Friday, March 29, 2013

Funnies from Christian School

This week was a lot of fun, and definitely an eye-opening experience! (I hope to post some things I learned soon).

However, here are some funny happenings!

-Monday morning, I arrived. Only the staff knew I would be there. The principal/head teacher is probably in her mid to late 50s. As the kids came in, she was out of the room, and the first person they saw was me. It didn't take long for the rumor to go around amidst the young students that Sis. F was retiring and I was taking her place.

- A routine they have is a way to ask for assistance. They have two flags - one signals they need a teacher's help, and the other one signals they need an assistant's help. I was answering assistant flags, and one little girl raised her assistant flag. When I walked over and asked "How can I help you?", she whispered, "Can I sit by you at lunch?"

- One little boy called me "Sister J." In our particular fellowship, I definitely do NOT go by "Sister J" - that's my mother's name. When I informed him of that, he got very confused and kept referring to my being married to "that J guy!" I finally stopped him and asked, "Do you think I'm married to my brother?" He got so embarrassed because he had confused my brother for my husband!

- the most interesting thing was how the high school students treated me. Since I'm quite a bit older than them, we aren't close friends, however we do occasionally hang out at youth conferences, etc. They weren't quite sure how to treat me - in fact, they avoided me altogether!

-Ms. J

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Venn Diagram

I'm mentally working on a Venn Diagram comparing/contrasting charter school and public school. Remember how I said I wouldn't pass judgment on charter schools 'til I finished my long-term at one? Well, I have been working it out in my mind. I keep meaning to actually put it down on paper, but you know how that goes...

But now, it will have to be a three-way Venn Diagram - which just makes me happy 'cause I love Venn Diagrams! The reason being that I get to experience a private, Christian school! I will spend my spring break shadowing some fabulous teachers and learning all about how private, Christian schools work. I am very excited for the opportunity! (The only thing I'm not excited about is that uniform thing again... Oh well, it's only a week... Good thing I didn't throw my uniform into the garbage!)

So look for a very cool, color-coordinated Venn Diagram soon, showing similarities and differences of public, charter and private schools! I might be more excited about making the Venn Diagram than anything else...

-Sis. J (private school code for Ms. J)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

1st, 3/21

Happy Spring Break! I am now officially off for a week!

I was privileged to work at the neighborhood school today! I always count it an honor since this is the school that I am sure remembers me breaking the laminator the second time I subbed there.

I also really like working there because of the hours! Most schools I work at are teacher hours 7:15-3:15. This means I leave at 6:35 (I have a 35-45 minute drive to most sites). Then I'm home at 4.

Today, my hours were 7:50-3:50. I left home at 7:45, and was home at 4. (Though there is no such thing as Starbucks or Dutch Bros on my way to work...)

And I had 24 kids!

I have to keep myself from groveling at these teachers' feet: plllllleeeaase let me sub for you! Or just hire me - that works too!

Anyway. On to the cute story.

My sweater had a folded up hem after sitting for a while during reading groups. One of the girls says "Ms. J, you need to fix your sweater."

Thanks, dear. I'll get right on it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kindy, 3/20 (and teacher humor!)

I taught bilingual kindy today. I am not bilingual, but most of the kids didn't notice.

Nothing super cute or funny to share (though they were super cute), so I thought I'd impress you with some teacher humor. Enjoy the pictures I found while wasting a colossal amount of time on Pinterest.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

1/2, 3/19

Different class, same grade levels.

Totally different behavior. It was so nice!

It happened to be in last year's school. It's always wonderful to see my "babies" from last year in the hallway. Though their different responses to me are interesting. Most run up to me and give me a hug. One of them greeted me today with "Oh my ---! Long time no see, Ms. J!"

Anyway. Back to the class I actually taught today. (By the way, I was teaching in my classroom from last year - sniff sniff!)

One little boy kept telling me *everything* that he felt like I needed to do. Gotta love kids who think the teacher is clueless. At one point, I said something to him about it and he said, "Well, I have to tell you this, 'cause you're new."

I also got flowers today. Beautiful, but really stinky - whew! I actually think it might be a weed - a little foggy on botany currently.

First and second graders are pretty funny. Everything they hear or see is connected to their personal surroundings. One little girl asked me, "What's your name?" I said, "Ms. J." She responded quite vehemently, "That's a BOY's name!"

Wonder what she woulda thought about my first name!

-Ms. J

Monday, March 18, 2013

2nd, 3/18

I thought of a million ways (ok only 3) to start this post:
- it must be the week before spring break
- well, my vacation must have softened me up
- it was bound to happen, after the amazing classes I've had recently

Whichever one you like best, use it as the starter to the post in your mind. (If you pick the vacation one, just know that I took my spring break early and journeyed down to California for a mini-vacay last week. And a special "Howdy!" to those of you who mentioned you read my blog - I feel very special).

So, here's the post.

(Insert favorite post starter from above here)

This class was tough! Constant redirection was needed for certain students, which totally exhausted me by lunchtime. The tough part of subbing in a class like today's is that 90% of the kids are great, but the other 10% needs so much attention it seems like the whole class is insanely naughty.

I managed to keep it together - wish I had taken a picture of the apology notes I had three boys write me for climbing on the stalls in the bathroom. I also had to deal with kids telling other students to hold their tongue and say some benign word (which of course changes to a bad word when the tongue is held).

It amazes me what kids think up.

The 90% that were awesome were a lot of fun. I even got several little notes and drawings (see below).

I deserved that piece of chocolate I ate when I got home, yessiree sir!

-Ms. J

Monday, March 11, 2013

JA Biztown

Whew! What a fun field trip! I definitely approve of Junior Achievement's Biztown experience. This is a great simulation for kids to experience the "real world" as citizens, consumers and service providers in the Biztown economy. Kids learn how to manage money (budget, write checks, make deposits and withdrawals), how to be a part of an economy, and how to be a responsible employee. It's so awesome to see them shoulder the responsibility of jobs such as CEO, CFO, manager, sales and service provider.

I got to attend this field trip with my favorite 5th graders (my class from earlier this year)! I loved seeing how they have grown, and how seriously they took this project.

While each kid had a different experience, they have all come away with valuable life lessons learned. They also had their favorite parts - some of them were most excited about having a job and making money, while others were excited they could buy soda in the cafe, and all of them were excited that it was a non-uniform day!

See if you can guess which of the kids is my self-proclaimed "favorite student!"

-Ms. J

Friday, March 8, 2013

5th, 3/8

Wow, I have so many posts that I need to catch up on! Maybe I will get to them this weekend, amidst the vacation preparations and gorgeous Oregon weather.

For now, though, thought I would share the fact that I had a great fifth grade class today! 35 of em!

They had such personality and really worked hard. They earned an extra recess, since today was such a beautiful day (and I was tired of being inside a classroom when the sun was shining).

It's always nice to end a week with a class like that!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

3rd, 3/4

Yesterday I volunteered in a 3rd grade classroom. Volunteering is a great way to drum up business - teachers see you in the building and they think "oh yeah, I need a sub for next week," and since they see you, a lot of times they'll ask you.

Anyway. I was helping some 3rd graders look up information for their research papers on animals. I was tasked with helping kids whose animal wasn't found on Wikipedia. We were using World Books. This little boy was searching for "Gibbons Gail Snake" which I have never heard of. We searched everywhere. Finally, he pulled out the library book where he had found the name. He pointed it out to me. It was in the index under "more things you can read" (or something like that).

Here's what it looked like.

Gibbons, Gail. Snakes. Scholastic. 2009.

It wasn't the name of a snake! It was the author's name and the book she wrote! I was proud of myself that I didn't laugh out loud. Of course, it would have been funnier if I hadn't spent 20 minutes looking for it... But hey!

-Mrs. Teacher (as a 5th grader called me today)