Monday, April 29, 2013

2nd, 4/29

Whew. Today was tough. I realized I may be getting a little soft - I haven't been in a Title 1 school in close to a year. Perhaps I need to allow myself opportunity to grow and experience new aspects of teaching, instead of always going to the same schools, where the average income level is higher than my family's, where the kids mostly have supportive parents, and where their parents don't pack them a 20 oz Arizona tea for snack (aka about a billion grams of sugar).

Yeah. The Arizona tea thing happened today. And of all the kids to have it, it was that kid that was giving me trouble already. And she drank the whole thing, too.

All in all, it wasn't a bad day. We just didn't get a lot accomplished.

But the most interesting thing was a little girl who came up to me after recess, upset that her pencil mysteriously broke during recess.

"Ms. J, I had my pencil here and it was sharp and now it's broken."

But the fact that it was broken wasn't the biggest deal to her. Oh, no, she was more worried about....

"I had a booger on the eraser and now it's gonnnnne!!!"

So not only did she put a booger on her eraser, but *gasp* someone STOLE it!

I let her sharpen her pencil. I didn't bother to ask if she had replenished the booger.

-Ms. J

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

5th, 4/24

This class is extremely fun - so much personality!

It dawned on one boy that he was as tall as me - he kept walking around on his tiptoes and saying "Ms. J, I'm taller than you!" His teacher is about 6'5", so he is not used to looking the teacher in the eye - it totally made his day!

They're also totally awesome at bootlicking. One girl came up to me after recess and said "Ms. J, you're arrested! You're arrested for being a great teacher!"

Ok, what do you want?

-Ms. J

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Sorry, forgot to post about yesterday! So here is a jumble of yesterday and today. I had 3rd grade yesterday, and 4th and 5th grade today.

It's a beautiful week out here, so yesterday I (bribed) told the kids they could have extra recess if they finished their work. Well, as we were getting ready to head outside, the kids started freaking out, "Ms. J! There's a goose outside our door!"
Sure enough, a big, fat Canada goose was sitting right outside our door. Now if there's one thing I'm scared of, it's very large birds. It took us about 5 minutes to get that bird away from our door so we could go play!

Today, those fifth graders cracked me up. One kid told me, "Ms. J, you couldn't be a mean teacher ever. You just can't do it." I told him I was gonna go practice some more.

Another kid noticed my ponytail. "Ms. J, are you the princess from 'Tangled'?" Uh, no.

So that brought the length of my hair into conversation (these kids will do anything to avoid schoolwork haha!). One boy says, "you do have really long hair." And another boy pipes up and says, "I like it!" Then he got so embarrassed - he couldn't believe he had just complimented the teacher on her hair! It was so adorable.

Aww, I've had such nice kids these last couple weeks - I'm wondering when the naughty kids will start showing up...

Always the optimist,
Ms. J, the "Tangled" impersonator

Thursday, April 18, 2013

ELD, 4/17-18

ELD/ESL whichever you prefer. Not a bad gig - small groups, frequent breaks. I could get used to that.

Today, a kindy was telling me about what they do in their classroom. I asked about math, and she said, "oh we play with math peliputives. They're like toys." It took me a second to figure out she meant "math manipulatives." How cute is that??!!

-Ms. J

Unsolicited Advice

Last night, I had the distinct privilege of being a part of a panel designed to help new teachers adjust to "life after teacher school." We talked a lot about subbing, since most of these teachers are being pretty realisitic in their quest to find work. The panelists gave a lot of advice to those new teachers, but I forgot a lot! So I thought I'd share it with the world.

Here's some unsolicited advice for anyone in the subbing world.

Always, always, ALWAYS leave a good impression. I know that's kind of a vague idea, but essentially, you need to act as if you are always bring watched, and that this is a big interview. People notice you and what you are doing, and they make judgments about you based on what they see and hear. So here are some sure-fire ways to make sure you are leaving a good impression!

- Be on time. If the job starts at 7:15, be in the office checking in at 7:15. The secretaries notice, and remember you as "the one that shows up on time."

- Don't leave early. If you're done at 2:45 and the job ends at 3, go to the office and ask if anyone needs help grading. This gives them the opportunity to tell you to go home early, (rejoice!) or give you something to occupy your time. This gives the impression that you are efficient (you finished your work in a timely manner), you are conscientious (you aren't going to scam the district out of time), and you are not lazy (they notice if you're just sitting in your classroom killing time). This also gives you an opportunity to network, because you'll probably end up in a classroom grading for another teacher. That teacher will ask about you - how long you've been subbing, where you student taught, etc. Before you know it, it will be time to leave, and you can hand them your card. Most likely, they'll call you, because they remember talking to you.

- Leave the classroom better than it was. Set aside 2 minutes at the end of the day for all the kids to clean. You can play "Magic Piece of Garbage." The goal is for the teacher to walk in the next morning and be impressed at how the classroom looks.

More to come at a later date!
Ms. J

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1/2, 4/15-16

Spent yesterday and today in a 1/2 blend. The beauty of it all was that I had a student teacher who did the whole thing - I just helped with students and played the disciplinarian role.

These kids are super fun and hilarious. Yesterday I noticed a little boy had his pants on backwards - the pockets were pointing the wrong way!

Today, a little one came up to me first thing, and said (and I quote), "Yesterday night, I got frustrated and said bad words. I don't think I'll do it again, but if I do, I think I should go to the office."

At the end of the day, he announced to the class that he learned that "anger management doesn't work."

Super fun!

-Ms. J

Friday, April 12, 2013

This week!

Whew! I dunno if I can handle these 5 day work weeks! I had 6th on Monday and Tuesday, and 3rd Wednesday through Friday. I'm exhausted!

It was a wide range of wonderful stuff this week: Tuesday I got a note saying "Ms. J, you used to be nice. What happened? This is ridiculous." (Well, dear, you turned into an adolescent and won't stop talking - that's what happened!) Then today I got "You're such a great teacher!" (Aww thanks dear!)

I also had singing galore this week. Tuesday a kid serenaded the class with "silly monkey riding on a pig" and today it was "gummy gummy gummy bear!"

One story was reported to me by another teacher. She said a student told her, "the kids were being silly and Ms. J got really mad. Well, not really mad. More like fake mad."

And the best part. I had bus duty today, and had just waved the buses off when a little girl came up to me. "Ms. J, my little brother is on the bus and we are parent pickup!" So off I go - running like crazy, waving my arms and yelling trying to get the bus to stop. Yes, I looked like an idiot, and yes, people were honking their horns, and laughing, but I CAUGHT THAT BUS!

You shoulda heard the applause I got from the custodian. Have a great weekend!

- track star Ms. J

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kindy, 4/5

Alright, y'all are seriously gonna laugh so hard - kindy is ALWAYS a great place to gather funny stories!

- little girl working on her morning work, aka "Jj" coloring sheet. She looks at me and says, "whew! My arm is exhausted!"

- little girl tells me, "something is happening to my eyes. I think I am going blind. My parents say I don't need glasses and that made my eyes feel comfortable."

- someone asked me where the teacher was. I said "she's in the library doing teacher work." Little girl says, "no she's not! She's sick!"

-Ms. J

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5th, 4/1-2

I love this class, even if there are parts of it that are naughty...

Yesterday was murder! A fight, bullying, etc. in fact, one of the kids tried to bully me - yeah, that didn't work so well!

Then, today was amazing! The kid who tried to bully me yesterday was angelic - I kept waiting for the ulterior motive to surface, but it didn't!

Fifth graders are funny kids. It was sunny today, and since we had spent an hour doing state testing, I gave them an extra recess. Kids who could care less about the teacher were saying, "you're the best teacher ever!" Ha! Then why are you so naughty??

One kid, who is just adorable, asked me, "can we spend the last few minutes of the day asking you questions, like what your favorite color is?" Well, honey, I'm sure no one else cares about that, but my favorite color is orange.

The "best teacher ever," Ms. J