Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Week I Fell In Love!

Every year I meet new children that touch my heart.  I have my favorite classes and my favorite students from over the years, but I fall in love with every student every year.  This year is no exception!  I have only had my new babies for two days, but I am so in love!  So far I have eleven little smiling faces in my class and I haven't had any bad behaviors yet!  I have had to redirect some behaviors such as running, talking about farts and poop, calling people "Bruh", and talking during rest time, but that is to be expected when working with four year olds.  It amazes me how deep the human heart is.  It seems to have a limitless capacity to hold love.  I've had some years where I thought my heart would burst with joy and love, but it just keeps expanding. I mentioned that I only have eleven students, and that's what makes me nervous.  My program requires me to have twenty students and therefore, I know that nine more kiddos with be joining me.  I am fearful that the new kids will be my problem children.  Last year I had a class FULL of difficult behaviors, and I feel like this year is starting off too good to be true!  Let's hope that God is rewarding me for making it through such a tough year.

Another AMAZING thing happened to me this year.  I got a new assistant!!!!  My assistant has been working with me for about two weeks, but she has brought so much "Joy" into my job!  I wish I could mention her name, but I haven't asked her permission, so I'll just say she is very Joy-ful.  She has gone above and beyond all of my expectations so far.  She is young, smart, funny, and very hard working.  I enjoy talking to her, joking around, and laughing throughout the day.  The students seem to like her so far as well.  She has no problem redirecting behaviors, and following through with consequences she sets.  Sometimes I have to remind her that our children are only four years old, and have never been to school before, but I think she'll be just fine!

I am super excited about this school year.  I have so many ideas and I feel SO good!  I haven't felt like this in a long time.  I actually wake up looking forward to going to work.  I went to a workshop the first week back about writers workshop for pre-k.  It was so eye opening and I cannot wait to begin the program in my class.  Last year I was so miserable that I didn't do awesome things...and I am a pretty awesome person, so that was a little out of character for me!  This year my team is planning new and exciting field trips, making plans for parent involvement, getting special guests into our classrooms, and having a spectacular year!

I'd like to end this post with some funny things I've heard so far, from kids and adults.

Student: I'm different
Me: You are?
Students: Yes, I'm from the future.

Me: I have some at my house.
Student: You have a house?
Me: Yes.
Student: I didn't know teachers had houses.
Me: Where did you think we lived?
Student:.....I don't know

Student: Hey Bruh! What's up?
My assistant: His name is not Bruh.

Student high fives me, puts up to fingers and says "Deuces!"

Insurance agent: So, it says here that you signed up in Oh-Ten. (He said this twice...I laughed out loud both times)

Fire Safety answering machine: Thank you for calling and have a fire safe day!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A New School Year and A Fresh Start: Mrs. Hainey's Class Is A Drama Free Zone

I didn't realize how long it had been since I last updated this blog!  It was a tough year, and I did a lot of venting in my posts, but this year I am determined to do things differently!  I had such a difficult year that I decided I don't really like teaching preschool.  I don't know whether it was the group of kids I had, the staff I worked with, the program itself, or the stress going on in my personal life that make me dislike teaching that grade level.  I'm sure it was a combination of all of them.  Regardless of the reason, I asked my principal to transfer to me back to kindergarten.  I love teaching kindergarten so much, and I know I was good at it.  As luck would have it, a kindergarten position opened up, but my principal decided to interview for the position anyways.  She told me that she would keep the people she interviewed in mind for the preschool position and she'd let me know.  I know she's already hired someone, and she hasn't gotten back to me yet.  This leads me to believe that I will be stuck in pre-k again.  At  first I was upset about this, but then I realized a few things.  First, I don't know for sure where she's going to place me because she simply hasn't told me.  It seems likely that I'll be in pre-k, but I'll just have to wait and see.  Second, I became a teacher because I love children and want to make a difference in there lives.  I cannot make a positive impact on them if I am angry about having to teach them.  Third, if I don't like teaching pre-k, I can always look for another position next year.  I need to do my best and fix the things that I did wrong last year in order to see if I like that grade level or not.  Last year was such a disaster that I really shouldn't judge whether I like it or not according to my last experience. 

I've never been a very negative person.  I try to stay out of drama, and find the good in a situation.  Last year I seemed to be immersed in the drama, sometimes creating it myself.  I also found myself viewing things with a negative attitude before I gave them a chance.  This year I am going to try to get back to my positive self.  I am going to make a bracelet that reminds me to be patient and kind.  I am going to try to have a yell free classroom, and I am going to try not to complain as much.  Last year I did so much complaining that my co-workers and friends and probably sick of me!

I have already started planning for next year.  I have submitted a donors choose project that will be useful in either kindergarten or preschool.  I haven't gotten many donations, but I'm hoping that as the school year approaches I will get more help.  I am asking for more audio books and some personal cd players.  My children will benefit from these items because they will be able to listen to books on their own levels and find a quiet comfortable spot to listen and read.  I am really excited about this project!

One bit of possible good news is that my very good friend RP interviewed for a position at my school.  I am really hoping she gets the position.  She and I went through undergrad together, student taught together, supported each other during our first job interviews, and even started grad school together.  She is a brilliant woman who ALWAYS finds the sparkle of good in a bad situation.  I need someone like her around to help me stay on track and focus on my goals.  It will be great to have RP and MP at school to share laughter, frustration, and success with.

This coming school year is going to be different. I don't know if it will be better, or worse, but I will do my best and I will remain positive.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Mystery of the Missing Duck Eggs

Today I was a complete and total jerk.  The day started off just fine.  I had a substitute assistant and a couple of my difficult students were out today.  I've been talking to my students about the duck eggs I am expecting to arrive in our classroom.  I've had to tell them that they are never allowed to touch the incubator and that they must stay quiet in our classroom so that we don't scare the eggs.  I might have told them that the ducks won't come out if we're too loud.  So I expected my eggs to be delivered either today, or tomorrow and I  was getting pretty excited.  It got to be about 12:00 and I hadn't received the eggs yet.  I decided to check the donors choose website to see if there was a tracking number.  When I clicked on the link to the project there was in fact a tracking number and the delivery date was the 6th!  Today is the 7th and so I was very upset that nobody had informed me of the egg arrival.  I called my best JPT friend and asked her to come to my room so that I could go retrieve my eggs.  I marched myself down to the office and demanded my eggs, but nobody knew anything about them.  We searched high and low for those silly eggs but could not find them.  Eventually we did an all call asking people to check their rooms for my box of eggs.  At this point I was upset, but I wasn't sure who I should be upset with!  I was pretty sure that nothing malicious was done, but I still couldn't figure out who would take a box of eggs.  The poor woman who signed for my package felt so bad!

After school was let out my dear friend MP helped me search for the eggs.  I was so upset!  The eggs were very expensive and I knew that if I didn't get them incubated immediately they probably would not develop. We looked for about half an hour before MP said " Are you sure they were delivered?"  And I said "Yes!  And they were signed for at 11:42 yesterday morning!"  MP stopped for a second and said "Let's look at the tracking one more time."  I said "Fine, but I've already looked twice!" 

We went to my room and looked at the tracking number and realized that my order was broken into two parts.  One part was the incubator and one was the eggs.  I did in fact receive the incubator, but the eggs had not even shipped yet!  I felt like a real fact, I still feel like a jerk.  I will be apologizing to these poor people for weeks.  I may have to name my ducklings after them.

The good news is that I will get the eggs tomorrow.  Hopefully I will be forgiven and one day hold my head up high again!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sometimes I Get Mad

When I first started this blog it was a cold snowy day in South Carolina.  There were a few inches of snow on the ground and of course schools were closed!  I wanted to document my adventures as a new teacher and share my experiences with my friends and family.  Last year was an awesome year!  I don't think I could have asked for a better first year of teaching.  This year has been a bit different.  I have had a lot more obstacles to overcome and have felt discouraged many times.  I haven't blogged much this year because we don't do the awesome activities we did last year.  My kids are younger and we tend to do the same activities over and over.  Sometimes I get bored with the routine!  The purpose if this entry is to express some of my frustrations.  Even though this year has been full of frustrations, yesterday's seemed to hit me harder than others.

It really bothers me when the needs of students do not come first.  Some people come to work for the paycheck and never really stop and think about what's best for the children.  Working with children is hard work.  It really doesn't matter if you are a teacher, an assistant, a therapist, or a lunch lady.  Everyone who works with should have an understanding that the kids come first.  Since this is a public blog I cannot go into exact details about what happened yesterday.  I am going to do my best to tell my story without mentioning names or positions.

When I got to work yesterday I was in a pleasant mood.  I picked my kids up from the cafeteria at 7:30 and walked them to class.  A co-worker brought the rest of my class to my room at 8:00 and then informed me that she had to leave my room to do something else.  Her job at 8:00 is to help my kids get unpacked and settled so that I can begin instruction.  Even though what she had to do was valid, I was upset because it seems like there is ALWAYS some reason why she can't interact with the kids and do her job.  Not only does that make my job harder, it also makes the day harder for the kids.  My students are only four years old and they need constant supervision.  If I am the only one supervising and interacting with them, they tend to get into trouble.  A good example of this happened yesterday.  While I was administering our district mid-year math assessment this co-worker was supposed to monitor students while they working in centers.  Instead of interacting with them and walking around the room, she stood in one spot with her back to the kids and had students writing their names.  My students took advantage of the situation and dumped all my toys all over the room!  They got in big trouble and it took a long time to clean up!

Another thing that really makes me mad is when students do not get the services they need.  This also happened yesterday.  I probably didn't handle the situation as professionally as I should have, but I was very angry.  As some people here say, my NY attitude came out.  One of my students needed to be screened for services but the person who provides the screening refused to come pick him up from my classroom.  Keep in mind that I have twenty students and she has one.  Also keep in mind that I am not ever supposed to be alone with all twenty students (although it happens) and neither is my assistant.  Without going into the ugly details I can say that the principal had to get involved, I had to clear up some misleading information that was given to the principal about my part in this conflict, and I ended up having to walk the child to the screening.  I was not told to walk him by the principal, I  had to do it because my student needed the screening and the screener is a bully.  Yes, many teachers and school staff are bullies.  This probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but this happens all the time and the children aren't getting the services they need because teachers are not always available to walk their students to their needed appointments.

To top it all off I had about five students step in dog poop during recess.  This wouldn't have been such a big deal if they had told me about, but they didn't.  When we came inside and layed down I smelled poop.  I couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from, so I asked my kids if they had to use the bathroom, or if someone had an accident.  After a few minutes student after student let me know that they had stepped in poop.  So, not only was there poop on their shoes, it was also on their clothes, on their mats, and in my carpet.  It was great fun cleaning that all up and calling parents to get changes of clothes.

This has nothing to do with school, but I had an appointment after work.  When I go to the office there was a notice on the door that they had relocated!  Don't you think they would have told me that when I called to make the appointment!? I managed to laugh about it instead of adding to my frustration from the day, but geez! What a day!

I promise my next blog will not be a venting session.  In fact, it will probably be about my duck eggs or my new playground equipment!  Our eggs are due to be delivered in early February and most of our playground equipment came yesterday!!