3.23.2015

Keep your friends close...

...and your enemies closer!  I forgot that today.  And it bit me in the butt.  My own fault, but I was being stupid and thought my colleague was being genuine, when in fact, that was not the case.  I guess I so badly want us to be a cohesive grade level that I forget that we can easily, and often be stabbed in the back.  Or right in front, as was the case today.  It doesn't make for good camaraderie or for good grade level meetings.

I've mentioned before that we have a grade level that doesn't always play nice.  One teacher, while she loves teaching first grade, doesn't like to be part of our grade level.  I truly feel that she believes she is above us and that she is better than all of us put together.  While I do have my flaws, I know I am a pretty good teacher.  I could do better at things, but my kids learn and I think have fun doing it.  I try not to go around and toot my own horn and I don't talk about how great and wonderful I am.  We have 2 in the grade level who do that, and it gets old quick, but we know they are going to do it and we just accept it and move on with life. 

Anyway, one of my little guys was being assessed for special ed.  His mom is worried that he isn't learning like his siblings did and that he seems to have trouble remembering things.   I see there being some memory issues, but I don't know how to fix them.  Mom requested testing and I didn't say no.  We had his IEP today and he didn't qualify, which I suspected.  I had hoped there would be a little something there he could get the extra help, but I knew deep down that he wasn't low enough to qualify for anything.  He's really low in reading, but holds his own in math.  He's a very well behaved student and is starting to come along in his confidence in class.  And he's great at PE, which I was told isn't important.  Anyway...

I was a little bummed after the IEP (the psychologist who tested him acted like she knows him more than I do after her 45 minutes with him) and feeling like I had let him down.  I mentioned to the backstabbing grade level member that he didn't qualify and she asked what his DRA level was.  I told her (it's low, but um, that's part of why he was tested) and she immediately turned around to 2 of the second grade teachers and told them that I was sending him to second grade even though he was a low reader.  You'd think I was sending up a student who was an ax murder or a student who still wet himself.  He's a great kid! You'd think after some crazy behaved kids, they'd be OK with a good kid.  But because he is low, it's like he has the plague.  I had the 2 teachers literally in my face telling me that I need to get a backbone and stand up to them and retain him.  I don't know if it will work and I truly don't think that's the best thing for him.  Then at lunch I had another teacher tell me that I need to SST him (we already did that earlier in the year) before the year is out to get him retained.  Um, NO!  The 2nd grade team is the SST team and of course they will make sure he is retained.  Not gonna happen! 

I felt like crap the rest of the day.  I really let this bother me.  I wish I was a confrontational person so I could tell me grade level "team" member that she really pissed me off and I feel betrayed.  I wish I could tell 2nd grade off, but they have the principal's ear and they get whatever they want.  Don't ask me why or how, but they do.  It's not fair, but I know that's the way life works.  I did tell the teacher at lunch that I was done talking about it and that I wanted to try and enjoy my lunch.  I wasn't necessarily polite about it, but I wasn't totally rude like they were. 

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day, but I have a feeling that the next 47 days are going to be crazy!  Lucky me.  :(

3.22.2015

Spring Fever

I feel like I say this all the time, but I have lots of ideas to blog about, but never actually do it.  Right now, I don't want to work on lesson plans or laundry or cleaning, so it seems like the perfect time to blog! 

Unlike the rest of the country, we have had spring fever for the last few weeks!  It's has been warm and sunny for too many days.  We desperately need the rain, but since we aren't getting it, we might as well embrace the heat!  I have been getting some things done outside, trying to make my flower beds look pretty again after "winter", or as I like to refer to it, not summer.  I have a ton more to do, but there just aren't enough hours in the week to get it all done.  I feel the same about school! 

We are in crunch time!  We have 10 weeks left.  That's it!  This year has flown by.  It's amazing how fast time goes when you enjoy the kiddos you have in class.  I really love my class this year and am sad that it will be ending before we know it.  I have so many things that I want to do, but the day goes by way too quickly.  Our school day is too short or my liking, but other teachers won't dare to change it.  Our district has the same start and end times for all elementary schools, so we are at the mercy of the district.  The union likes the shorter day, since we don't have minimum days, but every day feels like a minimum day.  I'd like 45 more minutes with my kids.  I could get so much more done!  But, as it is, we are doing well and moving right along in learning! 

We have one more week until spring break.  We are taking a field trip to the bowling alley this Friday.  I didn't plan it and don't really want to go, but whatever.  It's going to be chaotic and loud and crazy.  All the things I don't like!  But, its just a couple hours and hopefully the kids get to bowl.  I know that sounds silly, but we are taking 100 first graders to a bowling alley with 20 lanes, but we aren't guaranteed that we will have all 20 lanes.  I'm picturing 10 kids per lane and it being a nightmare to keep track of.  Oh well...the kids should have fun regardless of the craziness, right?  Then when we get back to school, we will have lunch, finish whatever we need to get done in like 10 minutes and then the kids will get to watch a movie.  I will be tired (and probably really irritated) and it will be the last day before spring break.  I'm ready for a break and will embrace the time to work in my room in the dark and listen to Franklin! 

My new goal is to write once a week.  I might even share a few things I have done differently this year that have seemed to go well.  A few might be stretching it...there's a couple things I have done that have gone well and my kids have enjoyed, or at least embraced!  But for now, I'm going to go tackle the laundry! 

Here's to a great spring week ahead!