9.25.2013

Reality check

This is my first full week back to school and it's been quite the reality check for my kids.  They had 3 weeks where they had substitutes, so having me there to lay down the law has caught some of the them off guard.  On Monday, I had many kids move their clips.  Most of it was for talking, but for some kids, they just seemed to talk non-stop.  Tuesday was a bit better with the talking, but I had kids move their clips for punching and cussing.  Yep, cussing in first grade.  And the big one, too.  The kid said it's OK that he said it because he's a man.  Seriously, can't make this stuff up!  Today was a lot better, with just a few kids moving their clips for talking and luckily no hitting or cussing! 

My kids are settling back in to the routines we had started to establish before I got sick.  Things seem to be flowing a bit better AND they seem to be learning a lot more than when I left.  Their reading has been OK, but their math?  Oh holy Moses!  Their math test was a nightmare!  I even had to re-do part of it to give them a fighting chance on getting a decent grade.  We'll see how they did!  The subs didn't teach the lessons that way I would, nor did the kids seem to grasp the concepts in the lessons.  And the whole topic was done by a sub.  YIKES!  But I keep reminding myself there is still a lot of time left in the year and they will be fine!  In fact, I am actually starting to believe it!  They will be fine!  :)

Tomorrow is our 3rd annual Johnny Appleseed Day!  We will do rotations with our classes and they will get to do a total of 3 different activities.  2 years ago there were 4 classes that participated, last year we had 5 and this year we are down to 3.  It'll still be fun and I will only have to do the same lesson 3 times instead of 5!  I like having the other classes come in and see how they are - it makes me appreciate my own group that much more!  Mine aren't perfect, but they are pretty good! 

We've been plucking away at Daily 5.  I must be doing something wrong.  My room isn't quiet.  It doesn't even begin to resemble quiet.  It's too noisy.  I need to fix it.  I think my groups are too big, but I need big groups to get it all in every day.  We have 26 kids now, which is way more than I've ever had.  26 might as well be 50!  We have the most kids in the primary grades.  Upper grade has more, but they always have.  We were spoiled with 20 for years and then it has crept up to 26.  And I remember when I thought 20 was a lot!  What I wouldn't give for only 20 kids, even just for a day! 

It's time to head off again for our weekly night of drums.  Time for me to grade those pesky math tests while my daughter pounds away on her drums!  Happy Wednesday! 

9.22.2013

Finally!

I will finally be back in the game, full time this week and I can't wait!  It's been a long 3 weeks since I have been with my kids all day long.  They need me and I need them!  It'll be so nice to be back full time, tho that afternoon nap time will definitely be missed!  ;)

This week, we will continue working on reading and writing.  My kids have done pretty well in reading and seem to be able to do everything they have worked on in my absence.  I will finally be able to work on reading groups this week and actually pull kids to work with!  I hadn't started groups before I left and last week was not the time to start with me leaving in the middle of group time.  So tomorrow will be the day!  I need to re-shuffle my groups and get them in some sort of order.  Guess I should take my school bag out of the car!  I did lesson plans last week, so the bag wasn't a total necessity, but it does like to go for car rides!  :)  We also need to work on writing.  My absence is sure felt there.  But I keep reminding myself that it'll be OK and my kids will survive. 

In math, we will begin working on subtraction.  In actuality, we will be doing addition and subtraction.  Unfortunately, they didn't do so well on their math test that covered addition.  I didn't teach a single lesson from it.  And the subs didn't do so well, either.  But again, that's OK.  We will work on it and we will all be fine.  At least I am planning on it!  We are going to break out the manipulatives and "play" during math time.  I think it'll actually be a lot of fun and I hope they easily make the connection between adding and subtracting. 

We are going to also be doing a whole lot of apple fun this week.  I haven't quite planned that out, as math has taken the front seat right now.  But on Thursday, we are having our annual Johnny Appleseed day in our grade level.  There are only 3 classes participating (out of 4), but the kids will get to rotate between the 3 classes and do some different things.  It's a lot of fun and hard work for the teachers, but the kids enjoy it and have a good time!  Once we are done with rotations, we will do some fun apple math in class working on graphing and patterning.  It'll be a crazy day, but a fun day! 

Happy first day of fall!  It's actually a bit chilly here for us Southern Californians today.  I just went outside and it's breezy with a chill.  I may need a sweatshirt tonight!  But have no fear...tomorrow's supposed to be in the 90's again, so we won't be cool for long!  For us, fall doesn't really come til November, October if we are lucky.  But I'll take it any way I can get it!  Have a great week! 

9.16.2013

Happy

I was so happy to be able to go to school today!  My students were so excited to see me and I was excited to see them.  It's been a long 2 weeks!  I don't think the kids knew I was coming back today...they all looked at me with surprise in their eyes.  I loved it!  

It was a good day back, even if it is only for half the day.  It was nice to get the routines re-established and see what they have been working on.  I was pleasantly surprised with their reading.  We have a long way to go, but they've made some good progress during my absence.  

With the way our schedule is, I wasn't able to get to writing with my kids.  They are working on writing with the sub, along with math.  It'll be interesting to see how they do on their test on Friday since this whole unit is being taught by substitutes.  I will test them in Friday morning before I leave for the day.  

Tomorrow will be another fun day.  I forgot that its Constitution day.  I need to figure out a quick lesson to do with my kids that'll cover the topic without taking a huge amount of time out of the day.  I'd like to watch the Snoopy video, but I don't know if there's enough minutes in my day!  We'll see what I get done tomorrow!  

Well, it's time to read with my daughter.  She said enough computer time for now!  I hope you had a great Monday...I sure did!  

9.15.2013

Excited!

I am so excited to be going back to work tomorrow!  It's been a long 2 weeks not being at work and I miss it terribly.  I miss seeing my kids.  I miss teaching them something new each day.  I miss just being me.  I am so happy to go and see their smiling faces in the morning!

I sat down last night and did all my lesson plans for my afternoon/half day sub.  It was really easy to write them, and they are basically the same each day.  There are a few things different each day, but it's basically the same routine.  I'll be there for Language Arts and the sub will do math and social studies at the end of the day.  I'm anxious to see where my kids are and what they know.  I figure it will take them some time to get used to me again, and that's OK.  We will just take it slow and easy to get used to each other again. 

I am looking forward to a great week back to work and a great week with my kids!  It'll be so nice to start getting back to normal!  :)

9.13.2013

Back in the saddle...

It's official!  I am able to go back to work on Monday!  I will be working half days this next week before going back to full time status, but I get to go back to work!  I am so excited to be able to see my kids and start getting back to some reality. 

I went to my classroom for a bit this afternoon.  Since I wasn't able to leave sub plans for the last 2 weeks, the teacher was left to fend for herself with the limited notes I gave her.  My friend tried to help her and show her what to do, but those plans weren't followed very well.  The sub enjoyed having her own class and did what she wanted.  So now I am left to pick up the pieces and start all over again come Monday.  And I am trying to understand what that means.  It's going to be hard, the kids are going to have some issues and I am going to have some issues, but we will make it through. 

The sad thing is we are behind.  We are behind the other classes in their learning now.  We are behind in math and reading and writing.  I don't know what they did in science really.  So I think we will just start on Monday like it's a new first day.  I'm going to call it the First Day of School 2.0.  Couldn't hurt, right?  We will start off slow to begin with, get used to each other again and then do what we can within the time we have during the day that I am there.  They will have a (different) sub for the second half of the day, but I will be in control of the sub plans then.  I get to have a say as to what happens.  I get to control the flow of the day again! 

If nothing else, this has made me open my eyes a bit to being prepared better.  Normally when I am gone, my plans are written out to the point a monkey could follow them.  But with being sick and not as prepared as I should have been, I left my kids in a bad place.  I need to really seriously think about doing an emergency sub tub, but one that can last for a week or more.  I do not plan to miss that much more school, but you never know.  I didn't plan to get sick the last 2 weeks, but things like that happen I guess.  At least it happened to me. 

It's hard to believe that September is half over.  I haven't been to work at all.  All my fun and amazing activities that we were to have done...won't happen.  All the neat projects and science experiments will have to wait for next year.  And I don't like that feeling.  But we need to move on, not try and go back to do things.  And that makes me sad,  which is an emotion I have felt quite a lot lately.  A lot of sadness and self-pity going on in my world.  That should go away come Monday when I am back to work and back where I belong! 

As for the next 2 days, I will stay at home with my family, take it easy and rest and be ready to go kick butt on Monday!  Here's to a great weekend! 

9.09.2013

I've Got Nothing

Being home unplanned isn't any fun.  I don't care for it.  Mind you, I love my weekends when I am home and can do what I want.  But being made to be at home is for the birds. 

I was released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon.  I was/am still in quite a bit of pain, but nothing that little pills can't take care of (and they put me to sleep!).  I was told to come home and rest and relax.  I can't lift anything above 10 pounds.  I can't climb stairs.  I can't walk too far.  I can't eat fatty food (no one should, but we all do, right?).  I have to eat little meals all day long (I can't do that...I can't eat that much).  I can't drink soda.  There isn't anything on TV.  Yeah, I should read a book.  Maybe that'll be on my list for tomorrow. 

But I'm getting better, slowly but surely.  This pancreatitis thing is no laughing matter.  It hurts worse than anything I could think of.  I guess when your pancreas is mad, your whole torso area gets mad, too.  Sometimes it was so mad that the pain meds (the wonderful ones they give you in your IV!) didn't really work.  That's horrible pain.  But I'm not at that level any more.  My pain is tolerable.  I can go the day without maxing out on pain meds, but they are still my friend.  I can put sentences together that are mostly coherent, though there are still times I don't know what I'm thinking.  But I'm getting better. 

And I feel so guilty for leaving my kids.  I just hope they are getting what they need.  I'm trying to let it go, but it's hard.  They are my babies, even it we've only been there for 13 days together.  Is it wrong that I'm afraid they won't remember me?  That I'll be a stranger when I go back?  I don't know when I go back.  My doctor will let me know on Thursday.  It may still be a while.  And that makes me sad.  I'm aiming to go back at least part time for a bit to build up to a full day.  Hubby says I should just take the time off, but he doesn't get it.  I'm not a stay at home person.  I need to work.  I like to work.  I love being with my kids, even when they are driving me crazy!  I teach...it's what I do. 

But for now, healing is what I do.  Recovering is what I do.  I don't like it.  I don't do it well.  But it's something I must do so I can go back and teach.  I just wish I could be patient and appreciate the fact that I have the time, I'm not losing any money, my kids are being taken care of and I'm doing what I need to do for me.  I'm going to try really hard.  Otherwise, I may just go crazy. 

9.06.2013

Curveballs

This seems to be the story of my life. One step forward, 10 steps back.  I am writing this at 4:53 am from my hospital bed.  Yep, as in not at home or work,  I have pancreatitis - a very angry pancreas that more than likely was caused by a loose gallstone that was left floating around after my gallbladder was taken out.  I've been in pain since Sunday night with what I thought were back spasms.  Even the ER doc said the same.  He wasn't very forthcoming with info.  By Monday night I was sick and in a lot of pain.  My dear hubby brought me to the ER before midnight and were were finally seen at 3:30.  Nothing like 3+ hours of being in pain.  After several tests, it was confirmed I have pancreatitis - one of the most painful things to have.  But I'm getting better each day, though there's no telling when ill,be back at work.  

And that's really hard for me.  I wasn't prepared for Monday, much less the next 2 weeks.  But my kids are doing well and hanging in there.  Makes me feel like a failure as a teacher.  But when you're sick, you're sick.  Not much I have control of right now.  All I can do is sit here feeling sorry for myself and try to take it minute by minute.  There's so much I want to do with my kids, I don't now if I'll get to do them. 

But for now, my job is to get well so I can get back to work as soon as physically possible.  Good, healing thoughts would be greatly appreciated, too!  Thanks!  

Kristen