Saturday, August 26, 2006

TJ Hooky

Have I ever told you about my year in kindergarten? The answer is no I haven't because why would it come up, but it is now time to share. When I was in kindergarten, I was positive that my teacher (Ms. Eubanks, you wretched wench) was a witch and far as I can tell she never proved me wrong. Well, as a result of her witchy ways I would pretty much do anything not to attend her classes. My mom found me hiding in the bushes once after the bus had left, I was always not feeling well and either coming into school late or serving as a permanent fixture in the nurse's office. I remember the time she came to retrieve me from the nurse's office with a footlong kitchen knife. Granted, she was coming to let me know the class was carving the pumpkin, but I knew somewhere in her house were kindergartners that she carved on for sheer joy. I had attended all day preschool at the same Catholic school with no problems, so it was all her.

Well, everyone swears that your kids pay you back for the things you do to your parents, and so I figured Dylan would play this card at some point. Tuesday he was sent home with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (wtf?) and bounced between Jason and the grandmas all week since the school whose carrier monkey babies infected him would not take care of him. I am certain that he has figured out the system and may have possibly ordered samples of the virus on the internet just to get out of school. I didn't watch him at all since I still barely can handle my classes and still don't get the system for subs yet. Anyways, I just want to acknowledge that it is starting and that I hope that Dylan waits to start smoking pot until at least first grade. I know we've got some stuff coming to us, but please not all at once.

One last grudge with Ms. Eubanks, at some point she built a teepee and let two kids a day take their nap in it. I was not a napper, so I would silently lay there. Well, since I didn't actually sleep, she never let me sleep in it, and even started repeating good kids. Whatta skank.

By the way, I had my first student public interaction today. A kid caught me trying on Vans at Journey's in the ghetto mall. I grabbed the size I needed but it was the ugliest print, so I quickly tried to explain that I knew how ugly the shoes I was wearing were. Plus, I couldn't remember his name (though it hit me in the car), so I felt all rude not properly introducing him to Jason and Dylan. I can officially feel like a teacher since hearing "Mrs. Cumberland!" in the mall...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It is all good

Today I went in and it was easier. No awkward feelings all day except when we had a fire drill and I thought, "Interesting, something else has told me what to do about." There was even a fire truck. FYI, you are to grab the roster and usher everyone out. You are not expected to take inventory of the kids while outside though, so take the time to fan your armpits in the 100+ degree heat.

Other than that, I decided to spend my free period grading papers in my mentor's room while she taught. It was a good plan because I found that she didn't have some magical power to fill the mother loving hour and a half, she just had stories of experience that stretched each section out. If only I could fast forward my experience level and have some stories... I guess I will have to be content to straight up make things up

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Faking it until I make it

That dream sequence where I am standing in my underwear in front of everyone was repeated ten times yesterday. I know everyone is dying to hear how my first day went, and feeling like I was in front of the class in my underwear pretty much summed it up. Dramatics and self mutilation was all I could think of last night, that and feverish planning so I would presumably have it all together today.

The first class was homeroom which was the poorly planned (not by me) process of distributing paperwork to an insanely large class. If I didn't look like I had no idea what I was doing, the teacher whose classroom I was in (again, I float) made sure to announce to everyone that this was my first day as a teacher. Bye, bye dignity. Bye, bye chances of respect. Hello, half of those kids being in my English classes and the other half knowing people and quickly telling them I was brand new. (insert razor blade into my thigh here)

The thing is that we usually have block scheduling of four classes a day (I have one off period a day) and homeroom once a week. However, yesterday we had the distict pleasure of having homeroom at both the beginning and end of the day sandwiching in all eight classes. It would seem a 20 minute class would make it easy to blow through the period before the kids got a glimpse at the a-1 moron that would be teaching them, but 5th period was an hour-and-a-half to accomodate lunch, so I was stuck with a class that I had 10-15 minutes of stuff prepared for. The kids were a fun batch, but my training has stuck in my head that any downtime these kids get, especially in the very beginning, sets a tone for the year and so I was left with the knowledge that I had effed myself for the entire year. (make another cut in my thigh here). And don't worry, I even managed to look like a moron for the 20 minute classes too (small cut here).

I am sure that yesterday was hardly a blip on the kids' radar and most of the reason that I am super aware of everything is that these are extremely gifted kids who have pretty high expectations. Seth Cohen's that all know that they know more than me. (small cut here). Did I mention that there was pretty much no AC in the mother loving building?!? (that's the part where I cut my thigh from side to side and then make snow angels in the boiling blood).

My thinking all day yesterday was to just make it though it because this would be the worst day of my career because it was the first and I would never feel as lost and as inadequate as I felt that day. And it is true, today was better and involved no self mutilation urges. I went in unflustered and acted like I had a plan (and I had one) and I dove straight into class discussions. Granted, I still have miles to go, but I was able to get the kids to participate in class discussion sometimes with minimal participation on my part and even got them to read some journals out loud. I was so impressed with what I heard and it stirred up that feeling that made me want to teach in the first place. Still, I can hardly wait til vacation time!

Also, Dylan just started his third week back in day care and he still screams like they are putting needles in his eyes when I put him down there. I can usually still here him screaming when I am getting back in my car, which is a great feeling since his classroom is in the back of the school. He even cries when he sees me come to pick him up, like by coming back I have poured salt in the wound created by leaving him in the first place. I am assured that he is fine the rest of the day, but gee whiz!! The school also makes him wear closed toe shoes at all times and despite going and getting him fitted for shoes, I have been all over town returning shoes and switching sizes. After sending back much more expensive shoes, I ended up with the only two shoes that even fit - a $5 pair of Vans sneakers and a $5 pair of Skechers. The Vans are in the pic below, I think he looks very cool and we got quite the deal. He is big on trying to shake everyone's hand right now, hence the outreaching hand...


Thursday, August 10, 2006

The kids are coming...

...on Monday and there is nothing I can do to stop them. Here's an update on school: tomorrow is free day for us to get our keys and random stuff settled and then Monday is the real deal. We usually do block scheduling, but on that day we go through all 8 class periods as well as advocacy period. So I can't be too scared because I will only see the kids for 20 minutes there, and there isn't much I can do to look like a moron during that time. A lot of us, especially the new hires, have to float which means we don't have a classroom. I was sad for two minutes until I realized that the teacher whose room you are teaching in has to hang out somewhere else during their free time while you are in there, so essentially they don't get their own space either. I scored a cubicle in the little floater lounge, so really I am better off than those teachers because I have somewhere away from the students to go hide and look at KNK on the sly and students can't get in there. I am glad to have two weeks of power point presentations behind me, and thankfully they reminded us today that the kids already have enough friends and that we shouldn't sexually harrass them.

So that's how my days are going, but how are my nights and weekends you ask? We are in the midst of working on the renovation of the master bed and bath, and this week the dude came and floated and taped the sheetrock in the bathroom (the only thing we stopped doing ourselves) and we went ahead and had him paint all the remaining wood colored trim. Everytime I work on this house, I curse the losers who lived here before and thought it would be timeless to have bars on the windows and pink and teal tile. I was removing the bars today and hoping the prior owners are chained to those bars in hell for eternity. Anyways, to paint the trim the closet contents had to be removed. My shoes all got dumped in the tub which was sitting in the master bedroom waiting to be installed after the sheetrock was completed and our closets are laying all over our bed and Dylan's room. Sadly, we won't have bedroom and closet doors for awhile wither. That wasn't a total party, but here are some pics including the new Peanut Butter bedroom / bath walls and a reminder of what we started with in the bathroom:
2004-01-29 Foxwood Master Bath 2 2006-08-03 Foxwood Master PB Closet 2006-08-03 Foxwood Master Tub Shoes 2006-07-30 Foxwood Master Heart