Friday, March 25, 2011

Where do they get this stuff?

Today was a great day at school. Maybe because I was wearing my "magic boots" (that's what I call my cowboy boots. Seriously, every time I wear them the kids are fabulous). Maybe because it was Friday. Or maybe just because I had so much fun with them that I was in a good mood so they were too. Whatever the reason, it was one of those days that makes me LOVE my job. Absolutely love. As in, I almost teared up when I was playing/learning with them because I just love them so much. They are awesome.

Here are just a few of the funny things they said today. I told my roomate these and she cracked up.

1. after getting up from nap time, a kid started singing "wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy". Absolutely hilarious for several reasons. One being that I went to middle school with Ke$ha!

2. a child came up to me during snack time and said "Ms. H, can you call me Crab?" She wants her new nick name to be Crab. Really?

3. when I pass out snack I always ask a lot or a little bit? Sometimes they don't really like what is being offered so they only want a little bit. Today's snack was Cheez Its. One girl asked for 3. Just 3. That's all she wanted. And she was so thankful for those 3 cheese crackers. Presh

Oh I just love these kids! They make my life so rich!

Monday, March 21, 2011

umm...thank you?

One of the many people say when I tell them I teach Kindergarten is "do they give you presents?" The short answer is yes. When I was an assistant K teacher at a private school, I got great gifts. We're talking Starbucks gift cards, nice chocolates, mugs, etc. I even got a Visa gift card for a very generous amount.

I knew when I took my current job that I wouldn't be getting those kind of gifts. My students live in a low-income area and their families are more concerned with keeping the lights on and food on the table than getting a gift for their teacher. I don't miss the gifts. Not even a little bit. Because now I get very interesting gifts. Here's a sampling of what I have received:

- candies from the dollar store
- an apple shaped pin that had "the colors of a teacher's heart" on it (really it just looked like a gay pride pin, but it was still sweet)
- a used tube of lip gloss
- half of a container of lotion
- stickers from a Happy Meal
- a carnation
- a 2 lb. box of assorted cookies
- a Little Mermaid pencil
- an empty Panera gift card

These gifts may not seem like a lot, but for these kids it is the world. They are so excited that they have gotten something for me and you can see that they feel so special. In that moment, I forget about all the craziness that they put me through and I just love on them. Because how can you not love someone who gives you a tube of used lip gloss? If that doesn't say I love you, I don't know what does!

(p.s. a teacher friend of mine one time got a USED pair of cheap plastic flip-flops. That one may take the cake!)

**update: today (3/25) looking in my desk, I found a thing of dental floss that a kid gave me. Was she trying to tell me something? lol

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Biscuit and I celebrated St. Patrick's Day in style this year. It fell during my spring break and I was house-sitting for my parents, so I invited a few friends over to celebrate. It was fun, easy and kind of entertaining! Here we are in our Irish gear:The bar set up. Note the green food coloring!
Our drinks! Green beer doesn't taste any different than regular beer, but it is so much more fun.
The food=yum! Homemade shepherd's pie (pictured below) with Irish soda bread. Both super easy to make but oh so yummy. I got the shepherd's pie recipe from Food Network.

And the final treat, chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's frosting! All I did was make chocolate cupcakes from a mix, then whipped up some quick buttercream.
Here's the Bailey's buttercream recipe I used:
1 stick butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish cream
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter and add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add the Bailey's and whip to the desired consistency. You can add more sugar/Bailey's as needed. Enjoy! (but only for the adults. Won't be making this recipe for my Kindergarteners any time soon!)

Hope you all had a fun St. Patrick's Day! Did you do any entertaining?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stopping Myself

People often ask when I say I'm a Kindergarten teacher, "isn't it hard to watch what you say?" The short answer is yes and no. Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it isn't. And I'm not perfect. I definitely slip up. I haven't used any 4-letter words around my kids (not that I remember at least) but I have definitely come close.

This afternoon a situation come up where I was reminded of having to stop myself. Here's how it went down:

kid- "Hey Ms. H! Guess what?"
what I wanted to say- "chicken butt"
what I really said- "yes?"

Just one little fun example of how a teacher has to sensor themselves! Whenever a kid asks "guess what?" I ALWAYS have to stop myself from replying "chicken butt." At least it makes me reply "yes?" with a smile :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Break!

This week my school is on Spring Break. Actually, let me correct myself. We are on Spring Break Tuesday-Friday. Monday (tomorrow) was supposed to be our first day off, but because of all the snow we had this winter, they made it a regular school day. They also took away our planning/records day that was supposed to be last Friday. So instead of 10 days Spring Break turned into 6. This affected plans for tons of teachers and students. Luckily (or not so luckily, depending on how you look at it) I did not have plans. I am planning a lovely stay-cation. But here's a look at some past Spring Break trips:

2006- San Diego/LA with my mom. Here I am checking out Marilyn Monroe's handprints:

2007- Perdido Key, FL. Super fun trip with 5 of my sorority sisters. Here I am scared to death, aka parasailing:

2008- I was in grad school that year and working at a local elementary school. Grad school had SB one week, the elementary school had it the next. No trip that year :(

2009- Key West with my family (minus my brother). Here I am at the southernmost point in the USA:
I literally can't remember what I did last year. I was so busy with my first year teaching, my brother being sick, being in a new house, etc. that I don't think I went anywhere. Pretty sure I just stayed home. Which is exactly what I will be doing for the next 6 days.

I'm thinking of taking on a fun craft project or home improvement project while I'm at home. Any suggestions?? Looking for something fun, not too complicated and not too pricey. Do you have fun plans for Spring Break? Do you even get a Spring Break?

(p.s. I just have to note that I like looking at these pictures, because I get smaller in them as time progresses. Usually it is the other way around, so this is pretty cool. Hopefully next year I'll go someplace super fun and will have some cute pics to post!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let's Get Physical!

A big part of my life these days is working out. If you had asked me 3-4 years ago if I would be waking up at 4:30 every day to work out, I would have laughed in your face! Fortunately, I have made several life changes and now being healthy and in shape is a big priority in my life. So yes, I get up at 4:30 almost every day to work out.

My local YMCA is a happening place at 4:50am (that's when the doors open). When I first started going in the mornings, I was a little intimidated. The place is full of "regulars"! Now, I'm one of those regulars. Since I see these people most mornings, I have nick-named them. It's a fun game and makes running on the treadmill or elliptical a little more entertaining that early in the morning.

Of course, you always have the girls that look like this at 5:15 am:
Seriously, you woke up this early and put on a full face of make-up? Who are you??

And you can't forget the guys that think they look like this:
They are always entertaining to watch. Here are some of the other people I secretly (or not so secretly) spy on while I'm working out:

Blue shirt guy- does he only have 1 shirt? Makes me want to get him a new one.
Row machine guy- always on the row machine. Mix it up a little dude!
Singing rocker dude- he has fun on the spin bike. I wonder what he listens to on his iPod?
hat guy- why does he always wear a ski cap? Interesting...
Jeans and crocs guy- that can't be comfortable to work out in
'80 woman- seriously, her workout gear is straight from 1986

I'm sure there are others, but that's all I've got for now. If I remember some more, I'll re-post. What about you? Any interesting characters where you work out?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Me in action

Another teacher at school today sent me a picture she had taken last year. I'm not sure when this picture was taken, or even what I'm really doing. It looks to be some sort of math lesson- I think I'm sorting buttons? If that's what I'm doing, then this picture is from the beginning of last school year. Whatever it is, I just love how the kids around me are so into it! I had to block out the kids faces that you can see, but you can still tell that they are all actively listening to whatever I'm saying.

It also makes me realize how far I have come in just a year! So there you are, a picture of me in action. Hopefully I can get some fancy photo editing software so I can post more pictures (I don't want to/can't post faces of my kids for privacy reasons). Any suggestions for free or cheap photo editing stuff?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Remember when I posted about my weekly schedule? Remember how I said that I wake up at 4:30 every day to go work out? Remember how some of you were like, "Clare, you are crazy! How do you wake up that early every day?" Well, yesterday I was reminded why.

Biscuit woke up at 5:45 (on a Saturday which was also my birthday, thanks dog) so I got an early start to the day. I went to the YMCA to go work out. I had a great workout, felt really good and was heading out the door about to go get a coffee when I hear "Clare!"

It was the mom of a girl I went to high school with. She and I both said it was great to see one another, and then she said "you look great!" It was so nice to hear. I have been working really hard to get my body in shape and to lose some weight. It's hard to see the weight loss yourself, but when other people notice it just makes me feel so good. I get a huge boost of confidence, and all it does is make me want to work out some more! It was just the kind of validation I needed to carry me through the next 10 weeks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Day of Firsts

Did you miss me? Sorry I have been a lazy blogger lately. There is a ton going on in my life- school, church, working out, birthday coming up, friends, etc. Needless to say, the blog has not gotten a lot of attention in the past weeks. I am about to change that!

Today was a day of firsts. We (all of Kindergarten at my school) had our first field trip! Excuse me, we had our first "learning expedition." As much as we are supposed to say learning expedition, I will still call it a field trip. This was the first trip our grade has taken at our school. Since this was the first one, there were several kinks to be worked out.

This was also my first trip as a lead teacher. I have gone on trips when I was an assistant, but it is WAY different as the lead teacher. So first trip for Kindergarten, first trip for me. Oh, did I mention I planned the trip? Yeah, just thought the stress wasn't enough so I decided to add a little more.

I was up at 1:30 this morning obsessing over every little detail. Did I remember to confirm the buses? Do we have all the students accounted for? What if extra parents show up wanting to go? What if it sucks? What if, what if, what if???

The best part? It was FABULOUS!!! We went to the planetarium because we have been learning about the day and night sky. The program was great, the museum people were awesome and my kids did amazing. I was so proud of them. The whole way back on the bus they were saying "Thank you Ms. H. I love you Ms. H." It just melted my heart. Then we came back to school and they all fell asleep at rest time. Gotta love Kindergarten.

So yeah, today was a day of firsts. I'm exhausted. It's 8pm and I'm seriously about to go to bed. Goodnight y'all!