Monday, November 30, 2009

last day of november?!

I spent like an hour cleaning up my room at the end of the day. Every afternoon I run around, dashing between my desk and another part of the classroom, telling myself what I'm doing, and then halfway through a task remembering to start another one. It's completely crazy and I've totally lost my mind.

This afternoon my room was a big ol' mess, because I wasn't in it all day. And though it was annoying, it felt kind of cozy tidying up. I was making order out of the disorder. Putting away stray books. Piling homework together. Stacking teacher guides on my desk. Recycling the loose papers floating around. Writing my morning message (I've been lazy about that just recently and doing them in the morning).

I was able to map out most of my general plans for the entire month of December today. That feels fantastic. There is certainly plenty more work to be done to execute those plans, but to have something set relieves me to no end.

I spent a lot of time at the copier tonight too. I've also been lazy about getting things together ahead of time. We have to put in our copies to be done for us (which I think it ridiculous, but no one cares what I think), which means we have to have our shit together in advance. Sometimes this is a lot to ask of me.

But I put in copies for the next two tests I'll be giving. And for the next two weeks of social studies packets that we'll need. I have to figure out my writing stuff, which in theory should be the easiest since I've done that for the last five years, but this year I kind of hate it. It's so vague and I have so many kids who don't do anything at all and writing is the kind of thing where if you don't want to work there's really nothing to do and it's also easy to make dumb excuses to not do it or not do it well.

I want to have my kids put together a holiday thing. They actually had an awesome idea for a Thanksgiving play combining A Christmas Carol and Charlie Brown. But alas it was all practically last minute and there ended up being no time to work it out or perform it. I've kind of glossed over holidays in the past. It's much easier and kind of expected in middle school. Here in elementary land, the holidays are embraced and can take over a classroom. I feel a little resistant, but really it should be fun and easy too. (Especially with an EdHelper subscription, which has tons of holiday activities and subject work.) Since it's only three weeks away, that means we need to start planning what to do this week. I'm sure my kids will come up with a great idea.

Last Wednesday ended with me allowing Goofball to give me a hug, but then literally having to pry him away from me. This morning I was putting something somewhere and arms flew around me from behind. It startled me! But of course it was Goofball, smiling blissfully. I rolled my eyes and said hello. Really, I must start teaching that boy some manners. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thank you, Thanksgiving.

These four days have been so perfectly, exactly what I wanted and needed.

I got to sleep! Like a normal person! Eight to ten hours a night for four nights in a row! It's amazing. During the week I can never ever get enough sleep (mostly because it's impossible to get to bed early enough to be well-rested by six am)(and I know a lot of teachers get up before that. I don't know how you do it!), and then two days of weekends is just enough to get a taste before the early mornings again.

I promised myself I would not work this weekend. However, I brought my school computer home because technically I have stuff I should do. (Lesson plans? What?) And for less than an hour this evening, I actually did a little and put together a couple activities for the week. But other than that, I've hardly even thought about school. The mental break has been such a blessing!

I spent some time with my friends on Thanksgiving, and I spent some nice time with my boyfriend. Nothing super exciting, but really enjoyable. We went out to eat once or twice, and we played some games at home. It's so relaxing and peaceful to be together or at least in the same room when it's not a school/work night.

November is such a weird month with all the days off, but still crazy stressful. December seems really long, with the beautiful vacation at the end and no little breaks to ease the stress. However, I think I can work it so it will be a little more bearable. The weekends are already filling up, and a family member will be visiting, and I think I get to hang out with an old blogger friend that I've never met! I'm hoping to get a little photography in as well.

I keep thinking about last year and comparing. I do feel stressed and I do work too much, just like last year. Like last year, at times I feel a LOT of frustration and anger about my class (certain misbehaviors and my inability to prevent/fix them), admin issues, and work/life balance. However, I'm not crying. I don't exactly feel successful--there's far too much that I'm supposed to do every single day to ever feel like I'm caught up or where I need to be professionally. But I don't feel despair. I'm not sure that I felt despair last year, but I should have. :) I guess we'll see how December starts off this week.

I haven't been on here much, and I'm grateful if anyone is still reading. I have a lot going on in my head, I promise (including more silly/cute quotes from Goofball), and a lot I should be exploring and reflecting here. It's hard to make the time and make the effort when I only have one or two hours at home before I have to go to bed again. Work/life balance is tricky, you know? :)

I probably shot myself in the foot by not working this weekend, and I probably will need to work too late this week. I will do my best not to make it excessive though. I will make more of an effort to pop on here. I like sharing things and I like having a record to go back and look at.

I hope you all had a wonderfully restful weekend and wish you a happy Monday!

Friday, November 27, 2009


I have some amazing people in my life: a boyfriend who loves me and treats me well, friends to talk and play and take photos with. They know that I'm weird but they love me anyway. :)

I love my apartment. It's spacious and the heating works and the view is lovely. It's convenient to trains and plenty of shopping.

I have a job. The hours and the stress and the misbehavior get to me often, and I have a couple kids I'd like to throw out the window, but Goofball loves giving me hugs and makes me laugh, and one of my girls included me in her list of things she's thankful for. We did a little "performance" for an assembly this week, and they were nervous but it was really cute. My colleagues are really great and supportive too.

I have money! My salary isn't very high, but since I don't spend a lot, my cushion is back where it used to be and I feel no more of the anxiety of not having a big enough paycheck, or of not getting one at all. In fact I have enough that I have demanded to myself that I take a trip very soon! We had wanted to go to Costa Rica for Christmas, but the prices haven't been low enough. Plus my passport is expiring in a couple months and I have been too lazy to get things together. But once I do, off to see the world I go!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Funny boys

M: How'd you get in here?!
Me: What here?
M: The park. I didn't see you.
Me: Maybe I used magic.
M: You don't have magical powers!
Me: What?!!
M: Well, the only powers I know you have are teaching and charms.


Me, hands on hips, surveying the cafeteria as my students line up.
Goofball: Wonder Woman!
A second later
Goofball: Wonder Woman and Superman to save the day! (puts arms up in superhero pose)


Goofball: You said something about my mother.
Shorty: No I didn't.
Goofball: Yes you did!
Shorty: No I didn't.
Goofball: Liar! Liar liar pants on fire!
Shorty: [glances down at pants]
Me, laughing: Well, are your pants on fire?
Goofball: Your pants are burning!


Me, knitting at my desk during inside recess.
Tall Kid and M rush over.
M: Miss, you know how to knit?
Tall: Of course she knits, she's a mother!
Me and M: What!
Tall: Well, she's a wife.
M: Naww.
Tall: She's got the ring. It's a small diamond, though. (Oh burn! My ring is not on the ring finger; it was a first anniversary present from the boyfriend.)


Student: Miss, you're lucky.
Me: Why, because I'm so awesome?
Student: No, because you don't have to wear a uniform.

Monday, November 02, 2009

hello from the other side of30

Thanks for the birthday wishes, friends, and thanks for the knock of reality. :)

My birthday started off quietly; I couldn't sleep past nine, but then found out that it was actually 8. My morning consisted of some knitting and errand-running, and then in the afternoon a handful of friends came over. We went out to take pictures and be silly in Brooklyn, which was good fun. And the sun was out too, we got the last of the light, and then ended with some tasty pizza.

I kept forgetting it was my birthday, and then just as I was getting the hang of it, it was over. Isn't that just how it goes. :)
I'm still kind of unnerved at the number, but I guess I will get used to it eventually, eh? :)
I feel like I should have some More Deep Thoughts about this, but my brain is completely useless lately. Maybe now I can blame that on age? :)