Friday, January 11, 2008

Back in the Groove

Getting back into the school groove after the holiday break is rough and this year was no exception. I feel like I get so close to getting caught up on projects at home and then I must set them aside again to go back into the classroom. I was soon in the midst of the animated exuberance of 28 kindergartners who hadn't seen each other in 15 days. That will wake a person up in a hurry. Five had lost teeth, a couple had hair cuts, some had on new clothes and they all looked like they had grown an inch at least. Although everyone was happy, there were many sleepy eyes and at least two uncombed heads of hair. At least 10 students received pink tickets for tardiness over the course of the week so I know I am not the only one who struggles to regain the routine. It goes without saying that I spent most of Monday and Tuesday on management, management, management! Raising hands, sharing math materials, taking turns, walking not running in the room; it seems they had forgotten all of that. Wednesday was an improvement and I actually had fun with them on Thursday and Friday. It was school spirit day today and everyone was to bring a 'stuffy friend' to school.
Snakes, birds, giraffes, and the usual assortment of stuffed bears, dogs, and cats could be found in every classroom. They read with their stuffy friends, ate with them, played in Centers with them and in the picture above we did sorting of the stuffy friends at math time. As if time in the classroom was not busy enough I had a meeting with other union members and some of the union officers for a dialog to express our Hopes, Challenges and Barriers in our families, community and schools. Quite frankly we didn't know why they bothered with anything other than Schools. Among the top barriers; workload, class size, health care, compensation. No surprises there! Then on Wednesday we had a two hour Sexual Misconduct Training at our staff meeting which really was quite good. You could tell the information was as much for our professional safety as it was for the children we teach. Somehow I also managed to have at least five impromptu conferences with parents regarding concerns we have with their children. Now it is the awaited weekend and for what reason; the Seahawk/ Packer game of course! While it provoked a few sneers, I wore my Packer sweatshirt to a staff gathering tonight. Make no mistake, I'm a Green Bay gal to the end!

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