teachers were worried sick over their poor classrooms and the shape they would be in when Evil Mold was gone. The students had mixed feelings, enjoying an extended summer but eager for the school year to start. After the school was cleaned and the "all clear" signal was given, the teachers were allowed back into the school to assess the damage. Some teachers had more to do than others, but everyone pitched in to help and the school was soon able to open. The first day of school was an exhausting one, but enjoyed by everyone in attendance. They lived happily ever after...

At least, they're trying to with all of the chaos that comes with this time of year!

Note: A huge THANK YOU to all of my co-workers that helped reassemble my room! You guys rock!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meetings+Assessment Data=Long Day

Today was a very long day. I woke up about 20 minutes earlier than I normally do. I had every intention of getting to work extra early to work on some things and do some planning. However, I only made it in about 5 minutes earlier than I usually do. How does that work?!

Anyway, from the get-go kids were running into and around the room, arguing with each other, and not getting their morning routines accomplished. Then I remembered. Today the whole school had an hour long "field day" (read: extra recess with popsicles) as a reward for the fundraiser that was just held. It was at the end of the day. The kids were nuts!! On top of it all, we are finishing up some assessments and I still need to enter all of the data into the system.

Did I mention that I am the leader of a committee that plans all of the get-togethers for November and December (Veterans' Day celebration, Thanksgiving celebration, Christmas celebration, and a few other things)? Well, we had our first meeting after school today and we actually got quite a bit accomplished in the very short time we had.

Did I also mention that this year we have our state visit? I'm a second year teacher and this is my first state visit. I'm not completely sure what to expect, but I feel confident in my teaching, classroom, and students so I'm not too concerned. I was asked to be involved in a group that meets with the state board and answers some questions they have about the district. This meeting started at the high school when my previous meeting was ending. I walked in about 5 minutes late (shouldn't I have been early to everything today since I was up so much earlier?!). I got that burning, embarrassed feeling in my cheeks for a brief moment because all eyes were on my as I took my seat. I started reading through the questions and began to have a slight panic attack. Would I have to answer these questions on my own in front of THE BOARD? How much did I miss? Was I really qualified to be in this group? Why did they want me here when I've only taught one full year? I began taking notes on some things that came to mind and quickly learned that many of my thoughts were aligned with that of the rest of the group. Also, we will be in a room as a whole group and able to shout out our answers as we feel the need to chime in.

The meeting was over at 5 so I headed back to work to find the top of my desk again. The crazy afternoon and assessment data made my desk hard to find. At 6:30 I received a text from Hubby asking where I was. I came home to my dogs greeting me walking sideways because their tails direct the rest of their body and Hubby making the meal I suggested the day before. Knowing that my kiddos will be back tomorrow with their wild stories and comments and coming home to such a wonderful family is the best ending to this long day.

TGIalmostF! Have a great one!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Haunted Dreams & a Baby Shower

Whew! What a week it was! Last week we began our discussion about poems. My kiddos are writing acrostic poems about Halloween or fall. I introduced the idea by picking the word GHOSTS. My second graders came up with some great things that have to do with ghosts for each letter. We were discussing their ideas when it was time for recess. I had recess duty and some of the girls continued the discussion at recess. For H, they came up with "Haunted Dreams" and this was the topic they brought up as I was walking around the playgound, listening in. "My dad has haunted dreams about me spending all of his money." Another girl answered, "I think ALL dads have that dream!" The things kids say...

Friday night, I spent time putting the final touches on the baby shower I was throwing for my sister-in-law. I don't think of myself as too creative, but I was very proud of my gift/decorative piece:

Saturday and Sunday were full of nice weather (by the way, who turned up the heat?! This October weather in the upper 70s is great!!), spending time with family, and preparing for the week. I've found some fantastic ideas on here and plan on working on them through the week! Maybe I'll finally be able to post pictures of my classroom! Since my classroom is almost back to normal after the huge mold fiasco... But that's another story for another time. Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Second Grade Kiddos and My Crazy Life

As a second grade teacher, I hear some wonderful conversations. I wanted to start this blog to capture some of the things "my kids" say because they are the most brilliant, bright, funny, serious, wonderful things I have ever heard. I learn something new each day from these kiddos and I am working to make myself the best teacher I can be.

These kids are helping me to be the best person I can be. My husband, family, and friends play a major part in my life as well. I'm sure there will be lots of stories about them as well.

A little bit about me to wrap up my first post!
I am 23 years old. I am told I look like a high schooler and am often confused as a volunteer when I am teaching in my own classroom. I assure you, I am old enough to be a teacher. I graduated from Iowa State University (but I am willing to cheer for the Hawks and Panthers, too!) where I received a degree in elementary education with a reading endorsement. I teach at the elementary school I went to as a child. Yes, I am working with some of my former teachers and they are the best resources I could ever use! I have the best co-workers in the world. I dare you to find anyone who understands my frustrations and excitement better than my group.

I am married (a year and 2 months!) to my best friend. We dated for 6 years (high school sweethearts) before we were married and are raising two of the best fur-babies anyone could ask for. My favorite author is Jodi Picoult. Hubby and I are working on our house to make it our home (currently working on a bathroom remodel! Pictures to come!). I am also very excited to become an aunt in December!

Other things about me:
Favorite color: pink
Favorite food: ice cream (I could truly eat ice cream every single day)
Favorite drink: chai tea
Pets (fur-babies): miniature dachshund: Izzy
chihuahua-corgi mix (we think...): Emma
Hobbies: Sports, reading, movies, and spending time with family and friends!
Favorite Team: St. Louis Cardinals! and Green Bay Packers!

I don't think I am a very crafty or tech-savy person but I will be adding pictures of a few pieces I am proud of. One of which will be added Saturday after the baby shower for hubby's dear sister and our future NEPHEW! I assure you, he will be the most spoiled thing on this earth (if he's not already!)