Thursday, November 13, 2008

25 and I'm Still Alive!

I am at 25 students and have lived to tell about it! Hooray. Knock on wood, my three new ones this week are pretty good and have transitioned nicely. I am feeling the pressure however, especially since our buzz-word this year is "accountability." How ironic.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rough Day

I got a call last night about one of my student's 3-year old brother who got run over with a lawn mower. His foot got caught and was distributed all over the lawn. The family dog got a hold of some of the pieces and my student (his sister) saw the dog with a piece before the ambulance arrived. It was an emotional night and morning. She's doing okay though. Read the story HERE

At lunch, I found out I'm getting ANOTHER student. That makes 25! I'm going to check over my contract later on to see what the wording is because 25 is my cap. We'll see!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Phew! I haven't had many moments to stop and catch my breath these past two weeks. I have been constantly on the move!  Where to begin? 

Extended Day.
Yep, I took an after-school tutoring job. I just couldn't say no ($45 an hour and I stay in my own classroom!). Our "Extended Day" program is twice a week (one hour a day) for students in third, fourth, and fifth grade who need an extra little boost in reading. My district is doing this to better their scores on the CMT (Connecticut Mastery Test) and for No Child Left Behind. My group includes 9 third graders (7 of my own and 2 from the other class). We're practicing fluency by doing Reader's Theaters and reading (and singing!) song lyrics. I've downloaded children's' songs like "The Green Grass Grew All Around" and "Boom, Boom, Ain't it Great to Be Crazy?" and Beatles songs (which they LOVE). We're doing "Yellow Submarine" and "Good Day Sunshine." Since I don't (and can't) sing, I play these songs via my iPhone into my classroom tape player/radio. 

Thank God they're over! Last week was conference week. I had to meet with 22 parents (plus have a phone conference). Each conference lasts 15 minutes. You do the math. Wednesday our conferences were scheduled from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  We had a half day of school and, stupid me, I decided to stay at school to get work done. Well, I did get plenty done but boy was I fried come 8:00! Especially since I had been there since 7:00 a.m. Needless to say, on Thursday I came home for 2 hours in between the end of school and the beginning of conferences. Friday was our last conference day, our "early" day as our conferences were scheduled from 1:00-3:00. I, of course, had a parent say she couldn't come at her scheduled time of 2:30 but wanted a 3:15 appointment. I relented. Pete, God bless him, took me out to eat at the Olive Garden that night.
Yes, we're still getting wood. This past Saturday (day after my week of conference Hell) we did a "quickie" run to my parents' house for a load and a little bit of splitting. We knew it was going to rain mid-afternoon and evening and we wanted to make the most of the dry weather. We got back to our house around 2:00 p.m. and it had just started to drizzle. We figured we'd unload our wood anyway. Well, the drizzling stopped but, in doing so, it began to do something else: pour. Yep, you guessed it! We stuck it out and continued to unload our truck and stack the wood (outside, mind you) in the pouring rain. Pete and I were both soaked when we finished. We haven't gotten wet like that since our mid-winter window well fiasco in 2007!

New Students.
Yes, that's students, plural. It's not like I had a big class to begin with! (Ha Ha!). I am now up to 24 kids. The biggest third grade in my district. (We have, let's see, 17 or 18 third grade classes in my district. Geesh, what an honor!) Yesterday I was running around like a mad woman trying to get folders, pencils, name plates, etc. all in order. The custodian never came in to adjust my new desks and one of the lockers I was going to use was stuck. My two new ones (a boy and a girl) seemed like they had a good start. The boy has a lot of baggage (attacking people at home with kitchen knives and screwdrivers, among other things) but has had a lot of intervention and is hopefully on the mend.

The bain of my existence!! The weekends are filled with wood cutting and Pete's days off have been filled with, you guessed it, foul weather. Our yard was a complete disaster and, to make matters worse, we have to do his mother's yard too. Pete's days off this week (Thursday and Friday) are predicted be very wet. We can't do leaves in that! Seeing as today was a holiday and I didn't have school, I resolved myself to do the leaves solo. I was prepared. After talking to my mom this morning at 7:00, she told me that she and Pop were going to come out and help me. Hallelujah! I began my intense raking at 8:00. I raked out all of my flower beds and gardens and finished at 10:00. I then called Pete and had him walk me through the process of starting our backpack leaf blower. I then operated that baby until my parents arrived at 10:30. All three of us then blew the leaves in our front yard into the woods (they too, both had backpack blowers). Shortly thereafter, we moved into the back yard and created two large piles closer to my neighbor's yard. On the other side of the yard, we again blew the leaves into the woods. When we were finished, we went back to the piles and raked them onto a tarp. We then dragged the tarp into the woods. We repeated that about 8 times in the back and about 4 times in the front (we had a large pile closer to the house). We came in for a quick lunch at noon and then we were back out. We finally finished at 2:00 this afternoon.  Phew! Oh, yes, we still have to do mom-in-law's leaves. Perhaps Sunday? Maybe in the rain? Ugh!

As you can see, I've been....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Election Day

I have performed my civic duty and now it's your turn....


This is an important and very historic election and I am glad to be a part of it!