Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sweet 16

I had a birthday yesterday! I have to admit I'm not a huge birthday person, but do you know who does love a good birthday? Ten- and eleven- year- olds! I started the day with a meeting with parents, admin, and a LOT of other staff members, which was a blast. Following the meeting I went back to my classroom, where my lovely (and VERY rambunctious) math class sang Happy Birthday to me. Following their song, one of them asked me if it was my Sweet 16. Oh Lawd. I had a mature-looking pencil skirt on and everything.

A few of my most dedicated little people made me birthday cards, too. I swear- there is not a single card on the market as funny and sweet as what these children made for me.

 So this child signed the card "From: Zachary," then apparently decided to add "Love: Zachary" at the top, then tried to scribble out the "love" part. But it's too late. Once you admit it, you can't take it back.
 The inside of his card said "You are the 1st or 2nd best teacher I ever had." I will accept either position, but everyone knows that first is the worst and second is the best.

And the back: "Have a good one or not it's up to you." I have never
 been given options regarding how to feel on my birthday. Most people just go around commanding people to have a good birthday. How refreshing.

Now this was another student. She asked me for an envelope at about 9 AM and then gave me the same envelope back with this note at approximately 9:02 AM. "I know it's last minute. I, honestly, didn't know it was your birthday until before math." Who taught that girl how to use a comma??? Oh wait, me.

Overall, it was a great day with some great people- kids and coworkers alike. Now on to state standardized testing- a whole different adventure.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Everyone's A Critic

It's Spring Break, and I must confess that I have been spending a lot of my downtime fraternizing with the enemy.

(The enemy, of course, is Pinterest.)

Let me be clear-  I found a lot of good ideas this week, a few of which I may actually implement when I get back to school, like this website with fun online timers (the expectation in our room is that we get to math stations in 38 seconds) and this list of free apps to support IEP goals. However, I also pinned a lot of things that are just absolutely not of any use to me, like this post about how to effectively organize a 31 bag of teaching supplies. Seriously? I am a bright girl. What makes me think I need someone to tell me how to organize my own bag? (My method is this: Dump everything in at random, let students rifle through it as needed to find candy/ band-aids/ pencils, and pray that the aforementioned students don't know what a tampon is.)

It was clearly time to step away from the Pinterest teacher boards. In doing so, I found something that I considered far scarier: Pinterest parent boards.

I was totally blown away at how many posts there are detailing how to bond with your children, how to create traditions with your children, hwo to raise grateful children, how to raise modest children, etc etc etc. I know everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and the internet is a perfect way to disseminate that opinion to a waiting public, but come on.*

I guess everyone has always had their opinions about how things should be done, and the internet just makes it easier to throw it out for others to see. However, seeing all of those posts made me think of my own upbringing. I don't think either one of my parents ever read anything about how to bond with my siblings and me, how to create traditions with us, or how to raise us to be the kind of people they wanted us to be.

Let me tell you though, we have traditions. We have memories. We are bonded very closely not just to one another, but also to our extended family. My sister and I may have made plently of mistakes growing up, and we may have had moments where we were ungrateful or immodest, but we both volunteer, work hard in our jobs and in school, and remember to call and visit our grandparents. We're okay. We're better than okay.

People need to chill out. You can make a full time job out of figuring out the best way to live, or you can just live your life.

Anyway, it's clearly time for my downtime to end and for me to get back to implementing Common Core in my messy, disorganized, sometimes smelly, but much-loved classroom.

*Yes, I know I am also disseminating my opinion to a waiting public, but it's different because it's MY opinion. No, it's different because I'm not telling anyone what to do. Okay, I don't know if it's at all different but whatever.