Thursday, September 30, 2010

un dia de trabajo, sin los niños

Y si, lo disfruté mucho. Estabamos trabajando para escribir escalas para usar para evaular el progreso de los niños entre kinder y quinto. Y una sustituta que al parecer no hizo mucho con mis niños...

Por suerte mi otra mitad estuvo alli para ayudarla con mis niños malitos.

En otras noticias...

Este fin de semana a Swint! Voy a poder salir a correr con mi amiga, comer s'mores, y hacer muchas otras cosas divertidas. Mientras no me encencio, todo bien!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

semana larga...

Semana larga. Parece que cada semana es larga, ahora. Un día más de escuela, y yo cansada para el fin de semana, ya. Un día más....

Lo que ha hecho sentir más largo aún a esta semana....Martes, cena con gentes de RISC que están de visita en la escuela, y miercoles, tutoria con una niña que conozco...

Días largas, todas. Y los niños, locos con la luna llena....Aunque los niños me dicen que no deben hablar mientras hacen varias cosas, siguen hablando. Ni podemos terminar de decir que no deben hablar, y ya están hablando. No se si están demaciados emocionados por lo que estamos haciendo, o que por fin pueden ir a torturar a sus padres en vez de a mi, pero el volumen dentro de mi sala me hace querer morir. Oh, los niños....

Y siendo jueves, llegue tarde, otra vez, pero a una casa vacía....mi esposito anda en un asunto de la iglesia, y yo con ninguna gana de ver a otras personas. Tuve la idea de salir a correr, pero me senté un minuto para llamar a esposito, y todavia estoy sentada una hora despues.....

O, querido señor, dame energia, paciencia, y cariño para mis estudiantes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

18 septiembre

Ayer fue el 18 de septiembre, el día más importante en la vida de muchos chilenos. Para mi chilenito, era un día triste, sin celebración, lejos de su familia. Y yo con otros planes, más encima.

En la mañana, yo salí con dos amigas a correr un 5K. Cuando regresamos, mi esposito nos sacó algunas fotitos y nos regaloneamos un poco, y después tuvimos una pelea pequeña y me fui a buscar otra amiga para ir a la piscina (planes previas). Antes que volví de la piscina, esposito fue a vender asientos durante un partido de fútbol americano.

Después de la pelea, no nos vimos en todo el día.

Así que hoy, mi mamá me dijo que tenía algo para mi esposito.... Había encontrado empanadas chilenas aquí, y sola, sin que yo le acordara, sabía que fue el 18 de septiembre. Mi mamá es una mujer fantática.

No hay nadie como ella. Siempre está pensando en otros -- como ayudarles, las cosas que les hacen feliz, los días importantes....Yo todavía estoy demaciado enredada en mi propio mundo, y la mitad del tiempo (o más) ni estoy pensando en esposito. Es algo que necesito cambiar.

Yo con las niñas vamos a entrenar ahora para correr un 10K, en marzo. Terminamos el 5K corriendo, no caminando, y eso fue la meta.

Friday, September 17, 2010

another long week......

But probably a little better than last week. In fact, MUCH better than last week, but I'm still exhausted. At least I wasn't falsely accused again this week -- by the crazies.

I'm still feeling really stressed out by the kids I'm teaching this year, and not having much success with behavior.... Oh, it's tough. My partner teacher thinks we are making progress, though, so I will pretend she's right, for now. We've at least figured out that certain kids LIKE to go to the office, so they misbehave on purpose, to get the extra attention. The more we ignore the problem behavior from those students, the easier it becomes to ignore in the future? Maybe not...But telling them straight out that if going to the office is a reward for them, they aren't going to go, and then tricking them into thinking they are getting pulled out of the classroom to go to the office but really having to finish their tests or classwork in another teacher's room...Is apparently somewhat effective. So is distracting the other students when they dramatically fall out of their chairs and hit their heads on the tile floor, for the second or third time this week.... I believe that they will tell me if they need/want to go to the nurse. I don't offer until about 5-10 minutes have passed and the attention of the other students is on more productive things....Does this make me a bad teacher? Does this mean that I am not a kind, compassionate human being?

I think it makes me a frustrated, second year teacher, trying to do my best not to lose my cool in front of a classroom full of students, some who are actually paying a whole lot of attention to what I am doing, even if the rest of the students are trying to do everything they can NOT to.

Aside from school....I managed a 5K run with a friend on Wednesday, before yoga class, and managed to stay awake for shivasana, while my mama had a little snooze....Normally I'm the one snoring. And tomorrow, first thing, I'll be running a 5K with two of my good friends....We'll help each other go up the hill, since we normally run a mostly flat route. And the 5k will be followed by an afternoon of floating in the sun, followed by some extreme home-work action. Just what I love to do with my weekend. I guess it is better than selling seats at the football game, though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thinking Positive

Esta semana voy a llegar a la escuela con una actitud positiva. Voy a tomar la iniciativa y voy a demandar que mis estudiantes me muestran respeto.

Today, as I was doing my homework for the "applying theory and research" class I'm taking, I read about the different parenting styles. I had learned about these a couple of times before, but the information had been shoved aside to make room in my brain for other, I'm sure, more pertinent facts....

So it was really interesting to me to read about the predicted behaviors that children will exhibit if/when their parents employ particular parenting styles.

Watch out, indulgent parents -- you are basically teaching your children to become a menace to society. And you thought you were helping your baby become more creative....

It was particularly interesting to me after the week I had at school last week....And several different run-ins or conversations with parents over the last couple weeks. In my morning group of students, I can clearly identify my three biggest behavior problems, and their manifestations, as direct results of the parenting styles the children are experiencing. One has an authoritarian mother -- taking away all privileges, leveling extra (and perhaps unnecessary) punishments, and basically leaving no room for the child to express his own wants. This smart boy has become defiant and disrespectful. Another of my student's parents is indulgent -- loving and kind toward her child, yet completely unwilling to discipline the child in any way, or set any clear and maintained boundaries for the child. This indulgent parenting style has left the poor child with no respect for adults, completely egocentric, and completely unable to control his own behavior. And another of my dear sweet angels has a neglectful/indulgent mom -- sometimes indulging her child, believing anything that he says, and sometimes so wrapped up in her own life that the actions of her child go completely unnoticed. The child, in return, is showing signs of becoming socially incompetent, as well as being immature and disrespectful.

Oh, how I love it when I can read in a textbook about the problems I am seeing, but only find a list of the problems and their manifestations, and no advice on how to help these poor children....

But this week, I am going to have a positive attitude. I am going to be thankful for the other 11 children who have authoritative parents, who show love and present alternatives to their children in times of misbehavior, who ensure that their children are doing what is expected of them, paying them enough attention and being reasonable in their responses to their children.

And with my afternoon group, I'm going re-assert the classroom rules, and pretend that they will follow them this time. And I'll celebrate when we have a student-half-day on Wednesday and only two more weeks of studying animals and then can move on to what I think is the fun part -- planting seeds and hoping they will grow.

But overall, a positive attitude is in order, at least for Monday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

and you choose to believe the 8 year old?

Holy Cow.

Wonders never cease.

My students are crazier than I thought.

I had a great labor day weekend, relaxed, read books for fun, finished sewing a pretty skirt, got lots of sun, and in general, didn't want to come home -- love me some beach time. Nope, wrong. Love me some dock-time and house-time and mama's cooking. Yum.

I didn't want to come home -- I was dreading this week. I just knew something was going to happen.

And it did. Some of my students told lies to their parents, and I was falsely accused of doing things that I would NEVER do, and the principal of my school spent two days pulling kids out of my class to question them about how I behave at school. The guidance counselor got the ring-leading kid to confess that nothing had happened, finally, and as an added bonus I got 45 minutes of time outside of my classroom unexpectedly. Great -- I did 60 minutes worth of science in 25 today. I'm sure my students feel adequately prepared for their vocab. test tomorrow....

The kid's mom is LOCA, too, and actually came down to my classroom this morning to apologize to me -- and try to pass it off as not actually having been her kid's blabbermouth in the first place -- as if I would ever believe her.

I feel blessed that the administration at my school never questioned my own role in this at all -- they told me that they didn't believe the kids for a minute, and that the parents in question were crazy, and had a history of being crazy. This is one of the benefits of teaching 3rd grade -- the parents have been around long enough for the administrators to already know which ones are a few crayons short of a box.

The kids in question are some of the worst behaved kids in the school. The administrators keep mentioning how they want my team teacher and me to work magic with them. The only magic they really need are parents who actually do some parenting. And by parenting, I do not mean barging into the child's teacher's room, whom you have recently denounced to the administration of the school, and thereby to the teacher herself, to say that your child wasn't the ring-leader. Remember, we teachers actually spend time paying attention to your child's actions throughout the day, and we are pretty aware of what is going on. And don't, by any means, force the teacher to hug you at 7:10 in the morning. She doesn't want to hug you; she wants you to fall on your face from an airplane, or something equally painful, that will help you understand what it is like to have to tell your son every 3 minutes of the day to listen, be respectful, and start doing his work.

Word to the wise: Don't automatically believe your 8 year old who has a history of looking you in the eye and lying to you. He may or may not be telling the truth, based on his desire for your immediate and sustained attention. If you gave him the attention he craved in the beginning, and without him telling lies, he might not grow up to be on our "We think we'll see so-and-so on the news in an orange jumpsuit" list. Not the teacher's list you want your child to be on.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

12 days of school down, many more to go...

Oh, school. Such a challenge, this year. If only my students would use their ears...
Wait...Use their ears to listen to ME, not their classmates, when I want to give instructions so that we can do something FUN.

In what was perhaps not my finest teaching moment ever, today, I lost my cool and SLAMMED the air conditioner-switch-lid very loudly. It was actually quite effective. The students jumped, sat quietly with looks of shock on their faces, and then listened in silence as I told them that they were acting like kindergarteners, not third graders. They stayed pretty well behaved for about half an hour, too, and we made it to lunch on time again.

I like getting to lunch on time -- it means I actually get to eat.

And amazingly, when the assistant principal walked in to check on my class this afternoon, she found my students working in pairs, actually doing what they were supposed to be doing. It was AMAZING. She saw me give the tail end of an example, then ask students who thought they new how to do it on their own, pair up the students, get their workbooks, and get them started -- a great time to observe, I think. She'll be evaluating me this year -- I hope I pass muster!

One more school day before the holiday weekend -- I am looking forward to the extra day. Seriously looking forward to the extra day.