Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What are teachers worth?

There's been a lot of talk lately about the value of teachers with what is going on in Wisconsin (they're trying to take away collective bargaining for government workers, including teachers). Regardless of what I feel about that situation, we all know that teachers are not paid well. I found this note on Facebook that I just had to share with you. Read the whole thing. After you read it, tell me what you think? What should teachers be paid?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Field Trip!

I'm in the process of planning a field trip for all of Kindergarten. I never knew what a huge process it was! So much paperwork and so much hassle, but I know it will all be worth it. The kids have been working very hard and this is going to be a big reward for them. Plus I know they will LOVE it!

I was sharing this with a friend of mine who teaches in South Carolina. She shared a story with me about their Kindergarten's upcoming "field trip" that was so funny I asked to share it. Here's what she wrote:

Ok so let me give you some background.The kindergarteners have been studying penguins, polar bears, and Antarctica. Friday was the end of their unit and as we all do, they told the kids that they were going to take a trip to Antarctica. Everyone was very excited! This is the letter one of our kindergarten teachers got on the morning of the "trip"

To: Ms. V,
M'Kayla can not go on the plane today. Send her to CD-E. No permission slip came home for permission to go on any airplane ride today.
Mrs. Perry
When the teacher called home, mom truly thought that the children were going to get on an airplane, fly to Antarctica, and be home in time for the buses.

How hilarious is that?!? The parent actually thought they were taking a trip to Antarctica! Oh gracious...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. As if any trip to Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target or really any store in the United States would let you forget. I usually don't really like Valentine's because it just reminds me that I don't have a Valentine, but this year I'm perfectly content to be by myself. I do have my little four-legged Valentine who is currently climbing all over me :)

And I have 16 sweet, adorable, precious Valentines to celebrate with tomorrow. I don't expect them to bring in things for me, but I know they'll be excited about our party tomorrow afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the letters I sent home last week about v-day came back answered! Parents are supplying all the paper goods, sweets and other treats for our school party. I haven't had to buy a thing! Thank goodness for involved parents!!

Regardless, I can't go to school tomorrow empty handed. Here's what my dining room table looked like this morning:
Each kid gets a little goody bag with a pencil, an eraser, a little notebook and a mini bag of M&Ms. I think it's pretty good. I'm wishing I had already sharpened the pencils so they can start using them right away, but I guess we'll just have to have a pencil sharpening party after the Valentine's party :)

Tomorrow we will learn how to make hearts by folding pieces of paper and cutting along the line of symmetry and decorate bags to be our "mailboxes". I'm pretty sure everybody did something like that in elementary school.

And how am I celebrating Valentine's day? A visit to the physical therapist and then dog training class (which could be interesting bc the trainer has been sort of making moves on me). I hope you all are having an equally romantic day ;) And don't forget it isn't just about your significant other, it is about ALL the people you love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trip to Kentucky/Ohio

Last weekend, I headed up to Ohio for my friend Tara's bridal shower/bachelorette. It was a blast! I took a personal day on Friday, so I first hit up Hot Yoga for a workout and then hit the road. I drove to Lexington, KY to see friends and spend the night Friday night. I haven't been to Lex in forever and it was so great to see my sorority sisters! We talked and laughed until about 12:30am, just like life in the sorority house :)

Saturday morning I left Lexington pretty early and headed to Jeffersonville, OH. What is in Jeffersonville, Ohio you might ask? Only a Pottery Barn outlet!! Fortunately I found a beautiful full-size headboard that would be perfect for my guest room. Unfortunately it wouldn't fit in the car. So I left it behind and headed off to Centerville, OH for Tara's shower.

Here she is with the cupcake cookbook I gave her:
I discovered the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes from her blog, so this seemed like an appropriate gift. I also got her a cool cupcake carrier thing-a-ma-jig.

And here is the beautiful bride-to-be with her most adorable flower girl:
Tara, I'm making plans to become Belle's BFF in April! If she gets shy and needs an escort down the aisle, I'm available AND have experience being a flower girl escort :)

The shower was great and it was so fun to see Tara and her family. After the shower, all the girls loaded up and went to a lake house for a night of just good old girl fun (and some dirty lingerie!). Tara, I'm so glad I could spend the time with you!

Sunday morning, I hit the road to come back south. Before I left, I realized there was one of these right on my way home:
How could I pass it up? Of course I had to go! I found so much cool stuff, but man this place is huge! I was totally overwhelmed for a while and probably spent a good 2+ hours pretty much just wandering around. But I did find a ton of fun stuff. Including a new duvet cover. At $39.99, it was such a great price and so pretty I couldn't pass it up. Usually, I stick to pretty plain bedcoverings, so this is a little out of my comfort zone.

My bed before:
Blue and white duvet cover. Very simple, but not totally practical with a dog in the house. It has been very hard to keep clean.

New duvet cover:
I know, it's hard to see. But it has a really pretty red and blue floral print. The blue walls bring out the blue flowers and the brown lampshade complements the brown branches in the print. Eventually, it will probably end up in the guest room (walls are green). But for now, I'm loving it. And it makes me wish there was an Ikea closer to where I live!

It was so great to have a little vacation and see friends in Kentucky and Ohio! I felt like I was gone a lot more than 3 days. Can't wait to take more road trips in my new car...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm alive!

In one corner of my classroom, you will find this:It's our home living center. Remember this from your days in Kindergarten? I didn't know I was getting this set (which is really nice, btw) but my school apparently ordered a few extra sets and I got one. We definitely don't use it too much, but when the kids do get to play with it they LOVE it! I have it outfitted with some plastic plates/utensils from Walmart, a few empty (clean) food containers, and a set of play kitchen appliances I got on sale at the Parent-Teacher store.

Today we got out of school early because they were predicting snow. And I'm super glad they did! It is snowing like crazy now, but that's another post. Because of a crazy schedule, I had several kids out. So our schedule was pretty much shot, so I figured, let's have choice center time! This is the time when kids can choose what they "play" with in the classroom. Home Living is always a popular choice. The kids were playing back in the corner when a kid comes up to me. Here's the conversation that followed.

boy- "Ms. H, the toaster is gone."
me- "what do you mean the toaster is gone? where did you put it?"
insert 10 minute search for the toaster, with no success
boy- "I think it fell behind the refrigerator."
me- "It can't fit back behind there, but I'll check."
picture me finding the toaster exactly where I said it couldn't possibly be

girl (who has been watching this whole thing go down)- "Ms. H, I'm glad you found that because I thought you were going to have a heart attack!"

oh, sweet children! How I love them. Thankfully, the toaster was found and I did NOT have a heart attack. Although I'm glad my kids take me seriously when something is not right. A missing toy toaster may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is! Luckily, it is back in its spot and all is right with the world.

**update- in the 10+ minutes it probably took me to type this post, snow has picked up and it is looking very white out there! looks like tomorrow may be snow day #10

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Busy busy busy!

Sorry it's been a few days since I have posted. I know all my millions of readers (okay, maybe not millions! lol) have been eagerly checking their Google Reader waiting for an update. The truth is, I have been super busy. But I like being busy. I would much rather be busy than have nothing to do. I seem to be able to better handle things when I have a lot of stuff to handle. I have been like this since high school.

So what have I been doing? Well here's a look at a "typical" week:

Monday- wake up at 4:30 to workout, go to school, rush home to take Biscuit to dog training
Tuesday- wake up at 4:30 to workout, go to school, have some sort of after-school meeting
Wednesday- wake up at 4:30 to workout, go to school, rush home to let Biscuit out, rush to church to teach children's choir
Thursday- wake up at 4:30 to workout, go to school, run errands that I haven't had time to run all week
Friday- sleep in until 5:45!!, go to Starbucks then to school, take Biscuit on a long walk, go to dinner/something with friends

Did I mention that in all of this I attempt to cook a healthy and well balanced meal every night? Doesn't happen every day, but I would say 3-4 nights per week.

whew! No wonder I go to bed at 9pm every night, I am exhausted! I love what I do, but teaching does not allow for a lot of outside activities. This is why I have to wake up at 4:30 every morning just to get my workouts in. But they're paying off, I'm down 7.5 pounds!

A good friend called me this week with a hilarious school story. She's going to type it up and send it to me, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sweet Words

Today, I took notice of a few sweet notes I have gotten from parents. My kids have a "behavior chart" in their take-home folders. This has a calendar on it and every day I record their behavior for the day (we have a color coded system). There is a spot near the bottom for notes from parent to teacher, teacher to parent, etc.

Today I just happened to see this note from a parent. "Ms. H- thank you for doing such a great job with ____." How sweet!! You are so welcome parent for doing a great job! Thank you for being a great parent and paying attention to your kid!

And then I got an e-mail (!) from a parent today. She and I had been e-mailing back and forth because her son has been having some trouble and we are working on it. I had told her how appreciative I was that she wanted to work with me, be a collaborative team for her son. She signed her email "thanks for being an awesome teacher."

How sweet! It was just so nice to see these kind words from parents. Working in a tougher neighborhood, sometimes it is hard to remember that there are so many parents who care so deeply for their kids. And it is so great to see that they know I care just as deeply about their kids as they do. It is so great to see parents who are invested in their children and their education, and just want the best for their child. And I'm more than happy to be a part of that!