Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bethany's Law

I'm sure we've all heard of Murphy's Law; if anything CAN go wrong, it WILL, and at the WORST possible time.  Well, I'm going to write about Bethany's Law, which means.....well,, it means the same darn thing, I just wanted to personalize it more.  Without further rambling ado (?) adeiu (?) adoo (?) (what the heck? Why don't I know how to spell that word?!) delay, here we go!

Just when you have almost successfully completed day 2 of solo lunch duty, and you've managed to get 125+ kindergarten and first graders (mostly) quiet while they put their trays up, someone will puke.

After it's snowed hard all day, you've spent 10 minutes chipping the ice of your car after work and are worried you won't be home when your kids get off the bus, your car battery will turn out to be dead.

After you've managed to make good eating choices for a few days, and have started to feel good about the way your pants are feeling looser, the above will happen, and you will stress eat 10 vanilla sugar wafers, some grasshopper cookies, leftover taco salad, a roll of Smarties and a bowl of hot and sour soup in the space of 90 minutes.

When you receive a set of gloves, hat and scarf for Christmas that do not match your coat at all, and decide that you now have a good excuse to buy a new winter coat to match, the gloves will develop big holes in them the second time you wear them.

Just when you get all the laundry done, your husband will clean out his closet, and unearth 2-3 loads of forgotten about towels, shirts, and other stuff.  You will leave these "discoveries" for him to wash, which means that they are still sitting in a pile outside his closet door 3 weeks later.

Ok-that's all I've got for now, but I'm sure there will be more.  What can you add?

Oh, guess what? Even though I've been such a slacker blogger now, I won an award! Awesome! I'll post about it soon, and let you know who gave it to me, and all the details before I pass it along.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tales of a Title 1 Teacher

Ok, so I just finished my first full week at the new job. I'm settling in-I can actually go through my day now without carrying my trusty schedule with it's 50 different places I need to be every 10-30 minutes on it. I do like the fact that my day is so fast paced-there's no time to get bored, and just when I've reached my annoyance limit with a particularly challenging...ummmmm...little "personality", I get to give them back to their teacher!  Here are some little highlights from my week, and things I've learned.

-Boisterous second grade boys who are hyped up from being with a male teacher who sings Sponge Bob songs with them, will walk very quietly in the hallway and exhibit stellar behavior for 30 minutes with me just for the bribe promise of getting to eat a single Smartie candy.  Not a ROLL, mind you, because have you seen what they are paying me? But a single, solitary Smartie.  And Canadians, our Smarties aren't even chocolate covered like yours are.

-I'm SO old.  Yes, I re-learned that this week, when reading a book about hurricanes with a group of 4th graders who have absolutely no memory of Hurricane Katrina.  What?! Wasn't that pretty recent? 

-First grade boys graciously extend invitations to their birthday parties to every human being they come into contact with.  I've been invited to two birthday parties this week alone.  I've always wanted to be popular!

-If you are ever feeling down about yourself, or are having a bad hair day, visit a first grade classroom for a few minutes. They are very generous with the heartfelt compliments.  I've had positive remarks on my hair, my nails, my ID badge, my clothing, etc., etc.  It's been quite lovely for my self esteem.

-Kindergarteners and first graders are cute and adorable so that we won't kill them when they are repeatedly screeching across the cafeteria in their high pitched little voices, or arguing over where to sit, or over who took who's blue crayon, or doing the chain reaction thing when one person asks to go to the bathroom, and suddenly everyone is asking, just for kicks.

-Fourth graders seem so big and so old at school, but when I get home, my own fourth grader seems so little and young.  (She's average sized and mature, but it's a context thing.)

-Teachers rock.  I do not want my own classroom again anytime soon.  Getting 27 little people of varying levels and stages of maturity to actually listen and do what they are supposed to do all day every day is a very hard job!  Especially when 5 of those people always need to use the restroom, another 5 of them always need to go sharpen a pencil, 5 more of them can't keep their hands to themselves, and 2-3 of them don't speak much English.

-This job is costing me money.  Besides the books, office supplies, bribes behavior incentives and other materials that I've spent money on, I've felt compelled to chip in for a baby shower gift for a teacher I haven't even met yet.  Plus, a coworker is really trying to get me to sign up for the Zumba class she teaches.  I owe my soul to the company store.

-It's possible for a 5 year old to "accidentally" end up with his fingernails all colored with purple marker like nail polish.  Really, it just happens, somehow, or at least that's what they tell me.  You know, you're just going along, working in the old writing center, happily singing a little song about pee that you made up to annoy your sister, when suddenly you look down at your nails, and whoa! What's this? My fingernails are purple!

-It's hard to turn off the "teacher" when I get home.  I've found myself using the words "inside voices" and "walking feet" after school hours.  I also found myself asking my husband to please stop distracting Tot while he does his homework.  In another couple of weeks, I'm sure I'll be expecting him to raise his hand before he can speak to me.

So, there you have it.  I may not make a lot of money, but there's always something interesting happening!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm Soooo Tired!

I'm exhausted.  I started a new job on Thursday at a local elementary school.  I'm a Title 1 Assistant, which means that I'm actually a Title 1 Teacher, but the district is too cheap unable/unwilling to pay teacher salary for this job, so they are calling it an assistant position in order to get away with paying the instuctional assistant, 29.5 hour a weeek, hourly wage instead.  Yeah....I sort of found that out the hard way.  I don't mind the job when I'm there-in fact, I think it will be kind of nice once someone has time to train me I figure out all by myself what's expected of me.  I'm working with groups of kids K-4, basically moving from place to place every 15-30 minutes, back and forth throughout the building.  Maybe I'll lose weight!  All of that is good, I certainly don't have time to get bored, and I enjoy working with the kids, but oh my.....the planning.  The.  Planning.  I've spent at least 4-5 hours yesterday and today working on lesson plans for next week.  Unpaid hours, of course.    Yes, if I were a salaried teacher, the hours of lesson planning and materials gathering is just an understood part of the job, but I'm not.  So, I'm whining about it.  But only at home, on Facebook, and here.  Keeping the smiley, perky, "just happy to be part of the team" on at work.  Anyhow, enough negativity.  I'll just stop and not mention the fact that I've already spent nearly $80 on supplies.  I had to buy my own stinkin' paperclips!

So, it's Saturday evening.  My son had an 8 am basketball game this morning, so no sleeping in for us, I'm up to eyeballs in laundry, I've grocery shopped and done my lesson planning.  I'm trying to get all of this done now, because, did I mention? I still have to work at my old job (the tutoring company) for the next two weeks on Monday and Wednesday evenings, too.  I'm stressing out, and exhausted, and my husband's frustrated advice of "Just quit, then!" isn't helping.

Enter some comedic relief.  My son, who had been peeling and eating a clementine at the kitchen table, comes over and grabs a freshly washed and folded washcloth off the coffee table (I tend to spread my folded laundry all over the table as I sit on the couch).  After he wipes his sticky face with it, he takes it to the table to clean up his mess.  He brings it back, clementine pieces hanging on to it and all, folds it neatly ( I had no idea he even COULD fold that neatly!), and sets it carefully back on the pile of clean washcloths.  This is the boy who never remembers on his own to put anything away.  I had to laugh-he was trying so hard to be helpful, since he could tell I was tired and stresed.  I guess I could put him to work folding the clean clothes...
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