Friday, March 31, 2017

Fitting In

Sitting in the audience, watching the school's musical production, I was struck by the assortment of kids in the cast.  There were smart kids, and not so smart kids.  There were kids who have it together and those who don't seem to have it together anywhere in the school environment.  Yes, there was, in a way, a microcosm of every kind of kid I teach every day.  

And yet, there they all were together- singing, dancing, changing scenes, running around with props and shining spotlights on the whole shebang.  

I thought back to my own memories of drama and musical productions in high school.  Back then I never felt like I fit in- until I discovered a niche as a member of the prop crew.

Theater- it really does have a place for anyone.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Thought I Had Today

I’m not trying to make light of how anyone does their jobs, or how things are handled above me.  But, I have to say I was alarmed to see five adults talking to one young middle school student this afternoon.  Three of those adults were local police officers.  

And of course, I have no idea what was going on...but I have to wonder how why it takes so many police to deal with one student.  

My class sizes range from 16 - 26 and for the most part, I'm in there all by myself, or with one other teacher.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Enjoying the View

My students are beyond excited to finally be writing some fiction and from what I can see they have a pretty good handle on each of the stories they are crafting.  

One young lady, who has had some rough spots this year, has apparently been inspired by her own 6th grade life.  Yesterday I asked Tonya what her story was about.

"Well," she began, "it's about a girl named Tonya.  She started out hating school.  She never did her homework and always had lunch detention.  Then she started liking school.  She did her homework and did well on her tests and even got on the Wall of Honor."

I smiled, "That sounds like a great story!"

I watched as my special education inclusion class worked this afternoon.  They were focused on their writing and talking quietly with their writing partners.  

My co-teacher and I sat back and enjoyed the view.

--> Believe me, it's not like that every day.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Back in 6th Grade

New seats, new seats, new seats!  Everyone was so happy about getting a new seat and a new writing partner today.  It's funny- as I moved through the classroom I saw bursts of joy as students realized who they had been partnered with.  Trying to remember myself at that age I could barely remember anything about my own sixth grade classroom, and then I remembered Brook Boyle.

Brook was the goofy kid at my table.  I was quiet and definitely a rule follower.  There were many days when I cringed thinking we were surely going to get in trouble because of him and his classroom antics.  Thinking about him over 40 years later I didn't remember any specific trouble that our table got in.  In fact, I remembered very little about 6th grade.

I do remember:
~Not being able to spell probably and wondering why my teacher would only tell me it was wrong instead of telling me how it should be spelled
~Making something with Plaster of Paris- probably some sort of fossil mold
~Not being chosen for a special weekend surprise the teacher gave her top 4 students (apparently I was the alternate)
~The red bell-bottom pants I wore on the first day of school

Then I remembered one other thing about Brook Boyle.  He had the coolest little blue "Frito Bandito" eraser.  He didn't have it for long though.  Our table got caught playing around with the little blue guy and without much fanfare that little eraser found its way into the hands of our first year teacher, Mrs. Austin.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Walk On

It's been quite some time since I've taken a stroll around the neighborhood.  Tonight I was happy to lace up my walking shoes and get back out there.

The warm spring evening was perfect for walking.  The sun shined above as all sorts of yellow flowers strutted their stuff in the neighbors' gardens.  The kids were out as well.  They pedaled along the sidewalk as parents watched from the front stoop.  I saw a few runners, a few dog walkers and even one gal who was walking her cat.  The big black and white fellow sat patiently as his person stopped to chat with a neighbor.  The two of us exchanged glances and I knew, because he was a cat, how uncool he thought being on a leash was.  I did my best to respect his catness and kept myself from staring too long.

It wasn't a long walk.  I was back home about 30 minutes later happy to be reacquainted with the neighborhood's activities.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

On the Floor

The best moment of the concert I saw last night came towards the end of the evening.  It was a moment my group almost missed.

After performing their final song on stage the four musicians moved into the crowd and sang four more.  The group refers this part of their show as "four on the floor."  I moved closer to music and was able to enjoy the always-fantastic harmonies of the band.  The intimacy of the setting made me feel like I was listening to them in a small room- perhaps someone's living room, like we were all a party together.  The all-acoustic set, using only a guitar and tambourine that served as a drum, was inspiring.  The lyrics were that much crisper, the music that much cleaner.

It left me wondering what it would take to do the whole show that way.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thank You Sleep

Monday through Friday I get, on average, 6.5 hours of sleep.  I manage to get through very busy days in the classroom and am pretty productive.  Somewhere around Thursday the sleep I'm not getting starts catching up on me.  Really I'm more of an 8-9 hours a night kind of sleeper.  Sure, my body can make do with the 6.5 nights but after too many in a row it starts to crave a little more shut-eye time.

Fridays are my sleep savior.  Just last night my Fitbit registered a whopping 9.5 hours of sleep.  No wonder I got so much done around the house today!

By noon I had done 4 loads of laundry, cleaned the downstairs, sorted the stacked up mail and cleaned the bathroom.

My chores are done and I'm still full of energy.

Thank you sleep.

Thank you Saturday.