Friday, September 26, 2008

Cranky Pants McGee

That is what the hubs and I affectionately call each other on our bad days.

Today was one of those days. Yesterday was early release and today, with a kink in the kids (mostly the ones I have for math) were terrible. Honestly. Wouldn't listen. Wouldn't work. Didn't try. I was so frustrated at one point I had to take a teacher time out in the hallway. I get frustrated when I feel like I can get them quiet but I can't get them engaged. I need to try harder, I know. I try to do games in math every single day, because I know that's how they stay engaged. But then they get so wild they can't play the game, or they don't have the skills to play it correctly. I just want them to learn. I have a very low group of kids for math, and I feel like they are just so used to not "getting it" that they don't give themselves a fair shot. I don't feel like I'm battling inability, I'm battling a lack of confidence. And maybe that's so much harder.

I want to start over. Thank the Lord it's Friday. I was zapped. I feel like I'm still in survival mode, but one thing I know for sure. A lot of my problems are because I stopped being a camp counselor. I became like other teachers I had seen, not forming those relationships with kids on the playground, thinking it was okay to yell in my classroom, not using those attention-getting techniques I used to be so good at. I need to start over. I need to rely on the LORD for my strength and patience, not myself or "best practices."

I think I'm going to start mini-conferences with my kids during morning time. Here's my idea:

I hate writer's workshop conferences everyday that last about 3-5 minutes. During that time, they read me their writing and we discuss strong and weak points. Well, during morning time, most finish early and get to read independently before the day starts. So maybe I'll start conferences in the morning, when they can tell me anything they want for a good 3-5 minutes. I bet I can get to all of them at least once a week. I feel like I just need to talk to them more about their lives. It means I'll have to get more organized before the school day starts but I think it'll be worth it.

This weekend I have a lot to do:
-Finish Crown homework
-Create word focus center
-Write a mini-grant for all the things I would like to purchase for my classroom
-Create some math centers (maybe this will be helpful to keep them all engaged)

Plus clean the house because this week we got nothing done!

This afternoon, I came home and Joel was taking a nap. So I curled up next to him (I love being married!) and konked out. We woke up 2 hours later, but we could have slept through the night. We were exhausted. Oh, Friday after-school naps. They are becoming the norm for us.

Tonight we are watching the debate (I'm glad it's actually happening).
So far, I've kept my political opinions (which are way strong) away from my blogging world, but I think soon they may start creeping out. So if you don't know me well enough to know what I think about the issues, you may discover them on the blog. I (ideally) think that we're all here because we want what we think is best for the U.S. and the world, and we have different ideas about what that looks like. So let's not argue, mkay?

OK, I really need to focus on the debate now. Happy watching everyone!

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