Thursday, January 27, 2011

First Sick Day

Wednesday morning I woke up with a very sore throat.  I didn't realize that I was actually sick until I was half way to work.  My throat hurt, my head hurt, my neck hurt, and I was cranky.  I knew that it was going to be a tough day, so I warned my students that I wasn't feeling well.  They were very sweet.  All day long they would remind each other not to make me yell or upset me because my throat was hurting.  I just love those kids!  They day was long and I snapped a little more than I normally would.  I had decided that I should stay a little later that afternoon and get some sub plans ready just in case I was unable to go to work the following day.  By the time the students had all left I just couldn't bring myself to stay.  I was sure I'd be fine in the morning.

When I got home I had a FEVER!  I have not had a fever in many years and decided to go to the doctors.  While there was nothing diagnosable wrong with me, I decided that a fever was a good reason to call in sick the following day.  I called my friend MP and asked her to please give sub plans to my sub in the morning.  She quickly reminded me that I vowed not to get sick and agreed to pass the plans on.  Unfortunately the school email was down and the plans never made it to my sub!  As I sit here writing this blog I can't help but wonder what my kids did all day.  I was surprisingly relaxed today and didn't worry about them as much as I thought I would.  My fever seems to be gone and I plan on returning to work tomorrow.  I am looking forward to the hugs, comments, and questions that my fabulous students will be full of tomorrow!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I have a student that is frustrating me beyond belief.  She seems to have learned almost nothing so far this year.  She cannot identify most alphabet letter, numbers, colors, or shapes.  She cannot count past six or seven.  She just recently learned to write her names but she still can't always identify the letters in her name.  I've worked with her in small groups, individually, got her a tutor, and send her to the interventionist.  Nothing seems to work.  She is very hard working and truly wants to learn and so I keep on trying. 

Yesterday I decided to start small and work on the color red.  I took an index card and wrote with a red marker the word red.  I also drew a red blob on the card.  I handed her the card and told her that we needed to find everything red in the school.  I pointed to the red blob and said "B this is the color red.  What color is it?"  She replied "Red".  So off we went.  She pointed to several red items in the hallway before I realized that she was finding red items, but wasn't calling them red.  So I said to her " What color are we looking for?"  She said "Green".  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  So I calmly said "No B, this is the color red.  We are looking for things that are red".  So we continued to find things that are red and I made sure that she identified the objects as red.  After about ten minutes I said "Ok, what color are we looking for?" And she said "Green".  THREE times she told me that we were looking for things that are green!

Our walk ended for the day but by the end of the year this child WILL be able to identify the color red!

Funny Things My Kids Say

Since I have become a teacher I have laughed so hard that tears ran down my face.  My students say the funniest things!  I wish I had written these things down earlier because I definately can't remember them.  As I remember them and as they happen, I will be sure to add them to this post.

Me: D, you are crazy.
DW: (Looks at me) What about you?

Student: I hate white people.
Me: You hate white people?  I'm white and you don't hate me.
Student: You're white?

Me: Who is George Washington?
Student: The first white president!

Co-worker: Wow Mrs. Hainey you are amazing with the Smartboard.
Student: Yeah, she got skills.

Student: Look Mrs. Hainey, I finished!
Me: Good job, do it one more time!
Student: Aw crap!

Me: What are some reasons that people go to the doctors?
KB: To get a colonoscopy

Lies I've told my students:
1. I am 99 years old
2. I can see their brains through their ears.
3. The holiday elf watches to see if we are behaving or not.
4. I have magic dust in my pocket to heal minor injuries.
5. I am allergic to oranges and cannot help them peel.
6. If I am wearing angry eyes I will get wrinkles, and Mr. Hainey does not want me to have wrinkles.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Bad Day

Today was a difficult day for everyone!  It started first thing in the morning, my students would not stop talking and wiggling!  It didn't help that I was tired.  Last week was such an off week with all the snow days and delays that we were all having a hard time getting into the swing of things.  During our morning language arts centers I had to do the middle of the year Dominie testing.  I put my assistant in charge of the center rotations and she did her best, but somehow things got messed up and kids were all over the place!  I wanted to pull my hair out!  By the time we did math in the afternoon I was on a short fuse.  I had been yelling all day long and I had enough.  In the middle of my lesson, I threw my hands up and walked out of the room for a good ten minutes!  I knew that my assistant was giving them a talking to.  When I got back my kids behaved for about five minutes and then it was back to the talking and wiggling.  I guess these days are bound to happen from time to time, I just hope they don't happen very often.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Days In The South

Because I am from the north, snow is not such a big deal to me.  Southerners are not so used to the snow, and it is a big deal!  Last Monday we got a snow storm and got about six inches of accumulation.  The roads were slippery and dangers, so we had a snow day.  I didn't bring any work home with me and therefore had nothing to do but lounge around my house and cuddle up with my couch.  That night the news announced that Tuesday would also be a snow day.  Since the state doesn't own many plows and has little road salt, many of the side streets were still fairly dangerous and there was a fear of black ice.  I was ok with that, but I found myself very bored!  I actually "braved" the roads and brought lunch to my husband at work.  The roads were perfectly fine, and for the most part they were dry.  That evening it was announced that Wednesday would also be a snow day.  I was dumbfounded.  Apparently many people were still fearful of black ice.  I immediately made plans with several co-workers for lunch.  We had a great time at lunch and we discussed our prediction for the following days school schedule.  The roads were completely dry and there was no doubt in my mind that school would be opened for business!  That night around 8:00 it was declared that we would have a two hour delay!  YAY!  I could handle a two hour delay.  The next morning I slept in an extra two hours and went to work.  What I couldn't understand was how a two hour delay was even helpful.  The temperature at 9:00 was still below freezing, so how was it any safer than it was at 7:00?  I got to work and people were hooting and holloring about school not being closed and I just kept my mouth shut (for the most part).  I only had twelve students show up, and we had a pretty relaxed day.  The kids were so excited to tell me all that they did during their very long weekend.  It's amazing how magical snow is to young children.  I was really happy to be back to work.  Today we had another pointless two hour delay, but I enjoyed the extra sleep and the stress free day that comes with a two hour delay.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Kids Are Learning!

For the first several weeks I felt as if I was the worst teacher ever.  I didn't think my students were learning anything!  Everyone kept telling me that I was doing awsome, but I truly didn't believe them.  Sometimes I still don't believe them.  After a few hard weeks of school I realized that my kids are in fact learning.  The first time that they could tell me the days of the week independently I could feel tears of pride swell up in my eyes.  The feeling of accomplishment I have when my students are successful is amazing.  I know that I am not perfect, and that I am still learning a lot, but I am so proud of the progess my students are making so far. 

Losing The Kids You Love

I work in a very transient school and I was warned that kids would come and go.  I didn't realize the emotional effect it would have on me.  I have noticed that most teachers celebrate when they find out that they are losing a students.  I sometimes wonder if I am the only teacher who is truly attached to her students.  I have lost three students so far, but one of them brought me to tears.  On the very first day of school TW walked into my room bawling!  I thought it was because it was his first day of kindergarten and he was scared, but I quickly learned that TW was a tantrumer!  It didn't help that the poor kid could hardly speak and had hearing loss that was not being taken care of.  This child threw huge tantrums, refused to follow directions when he didn't get his way, hit other children, and wiggled his way into my heart. Teachers would comment about him all the time.  They would say things like "better you than me" or "Someone needs to get a belt out", but I always felt that he needed me.  I loved that naughty child!  One afternoon I took him to the office for striking another child.  It just so happened that his guardian was in the office withdrawing him from school.  I was devestated and immediately began to cry.  Teachers said "I bet you're glad to get rid of him"  or "It's about time", but I was feeling a deep sense of loss.  I love my students and losing each one is difficult, but losing this one was the most difficult so far.

My Very First Kindergarteners

I will never forget the first day I spent with students.  I was a bundle of nerves.  College does not prepare you for what you should do your first day, or how caotic dismissal time will be.  I had met the school's queen of negativity and she warned me about the type of students I would be getting.  She assured me that I had never worked with students "like these".  I tried to ignore her and stay positive.  I had worked with poor and very needy children and families before, how different could these kids be?  Even though I was staying positive I was still nervous.  My students trickled in that day and I began to get to know them.  I had some cryers, some talkers, and even some tantrumers, but by the end of the day I fell in love with every single one of them.  My students can be very challenging, but I cannot imagine having a better group of kids for my first year teaching.

First Year Teacher

In May 2010 I graduated from Columbia College with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  Even though I was a brand new graduate in the field, I was by no means a newbie to the classroom.  I spent seven years as a teaching assistant in several grade levels.  Being an assistant gave me great experience, but it did not prepare me for my very first year teaching!  The first thing I had to do after graduation was find a job.  This was not easy!  I sent out resume after resume.  I called and emailed every school in my county and the surrounding counties, and I did a lot of praying.  My first interview was beyond horrible!  I was so embarrassed when I finished.  Even though I bombed my interview I kept my head up and kept trying.  In the beginning of August I finally got the call I was waiting for.  I got the interview that would land me my first teaching job!  I was so happy when I found out I would be teaching kindergarten!

I thought that as a first year teacher I would have a lot of support.  I was wrong.  I was actually an added class and therefore I had NO supplies when I arrived.  I had to put together a brand new classroom.  Without going into a lot of detail, let's just say that I had very little support and I felt like I was thrown to the lions!  I had no idea what I was doing or what was expected of  me!  After a few months I met the most wonderful woman who really helped me find my way.  If it wasn't for her I would still be lost! 

I have been teaching for five months now, and I will focus this blog on my struggles, realizations, funny, and heart warming moments.