Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week One is Done!

We are off to a good start. Yes, I can still say that in spite of three criers on the first day of school, two bathroom accidents (Drat those darn tights on the legs of chubby five year olds!) and temperatures that hit into the upper 80s, it was a good first full week of school. The quote of the week: "Do we have to bring our credit card?"  asked one bright eyed student when told we were going to the library. 

Sunday, September 08, 2013

178 days to go!

Last Monday, after much more discussion than I thought was needed, the tentative agreement became the contract. The picture is of the 1200 or so of us who took the time to vote at Benaroya Hall. the meeting went from 5:00 to about 8:00 after a work day in the classroom. What is in it for me? A 2% pay raise, 3 days without students to hold family conferences before they start school (only for kindergarten) and our work day stays at 7 hours till next year. Hah! Whoever works in their classroom only 7 hours a day is not up to the standards I set anyway. 22 of my 24 students and their families showed up for those conferences this past week. They are really a diverse group. There are so many many more mixed cultures at our school in recent years. Exotic combinations like Indonesian-Pakistani married to Philipino-Laotian. The languages other than English that are of highest incidence spoken in the homes of my students are Cambodian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Only one Spanish speaker so far. It's always changing!

Tomorrow the 'rubber meets the asphalt'. Kindergarten begins their full day schedule. There will be a lot of sleepy kids by the afternoon especially if it gets up into the 80s again as is in the forecast. Thirty one years of this and I am still nervous. There are so many new twists in our school and in my classroom this year. I'll have as many butterflies in my stomach as my 24 students do! This time next year, the first day of school will be just another lovely late summer day!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Tentative Agreement

Negotiations were looking pretty dismal when I took these photos of colleagues as we picketed in a freak rainstorm on Thursday afternoon.  Really! I was soaked even though I held an umbrella. our tenacity had to be admired judging by the many honks from the traffic passing by. 

Today I received an email from the union with a tentative agreement. Yippee! It really isn't so much about money as it is about teachers' evaluation process and having a say in how we spend our extra hours at school. I sure wish we could get more PE or Art for the students but that is not happening this year.  I spent no small amount of time on the computer this Labor Day weekend, looking at information on the Common Core Standards and how to have little ones be able to state what they are learning. I purchased this from the Teachers Notebook site. Now if only this district had a print shop or an color printer in the school. Instead I am faced with printing 111 pages on our home computer ):