Thursday, May 26, 2011


It was the last day of school for students today. There are some that I will miss, but it has been a long year in some ways. Let me just preface this with the fact that I got a lot of lovely notes, cards, and heart felt thank-yous on the last day of school, but I got my first ever "unthankyou." There is really no other way to describe what transpired.

I walked the kids out and waved the buses off--a school tradition. I walked through the office and a parent I have stationed in Afghanistan actually priority mailed a thank-you card.

Then, I returned to my class to work on packing things up. I noticed the message light blinking on my phone. The message was from a parent I have who is a little unbalanced (apparently she thought she was being anonymous, but she has a very distinct and abrasive tone). She said something along the lines of the following:

I just called to say that basically this school year sucked! You need to get better at being a teacher and building relationships with parents. I don't want to say I don't like you, but... You never called me to tell me about school events. So yeah, basically I just wanted to say this school year sucked. Click.

At first, I was taken aback because I couldn't imagine that someone would do that. Honestly, if this individual had an issue she should have come to me long ago. Then, I reflected. I have received soooo many reports of bullying from parents and students about her daughter. She was trying to bully me. She is calling (she believes) anonymously just to say hurtful things on the last day of school after school.

I try really hard to focus on the positive, but this really was a slap in the face after a long year of hard work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One More Day with Kids

I guess I haven't written that much because I'm, um, tired.

I have had absolute tunnel vision to finish my end-of-year checklist. Ever since the year when She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named dropped the bomb on me after the last day of school that I needed to pack my stuff and move grade levels, I just have anxiety about having any tasks left on the teacher work day. That year I hadn't finished Career Ladder and I had five or six things on my checklist. I almost failed Career Ladder that year. I know that nothing like that is going to happen on Friday, but I just want everything done by tomorrow afternoon. I'll help everyone else get their stuff done after that.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End--of Another Year.

It's night now. For the first time in a while I don't feel so exhausted that I might just fall asleep. The sun is setting on another school year. There are four days left. For once I feel really satisfied with the job I did. The Taz said to me the other day that he doesn't need to be in resource anymore because he got the hang of this reading thing. He really did go from reading only 13 words per minute with 60% accuracy to reading 70 words per minute with 92% accuracy, but that's not my point. Like the Taz, I kind of got the hang of this teaching thing. Finally, after four years, I can do a really good job, no matter what the fates of education throw at me. The peace has settled, too, with the moving of grade levels. I am staying in third grade and I think the move that was made was the best one possible in this situation.

Would You Believe It

Third grade math improved my life today. I had to reenter my wireless network, but I couldn't find the key anywhere. My brother set the key and I knew it was some version of "bestboyever." I knew it had some capitals and some lower case letters. I knew it had a 3 for one of the "e"s but not the other. I set up a probability tree to find every possible combination, and I found the right answer.

I always think of probability trees as something we don't use very much...

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Well, nine days left...

It's a comfort that things are coming to an end, but things are not exactly settled yet. There is just a lot of stuff going on. It seems like everyone has a secret and everyone knows about everyone else's secrets, but we're all pretending not to know. I'd rather that everything was out in the open, but it's not, so I've had to keep my mouth shut about what I may or may not know. Ha ha.

I can tell it here, though. The short of the story is that someone on my team of teachers has to move to another grade. The class size increases eliminated a position. No one really wants to move. Someone was assigned to move (not me), but she is uncomfortable working on the team with an opening. So, everyone else has been secretly volunteering so we don't lose this great teacher. There's more to it than just that, but that's all I really want to say. Here's the surprising news, though: I volunteered to move again! If I was Captain Principal, I would take me up on it, too. We'll see what happens, but yes there is a possibility I am moving again...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Something Funny

The teacher next door to me had a student turn this in for homework.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Tale of Two Principals

If you have read this blog for a long time, then you would know that I struggled in my second year of teaching. Right at the center of my struggle was my relationship with the former principal, Principal Sadie. It was really hard for me, and I almost quit; but Principal Sadie left just after doing her worst to me.

Captain Principal then came to our school and it was much better for me. I can't say that I never would have patched things up with Principal Sadie if she had stayed, but I know that I never would have enjoyed working for her the way I enjoy working for Captain Principal.

Last night, I went out with Captain Principal and a couple of teachers. We ran into Principal Sadie. It was awkward.

Not to brag, but I will say that I am a better person than I thought. I always thought that if I was drinking and Principal Sadie was there then I would say something ugly or confront her. I was still nice, though.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Honestly, I haven't written much because I haven't had much nice to say recently. My mama taught me well; if you don't have anything nice to say, it is better to say nothing at all. You know I'm the praying type, and I've been praying for momentum. I am so tired. I am tired of budget issues. I am tired of behavior issues. I am tired of piles of work. It is easy to lose sight of the goal. Then May comes and there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. That doesn't fully describe May though...

Basketball can have their March Madness, but in schools we all know we have May Madness. Career Ladder. Class Placement Meetings. End of Year Checklists. Final Field Trips. DIBELS. Printshop orders. Portfolios. Report Cards. Crazy Kids. Hyper Kids.

Today my class went on a fieldtrip to the grocery store. They actually gave a really neat tour and taught the kids all about nutrition. They said that my class was one of the best ones to come through, which is interesting because this group of kids is one of the worst ones to come through my room. I guess it is all about perspective.

Speaking of my waning patience for the crazy eight, I have to say that they did something really sweet for Teacher Appreciation week. One of them, I don't even know which one, brought a big thank you card and at their lunch recess brought it around and had every kid in the class sign and write notes. I have had classes try something like this before, but this was the first class to really surprise me. I can't believe they actually kept it a secret all day! Well, these kids do kind of excel at being sneaky=).

I can't say that I am NOT extremely aware of the fact that my tour of duty with this class ends in precisely 15 school days including tomorrow, BUT I will say that I am starting to realize there are some things I will miss about this group. Let's be honest, though, it will take quite a few cocktails and days at the pool before that kicks in this year.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Historical Day

I was sixteen years old on 09/11/01. It was a scary day and scary times. The face of Bin Ladin appeared as the mastermind. Across the world, there were videos of children dancing in the street and celebrating "death to America". We learned one thing that day; there are people in this world who not only want us dead just for being American, but there are also people willing to take action to kill us.

I watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center on television. I walked down the hallway to my mom's room, "Wake up Mom; we're at war," I said echoing the words spoken by the news anchors. We were at war, and I think here, it was something you felt long before President Bush officially declared it.

It's hard to know what it means to be at war until you do, but today I see the poison it leaves in the hearts of all who are truly invested in war. What did I feel when I heard Bin Ladin was dead? Joy, like most Americans... I wanted him dead, not captured, and I think he got what he deserves. It is a good day for America because our enemy is dead.

Yet, as I was driving to work this morning, I realized that I had to decide how to help children see this. I knew that the kids would come to school talking about it, and that many celebrated it last night. It was a victory for us, but it is still something black in your heart that rejoices in death.

So, I handled it by saying, "We're glad to be safer. We're glad our soldiers we're successful, but we are still saddened that all of this happened." I think that is the truth about what I feel.