Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Hate Valentine's Day!

I hate Valentine's Day! I know, you probably already have me pegged as being bitter because I am single, BUT I actually don't hate Valentine's Day because I am single. I hate Valentine's Day because I'm a teacher.

Some teachers tell me that they like Valentine's Day in an elementary school, but I don't know what they are talking about. What part of already hyper kids jacked up on sugar and foaming pink from the mouth is supposed to be fun?

I think that is enough of my complaining, though. I am struggling a lot recently with having a good attitude about my class. My friend was joking on Friday about my yelling, but it was a wake up call. If my friend has noticed it, then it has gone way too far. I also know that I have been feeling extremely frustrated with these kids.

I was realizing at the end of the day on Friday that I have been far too annoyed for the second half of the day, when one of my crazy eight came running back in the room. Honestly, I was going to get onto him for coming back and running when he ran up to me, threw his arms around my neck and said simply, "bye."

I've been feeling sorry for myself because what did I ever do to deserve all eight of the crazy eight and their parents? It's the wrong attitude, though. Even the crazy eight don't deserve a teacher who doesn't really like them and doesn't really want to be there. For better or worse, in sickness and in health til death do us part--just kidding, but really we're not going to part until the end of this year.

So, I am taking this weekend to sort of regroup. I need to not only start my day on Monday excited to be there, but I need to end it that way as well. So, I am spending more time planning instruction I can get excited about. It's funny but as a teacher you sometimes have to plan the best lessons for the worst kids. Not only because those kids most need to be genuinly engaged, but because when you have a group that is not fun to teach it's a lot easier for you when you teach in a way that is fun.

So, I asked myself this weekend, what can I do that is fun for my class? I decided to make their Valentines by hand this year. So I made each student a Valentine. I cut up a Walgreen's Valentine's Day add and I glued adds on the Valentine and wrote a Math "riddle" (isn't that much more fun than problems) for each student. On the inside, my cards say "if you can solve this riddle and show me how in this space, I will give you a special Valentine's Day treat." My treat is a Valentine's Day pencil and eraser because we are always running out of pencils and erasers. The kids will start their day by finding my valentine's in their boxes.

I also bought boxes of candy hearts to do the data collection and representation activities. I wrote up a new seating chart because the kids have been asking. I got new stickers for grading work this week. I can do it. I can have a better attitude about this.

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