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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

12 First week Quick Hits

The local sports radio station 1310 the Ticket calls them Quick Hits. Just really brief observations or comments. Here are a few of mine from the first week of school so far.

  • If I'm going to get the Swine Flu this year (along with half of the US population), I know EXACTLY the kid that's going to give it to me. This kid has been coughing since day one, and despite my best efforts, I just can't get him to cover his mouth. I've already named my fantasy football team The Swine Floozies.
  • The bus that I am charged with monitoring after school already has 3 kids in every seat (sometimes 4), yet there are always 30 more kids waiting to get on. Planning, anyone?
  • Yesterday, the teacher who decided that the best time to fill her cup of ice from the student drinking fountain was right as my kids were waiting in line for it. Mind you, this was no normal cup. No Big Gulp, no Super Gulp, not even a Double Gulp. No, this was the EXTREME Gulp -- 256 ounces of icy goodness. May as well nickname it "The Potty Emergency." I wonder if she heard me mutter, "Are you kidding me??"
  • Over-tired already of the game of "Bathroom Chicken." The game is basically played like this:
Student X: I gotta use it!!"
Me: We just took a class bathroom break 20 minutes ago.
Student X: It's an emergency!"
Me: Oh, come on, you just went, you can't possibly need to go again.
Student X: Oh yeah? Watch this!
(Student's face starts turning red, grunting sounds begin emanating, etc.
  • The fact that my classroom is the size of a hotel walk-in freezer, but my class rosters are 21 and 22 kids. I'm running out of room! I know I can't complain, though, because one of our 1st grade teachers has 41 kids in her class...
  • I got a new student while my homeroom was taking the pre-inventory math test (a test that I continue to despise, year after year). After getting this boy started on the test, I noticed that he had circled the words, "How many more" on one question. Somewhat excitedly, I leaned over and told him, "I see you know that those words are important, that's great! What do they mean?" He replied, "That they're magic." Not exactly what I was expecting, I persisted -- "And what do they tell you to do?" His response -- "To get the right answer." I maintain my optimism.
  • What should be the easiest question on the math test, basically, what do a square and a rectangle have in common (though worded MUCH more complicatedly than necessary) -- WAY too many kids picking the answer that says they both have exactly 3 corners.
  • A new little girl who cried for the first 15 minutes of class yesterday non-stop. Not silently, either. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me that her little sister had gone to live with her aunt far away. She later told another teacher that she was crying because a girl in my class was calling her names. After a dose of sodium pentathol, she revealed the true reason, which was that she wanted to be placed in the classroom that her friend was currently in.
  • This morning's quick write prompt was "What kind of books do you like to read?" While most of the kids were writing away diligently, I was walking around reading over their shoulders. After about 5 or 7 minutes, I got around to a little boy who had "My" written. That was it, except for a few more words that had been erased. I leaned over and asked him for some ideas verbally and then told him to write what he had just told me. A few minutes later when I checked on him, his writing had somehow actually gotten SHORTER, as he had erased "My" and replaced it with "I."
  • Amidst all the chaos, we are responsible for checking all of our students' enrollment packets. One of my sweet little girls, as it turns out, lives in another school's zone. We had to send a note home with her today telling her parents that she needs to go to this other school.
  • After 4 days, I am slowly making headway in stopping the chain reaction of cries of "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!" after every correct answer. More and more kids are remembering to silently give a thumbs up instead.
  • In addition to morning duty, now the position of Accelerated Math Instruction Coordinator is no longer a paid spot either.


Kimberly said...

I really wish I could give you a "Witty" comment! School doesn't even start for me until after Labor Day and things are already Not starting off great!! I went in to grab something and noticed my furniture wasn't right.
(1) The desks are stuck to the floor because they were put back on the wax too soon.
(2) Because the desks are stuck one of the kindergarten tables broke a leg when two teenagers tried to help the teacher get the table unstuck so that you could walk round the room instead of all the tables together so that no one can sit at them
(3) Many pieces of furniture were placed in the wrong rooms even though labelled (someone took the labels off)
(4) After searching for the table I use to teach reading it's in the kindergarten room covered by a tablecloth with her computers on top. She says I can have it back when the table leg ordered comes in. (Mind you she only has 15 children and the computers could go on empty desks I see someone has put in the hallway)
(5) The million pound tv that belongs on top of the cubby is on the floor. The shelves that belong on the floor are on top of the cubby (full)
(6) The file cabinet (full) was moved so that the rug (not cleaned, but rolled up) can't be put back down in it's proper place
(7) It took me 20 minutes to locate my garbage pail and recycle bin, not a big deal but time consuming

Oh and not school related but I tonight I brought my mother home from 7 days in the hospital with pneumonia and it's 4:30 AM and I haven't been to my own bed yet which could be why everything above is annoying me!

I know, not witty!

Moe said...

Love your blog! It sounds like you are in a tough school, but I'm sure that makes it even more fulfilling.
As for the bathroom thing, we did planned trips too, but for those students who still had to go all the time, I gave them 3 passes for the day (not including the 3 class trips). Once the passes were used up, that was it. It made them really decide whether they had to go or not.
Also, did a similar thing with the nurse. If you went to the nurse before lunch because you were "sick" that meant you did indoor recess that day. That also really cut down on the kids leaving the room for no reason.
Although I did have one girl decide not to go, then vomit all over the place. Guess we should have had a talk about decision making!

Columbia Lily said...

aw man that really sucks. It sounds like it's been a rough week. There are some things I miss about Texas, but I will say that in Washington there are no unpaid positions like that...the union gets quite angry and makes sure you get compensated. I am not a total fan of unions, but I will say that there are some positive things they do that I never saw happen in Texas.

Good luck next week.....

Lightly Seasoned said...

Ah, the bathroom emergency. More fun than the girl who apparently has her period for 26 straight days, but not nearly as fun as the farting contests held by sophomore boys. I had the varsity football coach come in for fifteen minutes to lecture them on fart etiquette.

Julia said...

So I'm in DISD too, and you wouldn't believe how many kids we have out of zone this year. Unfortunately we are open enrollment for some reason and we can't do a thing about it. We are SO overcrowded! It's insane (I'm at a middle school).

So I have a bathroom story as well. This girl in 5th period today was doing the pee-pee dance BIG time in my class today. She wouldn't ask to go because she had already gone TWICE this week and I had warned her she was out of turns, and needed to plan her day better. She was so dramatic. She even pulled at her hair. HA. I finally called her out on it and told her all the drama in the world wasn't getting her to the bathroom, so she stopped.

I like that the name Bathroom Chicken though :)

Mister Teacher said...

Kimberly, I have totally had that happen where the chairs stick to the newly waxed floor! Funny that your chair broke, whereas I once pulled a chip out of the floor by yanking the chair up!!

Moe, it's a risky maneuver, because sometimes they really are sick...

Lilly, how are the kids in DC?

LS, maybe you should join in on the farting contests? ;)

Julia, I can't stand the pee pee dance. Or the kids that slap both hands over their face to show me that they really need a kleenex...