Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Most Stressful Day Ever!

This morning started out just like any other morning.  I got up at 5:15 and left the house for work at 6:15.  I walked into my classroom at 6:30 and BLAM!  The stress had begun.  Upon walking into my room I see that my fish tanks are VERY cloudy and one of the air pumps completely stopped working.  Now, let me give you a brief background of the situation.  I was out of school yesterday for professional development and one of my co-workers found that my air pump was not working AND that one of my goldfish was dead (big surprise, right?).  She decided to be helpful and put the living goldfish with the guppies.  Since that is not a good idea I immediately called her and told her to put the goldfish back in his bowl.  A lot more happened, but that is the most important for you to know.  Okay, so I walk into my room and see a cloudy mess in the goldfish tank AND the guppy tank.  Since the guppy tank was messed with the filter was all out of place and there wasn't enough water in the tank.  I could literally feel the stress balling up in my chest.  I tried to take care of the fish situation the best I could and then moved on to the next fiasco.  The very kind and helpful sub stacked all of my chairs.  I suppose she thought she was helping, but all it did was create more work for me.  Moving on I could not find the book of the week.  I had no idea where the sub placed it and it took me a very long time to find it.  I spent my whole preparation time looking for books, tending to fish, and setting up chairs.  By the time my students came into the room at 7:15 I was a mess.  I thought my chest was going to explode!

 Thankfully, they had special areas at 7:30 and that gave me a little more time to get my morning work ready.  The kids drove me crazy all day.  I knew that it was partly my fault because I was in such a bad mood, but I just felt like they wouldn't stay still or be quiet!  I decided that I needed to come up with a math activity that would take a long time and keep them busy.  Cutting ALWAYS takes a long time, so since we are doing measurement I thought they could trace their feet, cut the template, and measure their feet with blocks.  I was sure this would take at least 45 minutes...I was very wrong.  It took them about 10 minutes!  I could not believe it.  

As you know, I have been selected to get a Smart Table.  YAY, right?  Well, that means I need to make room for the table in my tiny little classroom.  The table is coming tomorrow and I have very few outlets in my room.  Earlier today I found out that I am also receiving an incubator tomorrow.  YAY, right?  Well guess what?  That also needs to be plugged in and I need to find room for that as well!  So my dear friend and mentor MD came into my room to "help" me.  The problem was that I was already very overwhelmed.  My other dear friend CH and her wonderful assistant also came in to help.  I appreciate their effort, but it was all just too much for me to handle and I didn't end up changing much.  My anxiety had peaked, and I wasn't sure my poor heart could take it.

This may not sound so bad to anybody else, but for some reason I was just beyond stressed.  I still have a little tightness in my chest, but I feel a zillion times better.  Sometimes being a teacher just stresses me out!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Smart Table Pilot

I recently found out that I will be part of a team piloting a Smart Table program for our district.  A Smart Table is similar to a Smartboard, but it has like fifty points of touch!  The teacher creates interactive lessons for small groups of students and they can all interact with the product at the same time.  The reason I was chosen for this pilot is because when our district was doing walk throughs in the fall, I happened to be doing AWSOME Smartboard lessons both times!  One of the people in the walk through was the head of the technology department.  When the pilot program was announced, my name was thrown in to the list of possible participants.  I am one of only three teachers in the district involved in this pilot!!  Last night was my first training.  I think it's going to be a lot of fun!  My students will be so excited and I truly believe it will make small group centers a lot more effective.  I sure hope this is a sign that I will be invited back for a second school year!

Goodbye George and Gloria!

This week we started a new science unit on animals.  The first week of the unit teaches students about guppies and goldfish.  I went to the store and spend a ridiculous amount of my very own money to buy all of the necessary supplies, including the fish.  I bought all of these supplies on Saturday and set them up in my living room.  I bought two goldfish, and four guppies.  Let's just say that only two fish made it to work on Monday morning.  The guppies just didn't make it.  I believe I rushed the setup and the water just wasn't good for the poor fish.  So, Monday morning I took my fish tanks and fish to work and set them up before the students got there.  I was very excited!  Not only was it new fish day, it was also Valentine's day.  When the kids arrived at school they were so happy and excited to see our fish!  They checked on them frequently and named them George, and Gloria.  By the middle of the day I could tell that George and Gloria were not feeling well.  They were swimming kinda crooked and sideways.  I just knew that they weren't going to make it through the night.  The following morning, poor Gloria and George were floating at the top of the tank.   I laughed out loud when I saw them because I just couldn't believe that I had killed six fish in a matter of three days!  My students trickled in slowly that morning.  I told one student who then spread the news to the rest of the students.  Throughout the day I think they told EVERYONE in the school that George and Gloria had died.  Some of them were really sad.  Our favorite teacher Ms. D. told the kids that the fish were in a better place now.  One of the kids responded by saying, "No, Mrs. Hainey put them down the toilet".  I just love those guys!  After the kids left I emptied the tank and refilled it.  It's been running for a few days now and tomorrow it will be the home for two new goldfish and three guppies (assuming they make it through the night!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today was a very challenging day!  My students were beyond excited about Valentine's Day and therefore my morning was a little off schedule.  The students kept coming in one by one and showing me the valentines or treats that they brought in to share.  Now, I sent home a note explicitly stating that  I ONLY wanted individually wrapped treats that could be placed in bags and sent home.  I had TWO students bring in cupcakes!  These parents can't follow directions any better than their children! Aside from cards and treats, I also got some treats!  My students brought me candy, cards, and a coffee mug with a bear. Another exciting thing about today was the introduction of our two goldfish George and Gloria.  My students were oober excited and wanted to check on the fish all day long.  I had to warn the students that sometimes fish don't live long.  This was an important conversation because I had just killed four guppies in a matter of two days!  Hopefully I am a better teacher than fish owner!  As the day went on it continued to be very hectic.  I think it was worse than Christmas!  I was a patient as possible and we made it through.  My students gave me tons of hugs and kind words all day long.  One students said "Mrs. Hainey, I just love you.  You have beautiful eyes."  I just smiled and told him thanks!  I love those kids more than I ever would have imagined. 

I do have one student we'll call ZS who I am having a very hard time falling in love with.  He is the newest student in my room and he is a big pain in my rear.  I actually didn't allow him to participate in our festivities and he didn't really seem to care...UNTIL he realized that I was not going to give him his valentines bag of treats.  He cried and cried.  I did not feel the least bit bad for him.  Hopefully he will have a better day tomorrow and I will give him his bag.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Mrs. Hainey! I'm gonna tear your room up!

Today was my birthday!  My students were very excited.  I have been hyping this day up for the past month or so, and my students were eager to celebrate!  When my students walked into the classroom they bombarded me with birthday wishes and hugs.  They told me about everything they were going to give me, and they grinned from ear to ear.  Since my students thought I was 99 years old, one child asked me if I had turned 100!  I just love my students!  My friend MP started my day off with a basket of candy AND a helium balloon!  She and her roommate also made me brownies!  Throughout the day I was given many birthday wishes from students I don't even know.  I think it is so cool that kids who don't even know me got so excited about my birthday!  It also happened to be one of my student's birthdays.  I didn't mind sharing my day until...her mother and about ten other people showed up at my classroom door twenty minutes before school ended.  They had their arms full of cupcakes, icecream and gifts.  There were children EVERYWHERE!  We got through the chaos and mess with few problems.  Just as it was time to get ready to go, the mom broke the news to her girls (I have sisters in my classs) that they were to take the bus home.  One of the girls broke down and had the biggest tantrum I have ever witnessed!  She kicked and screamed and cried as if she was never going to see her mother again.  Her mother left and she still continued to have a fit!  I tried to ignore her but she started acting like she was going to run out of my room.  I told her that if she left my room I was going to call the police.  I needed to get my other students to the bus, so I asked my assistant to call the office to get some help.  While I was lining my kids up in the hall the student started to tear my room apart!  I was beyond angry.  The office was able to stop her mother on the way to her car and made her come get the student.  When the mom arrived I said " Your daughter just tore my room up!"  I was not smiling.  The mother LAUGHED and said "I'm sorry Mrs. Hainey, I know it's not funny.  I'm gonna tear her up when she gets home".  I was so pissed that she laughed.  I got right in that childs face and told her that she had better not act like that in my class again.  Since it was my birthday I decided to vent my frustrations to another teacher and let it go.  I had such a great birthday that I didn't want to let one spoiled child ruin my day.