Monday, September 30, 2013

Teacher planning day

We had a planning day today. I met with my mentor for 4 hours during this time. She really is amazing. I don't think I'll ever be that great. 

Because I met with her for part of the day, I had to get work done before today. I spent 10 hours Saturday planning and working, and then today totaled 12 hours. 

Yet I'm still not prepared for this week. How is this possible? 

Coffee. Need coffee. 

-Ms. J 

Friday, September 27, 2013

It's hard sometimes...

Teaching can be so hard for ones heart. I work with such disadvantaged kids, and they need so much love and attention and support. I have a couple boys that beg to hold my hand every time we walk in a line. A girl that needs constant affirmation or she starts being naughty. A little one who has a rough home life and draws pictures of me constantly. 

Being a teacher is hard. For a lot of kids, I'm the only stable adult in their lives; the one responsible for giving them the tools they need to succeed in life; the only one that shows them positive attention; the only female figure in their life. 

I try to do my best to be positive and loving. And then, I try hard not to think about what these kids go home to... Or if they have a home to go to at all... 

I can only do so much. I didn't think it was possible to care this much about children that aren't related to me. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I've been having a really tough time with management. It's a pretty typical problem for new teachers. My principal knew how frustrated I was, and managed to snag a mentor for me (my principal is very supportive and totally non-judgmental about the challenges I'm having). It required my mentor coming and observing me (I was super stressed about it). She was in my room yesterday for 4 hours, watching me, and taking a million notes. She is a wonderful lady, with a lot of great ideas. 

I implemented a couple ideas today, and they worked! It was amazing to see how some of the kids I was starting to think of as troublemakers were making amazing choices and being strong leaders. 

One girl, who has lately been making some bad choices, offered to be my timekeeper today with her One Direction watch. She told me, "I like being responsible." I heard several kids today whispering to their neighbor, "do the right thing!" (Which happens to be our class motto right now). 

I will say, though, management is really exhausting with this group. To really get them where I want them, I have to manage with a level of energy that is extremely hard to maintain. I thought to myself, "they're reading to self - why am I tired?!?!" It will eventually get easier as they get accustomed to the "Ms. J Way." 

For now, though, I am tired. 

By the way, got that first paycheck! Hellloooooo money!

.... Hello taxes. Goodbye money. 

-Ms. J

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Discovery... Not for the faint of heart

If you're easily grossed out, don't look at the picture below of what I found on my library rug. 

For those of you that aren't quite sure what you're looking at, that's bloody snot (I'm not swearing). Someone picked their nose and smeared it on the rug. 

But then, I got the sweetest note ever, addressed to "the best teacher in the world."

So I guess I'll forgive the nose picker...

Still gross, though. 

- Ms. J

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Open House

Survived my first open house. No parent conflict so far - yay! In fact, here is a super adorable story a parent told me tonight. 

Mom and Dad were going on a date night, and one of my students told his mom he wanted to do her hair "like Ms. J's." she said he told her "mom, you should wear your hair like this more often - you look pretty." 

Isn't that adorable?!?!? 

- ms. J

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Just for the record, my class is super chatty and wiggly. We are working on silent work time and following directions the first time. It's pretty exhausting, but they are super super cute and sweet kids. They can sit and work quietly for about 6 minutes so far. 

So, just imagine my surprise and delight today when they sat down to work on unfinished work quietly, and were completely on task and focused. I didn't want to breathe for fear that the magical spell would break. 

I looked up, and noticed our superintendent peeking into the classroom (this is a common practice in our district), and then the head of the HR department stuck his head in. 

I was so happy that all my kids were working and focused! Talk about an intimidating audience! Yes, miracles do happen. 

- ms. J

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An hour isn't long...

I have a very long morning, with no recess or break. At about 10:30, the kids always start asking when lunch is. Today, a kid asked, and I responded it was an hour till lunch. He groaned, like that was an impossibly long time. A classmate didn't think it was long at all, though, because this is what she said. 

"An hour isn't long. That's two shows!" 

Ah, yes. This is how television has impacted our kids. 

-Ms. J

Monday, September 9, 2013

Funniest Compliment Ever

I get lots of compliments from my students - they usually like my hair, my skirt, my shirt, shoes, etc. 

Today I got the most hilarious compliment ever! One little girl complimented me on my left eyebrow. She said she liked how pointy the one part was. 

This is funny to me because I have a scar in my left eyebrow that makes one little part "pointy" and disconnected from the rest of the eyebrow. Most people that notice think I made a mistake plucking my eyebrows. But not this little girl - she likes my goofy eyebrow! 

Gotta love third grade observations :)
-ms. J 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 1? Done.

Finished the first day. Didn't get to half of the stuff I wanted to do. Amazed that 26 kids could talk so much (four were absent). Throat tired and sore from talking so much. Legs aching. Whole body is totally exhausted. Hungry cuz guess who didn't eat her lunch?

But I must say, MY CLASS IS SO STINKIN ADORABLE!!!!!!!!! Love em so much - so cute!

And look what I got this morning? Super fun! 
One of my boys was waiting for the bus today (his bus was over 30 minutes late) and he asked one of the teachers "you know what time it is? Time to get a new bus driver!" 

- exhausted, ms. J

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Night Before School Starts

'tis the night before school starts,
And all through my room,
Everything is in place,
Right down to the broom

The desks are labeled,
And supplies put away
And activities planned
For the very first day

At home, I finish the final preparations,
Bathroom passes,
Name sticks,
And last minute decorations

My lunch is packed,
Gas tank is full,
Teacher bag's ready,
Finally prepared for the first day of school

But what to my swirling thought process arrives,
A staggering thought that impacts my life
Something I've forgotten and can hardly bear....