Friday, May 31, 2013

Cool Stuff

Instead of posting about my day of ELD with a student teacher yesterday, or my half day of kindy today, I thought I would share some pictures I took of some things I really liked in a first grade classroom I was in recently. 

This "share pass" is great - as the kids are working on writing, these can be passed out. Then, at the carpet, the people with share passes are the ones who share their writing. 

Word wall rainbow writing. They use dice, and write their word wall words in different colors. They are allowed to make colorful outlines of the words, or trace the words. It looks really fun, as you can see below!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1/2, 5/28

Same class as 5/15. They must have been really tired after this long weekend, because they were angelic!

Same kid that blatantly lied to me last time was trying to tell me something, and said, "you should believe me, because I'm not a liar." I'm sorry, did I just choke trying not to laugh?

He also tried my patience so much that I sent him into the hall. His teacher has him count to 100 and then come back into the classroom. He asked, "Ms. J, do I count to 100?" I was so frustrated I responded, "Count to 1,000!" A few minutes later, he was escorted back into the room by the teacher across the hall, who explained to me he was counting at the top of his lungs. 

The kids were all stretching a lot today, and I kept thinking they were raising their hand. Finally, I said, "you guys should have signs or something that say 'I'm stretching'." 

Well, as you can see in the picture, a cute little guy decided to make himself a sign, complete with first grade spelling. Then he proceeded to stretch constantly, just so he could use his sign. 

Gotta love em. I'm glad we had a better day today. 

-Ms. J (I forgot to tell them my new name is Ms. Jackie!)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

SLC 5/23

Super cute and fun group of kids.

One little one was working on letter sounds and got to the letter G, and couldn't remember what it was. I said, G and G says "guh." Kiddo says "guh! Guitar!" and immediately started playing air guitar. So funny. 

Another one had just come back from speech. The SLP is a woman about thirty-five, about my size and height, and with light hair. This sweetheart looks at me and asks, "are you ms. B's mom?" So funny!

One kid forgot what my name was, which is pretty common. I heard a conversation with an aide, "I wanna talk to Ms. Jackie!" I had no idea who Ms. Jackie was until, surprise! Kiddo came to talk to me! 

I like my new name, it's really cute. 

-Ms. Jackie

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

1st, 5/22

Dear teachers,

Please include in your lesson plans some list of behavior challenges and ways to cope with these challenges. 

Sincerely, The Sub

No heads up about the naughty kids in this class - none! I would have liked to know that the kid who started to upend tables had a tendency to do so.... It might have helped me out some. 

I also would have liked to know some ways to handle certain kids' behavior... I asked the kids what their teacher does if they misbehave (because they did - all day long!) and one kid said, "She spanks us!" They howled with laughter over that. 

They wouldn't stop talking. 

That might explain the killer headache I have. 

Of course, being next door to the music room didn't help, either. Apparently it was xylophone day. 

All. Day. Long. 

Summer vacay's almost here - I can do this! -Ms. J 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Middle School Addendum

Sometimes, after a day like yesterday, which makes me wonder if I entered the right profession, something happens that reminds me I am a good teacher, and reminds me of the wonderful parts of my job. 

I had to stop by the middle school on my way home to pick up my iPad, which I left yesterday. The teacher I subbed for yesterday told me that the teachers involved in those incidents yesterday complimented how I handled the situations. 

A student stopped me in the hall, and said, "Ms. J, is your grandma ok?" 

Yesterday, during 6th period, I got a text saying my gramma was in a cellar, taking shelter from the tornado in Oklahoma. I had mentioned it to a couple kids. This boy, who overheard me tell those kids, was concerned about my grandma and asked if she was ok. That really touched me - how considerate of him to show concern for my family! 

And by the way, Gramma is ok - thank God!

-Ms. J

Monday, May 20, 2013

6th, 5/20

Middle school. What more needs to be said?

I am not cut out to be a middle school teacher. 

It's not that I don't like the kids. I do! And for the most part, they like me, too. 

It's just the whole middle school atmosphere. Like the 8th grader who was sent to my classroom today for a time out and flipped the whole class off when I turned around. 

Or the 6th grader who was playing hooky and standing outside my classroom door making inappropriate sexual gestures at the kids in my class. 

(I guess that sentence is redundant - any sexual gesture is inappropriate). 

Anyway... It's over. That's the important thing. 

-Ms. J

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I forgot a funny story from today. 

Student A went to the bathroom. A few minutes later, Student B asked to go to the bathroom. Student B has to have a bathroom buddy, so I sent Student C along. About five minutes later, the three of them came back. Student C came over to tell me what happened in the bathroom. 

On the way to the bathroom, C and B saw A coming back from the bathroom. A decided to go back to the bathroom with B and C because she needed to tell B about something. 

So they are all in the bathroom, and B is washing her hands while she and A talk about boys. They both decide to sit on the sink. 

Now let me pause and explain how these sinks work. They are big basin-type sinks, and there is a big bar on the floor that, when pushed with a foot, makes the faucets turn on. 

Back to the story. So the two girls are sitting on the sink talking about boys when A jumps off the sink and her foot lands on the bar below. 

Student B's backside got soaked. 

I was wondering why she kept tugging her shirt down...

I guess the moral of the story is: Be sure your sins will find you out. 

Either that, or don't sit on the sink. 

Still laughing, 
- Ms. J

3rd, 5/16

It was crazy hair day. The teacher left me a note saying some girls were coming in early to do her hair crazy and that I should tell the girls she would make it up to them. 

"Sorry girls!"

"Ms. J can we do your hair?"

"Uh, I guess."

"Cool! Here's some hair ties that look slightly ominous, and lets braid Ms. J's hair into a million little braids, but we aren't very good at braids, so we will end up tying her hair in knots! Ms. J is gonna look fabulous!"

Ok, slight elaboration on their part of the dialogue. But hey, this is called creative writing, right??

Wish I had taken a picture of my "braids" that really looked like dreadlocks. Took me about 20 minutes to take it all out. 

Oh, yeah, and I'm super paranoid about lice. My head's been itching all day. It's probably all psychological, but I ain't taking any chances. 

Pardon me while I go wash my hair with kerosene. 

-Ms. J

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

1/2, 5/15

Wow today was chaotic and exhausting. I haven't had a day with this much talking, fighting, tattling and lying in quite a while. 

As a disclaimer, I am not an uncaring, unfeeling teacher. I simply do not have patience for misbehaving, lying and pity parties. (I like to think of it as tough love).

I spent a lot of time saying the things mentioned below. 

"you are being rude/disrespectful."
"mind your own business"
"keep your hands to yourself."
"give me the toy." 
"stop building things with the reading textbooks."
"do you understand what it means to work quietly?"
"how do you think that makes me/your classmates feel?" 
"Why are you lying to me?" 
"I cannot trust you in this spot. Please move."
"Make a good choice or I will make one for you."
"Did you hit him?!?!?"
"Ignore him/her."

I try my best not to simply rant on the bad behavior. I also did a lot of "Freddie is ready to go." "Susie has her book out." "I have five friends who are following directions."

One kid was being awesome all day. I complimented him, and said, "you have had a great day!" His table partner piped up, "he always has great days." I said, "well, I am glad. Sometimes it's good to celebrate that." It was like he didn't think we should honor his friend's awesome behavior because he's always awesome. 

I also had a lot of "substitutitis" today - kids who are "sick" because there is a sub. One girl was laying on the carpet moaning about her stomach. You're fine. Sit up, you're blocking traffic. 

One kid was blatantly lying to me. "Ms. J, my heart is racing and my mom said if that happens I should go to the office." So I checked his pulse. I'm no nurse, but I'm smart enough to know when someone's a chronic health room visitor. "You're fine, go do your work." He protested and I said he could check back with me in five minutes. Five minutes later, "Ms. J, my mom told me that if you told me to wait five minutes that I should listen to you and then go to the office." Um hello, kid??? Your mom didn't know I was going to be here today, you are so lying! Next time at least make your lie believable! 

Tattling was a huge problem, too. Kids tattle about the most ridiculous things! He accidentally knocked over your book? Big deal!

One little cutie pie professed his love for me during math to his table group. I got several students running up to me, "Ms. J, Greg just said he LOVES you!" 

See? Tattling. I hate tattling. Did they think I was going to write him up for saying he loves me?!?!?!? 

Crazy kids. I still love them, though. 

-Ms. J

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2nd, 5/13-14

Same class two days in a row. Super cute kids, and well-behaved (good thing, since they have open classrooms - meaning there are no walls between classrooms - so it's kind of important to be quiet). 

- Two little girls were reading their Bibles during reading time. They refer to them (for fun) as their "Bibbles" (rhymes with kibbles), and were sharing factoids from Moses' law (Ms. J, did you know that if you don't follow the Bible, there will be a famine?)

- One boy noticed a classroom stuffed animal's leg was ripped and the stuffing was coming out. He brought it to me, "teacher, it's bleeding."

- I noticed some kids sitting around doing nothing, "Hey guys, what should you be doing right now?" One kid replies, "Well, I really just want to wander around the room." 

Brownie points for style and honesty, kid, but get back to work. 

-Ms. J

Friday, May 10, 2013

5th, 3rd 5/10

So I did a half day in fifth grade this morning, then drove over to another school to do a half day in third this afternoon. 

I had such fun with those 5th graders - such a great class! Gave them a logical thinking test for fun and told them "if you fail, you can't go to middle school." They were too smart for that, though. "Ms. J, that's a joke, right? Right? Ms. J?"

During Social Studies, as I was teaching, a girl had a lightbulb moment, "Oh my word, I didn't know that! I learned something in school today!" 

The 3rd grade class I had was, as always, super fun. I wish I could show you the pictures I took of them - such personality! I have one picture whose caption would read "Ms. J, can my picture be your screensaver?????"

One little boy, (who is probably one of my favorite kids this year - subs are allowed to have favorites), is such an adorably funny kid. I walked into the classroom, and said hello to him. In response, he took his glasses off, turned them upside down, put them back on (upside down), and said "hi!" 

I cannot believe there are only 19 days of school left to this year! It's been such an amazing year, and I have met so many wonderful kids that I don't want the year to end! 

(I don't want the paychecks to end, either)

-Ms. J

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Laminating Queen

Today was ELD. It's a pretty nice gig - small groups, completely adorable kids and plenty of breaks. The teacher left me some stuff to do, including.... (Drumroll, please).... Laminating!

For those of you who have heard my laminator story, you understand that I am very hesitant to use laminators nowadays. It's very easy to mess up a laminator, and they are expensive pieces of equipment. 

Well, I am proud to say that I overcame my laminator fear and rocked that laminating project! (I was praying the whole time)

Just thought I'd share. 

-Ms. J

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Hard Part

One of the hardest things about being a sub is wanting to be in multiple places at one time. One gets attached to so many kids in so many classrooms and so many schools that scheduling is challenging. 

For example, yesterday I got a request for May 21 from a teacher I love to sub for, in a school (and district) that I love. Unfortunately, I am already scheduled to be at another school with kids that I love that same day. 

Today, I got a call for a job tomorrow at one of my favorite schools, but I'm already working at another school with kids I love. The secretary calling me said, "that's ok, I just wanted to call you first, because we have our favorites!" 

Now, just for the record, I do *not* love every school I work at. It's just that typically I love the schools that also love me. It's a win-win situation. 

Hey, by the way, if I don't get a job this year or the next, I have a maternity leave position already worked out for the 2014-15 school year. So I'll be employed that year, for three months. Woohoo!

-Ms. J 

Monday, May 6, 2013

1/2, 5/6-7

Monday: I dislike that we are required to show our little ones a video about inappropriate touching. Not that I think it's wrong to tell kids their bodies are private, but that the conversation has to happen in public school (not in the home, with the parents), and that people are sick enough that this stuff actually happens. Simply listening to this thing made me sick to my stomach - isn't this too graphic for kids???

Well anyway. On to the cute stuff.

Tuesday: the kids have started a science project with plants and seeds. They have learned a couple new vocab words: sprout and germinate. Their plants have sprouted/germinated. They are all really excited about it, and want to use their new vocab words. Of course, the bigger the better, right? So they are all talking about how cool is it that their plants have "germinates."

They don't get the whole "germinate is a verb but definitely not a noun" thing.

Oh well, it's still super cute to hear a 6 year old say "germinate" - makes my inner scientist happy!

-Ms. J