Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Graduation and packing up

I realized that I did not wrap things up on this blog. I had surprisingly most people show up for the last day of school. Since I highly believe in structure and order, we still followed a fairly normal day. While other classes were cleaning and playing games, mean Miss Newbold made her class work and I still taught the curriculum. No they did not have desks but we just used boards and pencils. They worked on science probability, they wrote their graduation speeches as we did a web/chart of reflection, we shared favorite times and stories and we practiced for graduation. 

It was the last day of school and some of my blessed kids did not still understand how to listen and follow directions. I told them that just because it is the last day, they still will clip down if they make a mistake and I will not be afraid to say it in front of their parents. So lets just say, I was not a happy camper and yelled at my first ever student. I later apologized and felt horrible that I had lost it like that. I finally told them that they were not going to recess until they got this down perfectly. We practiced where to sit, how to stand with and without the homemade caps, the song we sang, etc... We eventually got it down and then like a crazy movie director, I wanted it "from the top" again. Haha we got it down and only 1/2 of the class was ticked off at me by recess:) I played with all of them one last time at recess.

Then we went to the longest award ceremony of my life. It was only supposed to take 15 min but instead it took an hour all the way to lunch. My students with ADHD were so bored that I had to keep sending them out to get drinks. I was overall very proud of my students, for the most part, they all sat quietly and were very respectful. We finally did it! True it was the last day of school but we finally did it! After lunch, I put on a few short movies until parents started to arrive, while I got the refreshments ready (cookies and juice). Then I told my students to get a drink, use the restroom and silently read until their parents came. At that point, they could greet their parents and give them a program.

When most of the parents were there, I had my students line up with their caps on and I played, "Pomp and Circumstance" while they came in and sat down (thank heavens perfectly). I then welcomed everyone. We had such a huge turnout! There even were fathers that took the day off to see their students. I unfortunately did have four students with no representation:( Then we had our Valedictorian and Salutatorian give their speeches. Oh they were so cute. Then my class sang a song that they had been practicing, very well. Then I gave my little speech on how the year had gone, some goals that were accomplished and how I loved being their teacher. Then I gave out individualized awards, diplomas, lunch certificates, plaques with their pictures and their final report cards. Then I told them thanks again, showed them where the refreshments were, said goodbye individually to each of them, got pics with them and let their parents take them home. Oh they also gave me oodles of presents and hugs. One of my hardest students gave me a dozen roses with a sweet, heart-wrenching, "Miss Newbold I will never forget you." 

I then packed up my classroom, said goodbye and left. It has not hit me yet. I just hope they make good choices in life.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wish me luck!

My new license came! I am in charge of graduation, packing, moving, cleaning, etc... all before 5 p.m. At least my family is coming to help.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What a week!

Update from the rest of the week... (so it will be random and out of order:)

Well we had field day in nearly the rain. Poor kids (pobricitos) they were literally crying (only the boys...go figure) from being wet and cold. I was mean and said, "that is why I said to bring extra clothes." I then grew a heart and let them call for more clothes. Aye aye they don't think that it is important to listen until it makes them unhappy. Like today, I asked the kids how many of their parents are coming tomorrow for graduation. I had a student that literally accused me of not giving him a graduation announcement and then demanded that I make another one (as if I have time). I shortly corrected that behavior and said, "umm excuse me, when I tell you to take it home, I don't say it because I like to hear myself talk, I say it because it is important." Then he said the cutest thing, "I made an incorrect choice, didn't I." I agreed and then at that moment, I felt very proud and accomplished. I obviously did not get through to him with listening or being responsible, but I taught him about good choices and bad choices. That is a skill that will serve him the rest of his life.

We also decided to go on a "walking field trip" to the park next door for the last hour of school. Everyone else played. My little go-getters decided to serve the community and pick up trash. I was so proud of them! I had my exit interview and gave my boss a collage we made for her in the shape of a crown. We called her "queen of the school." She looked like she was going to cry. I guess she noticed our relationship went southward after the whole JPAS incident too. This week, we are trying to rebuild it but it is difficult after such a blow to it. I can now pass her and say hi, instead of just a nod. She thinks I hate her, which makes me sad. I don't hate her, I just hate how she dealt with the situation, the situation that made my life a living he.. It is hard to say the least to go from a friend to an enemy and then try to get back up to the friend stage. Forgiveness is hard especially when the person that has wronged you is so close to you.

I finished their report cards and all of their stuff for graduation. For their diplomas, my intern and I glued plastic red bowls on a piece of square cardstock and then made tassels. They are super cute but boy were those tassels a pain. Thank heavens for my intern who does most of my prep work while I teach. Then I rolled up their diplomas like the old fashioned ones and secured it with a string. Then I printed out individualized awards for them from Lakeshore award maker in color. I also bought cookies and punch. I hope everything goes well tomorrow.

I have been such a witchy teacher this week and feel bad about it. I am so stressed and I am taking it out on them. Not that they don't deserve it acting how they have been lately, but my patience level is hanging by a thread. Let's just say, I am getting after them more and yet they still think I am nice and want to hug me every few seconds. I apologized to them but I still feel bad. Cleaning out desks was a nightmare and chaos. To be honest, I did not know if I had all of my kids at any given time because I was so busy cleaning.

We did Father's Day gifts because we spent so much effort on Mother's Day. I almost did not do anything because only a handful of my students actually live with their fathers. Some of their fathers left them when they were little, were murdered, died in horrific ways, or are in jail. I felt it was right but to be sensitive. So beforehand, I talked about different types of fathers you could have: grandfathers, angel fathers, etc... I did have unfortunately a lot of crying. It is so weird, I can be teaching, having a great day and then I will have a student that will just randomly start bawling because they miss their dead parent. I feel horrible. I just hug them and calm them down and tell them that we can talk during recess. First graders especially should not have to go through this. I just pray Heavenly Father will give them the strength they need. I had another girl today get mad and yell, "My dad is dead!" I comforted her and told her that she could make it for him anyway and read it to him outloud or she could choose her grandfather. I had others that flat out refused to do the book. We also made tie and shirt cards. What a year it has been and it is not over yet!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A surprise and PTCs

I was told yesterday that my application to renew my license was denied. So I had to meet with my boss, who was not happy about it. Then had to call the state and they yelled at me and made me feel horrible. How was I supposed to know that when they met my supervisor, they meant her supervisor. Anyway, after paying a fortune to overnight it, taking my prep time to take care of everything, they should be sending my license within the week. What a horrible surprise!

I then had PTCs. All of them came but 5. I had my 3 Spanish conferences and they were so much easier this time. I listened to myself talk and I am talking faster and better. I love how we can understand each other. I still understand better than I speak but it is coming. They love how I can speak and understand it so much that they vent all of their problems to me about everything from the school to their child not doing chores, etc... I just sit there listening understanding 95% of the conversation and not knowing what they want me to do.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sweet kids and conferences

So I watched a video that my students made for me. It is so sweet! I wanted to cry. I watched it with the rest of the faculty. My class was the only class that had all of them say something positive. The other classes were very disrespectful and gave negative responses. I felt like the most amazing teacher ever at that moment. What a nice sendoff present from my students. They have been amazing with behavior and everything, which will make it even harder to leave them in 8 days. I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to them. I cry just thinking about it.

Oh and sidenote: I got a babysittee student today. Basically parents want free babysitting so they enroll their student into school to get it. He is high but behaviorally very hard. Uhh why me! They told me it was my turn to get a new student but that is not true. Oh well, I will only be with him for 8 more days. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Overall a good, productive day

After coming back from having food poisoning (haha even the cafeteria is trying to get rid of me), I expected my kids to be awful like before. Well they were not on their best behavior, the sub said they were terrible, and I was mean. However, surprisingly we got a lot accomplished. We got all of our Mother's Day activities done. Oh to be a fly on the wall when their mom's open their gifts that they made on Sunday. They are so cute:)) They made hand print pictures, homemade books, and butterfly magnets with their pictures on it. They will wrap them tomorrow.

The day started off crazy. It started out with their sub complaining about them for 20 min. Then a hard student of mine ran and gave me the biggest hug. I almost cried. Then right after we corrected bell work, they had a fire drill. I got nailed for not turning out the lights. In a fire, who cares about the lights? Then or before that, I had a student vomit and the office would not call her parents. So in the middle of my teaching, I went over their heads and called her parents. Before I got anything done, it was time for recess, where I had half of my students inside. After recess, we finished our Mother's Day stuff. After lunch, it was attempted silent reading where I read with a few lower kids. Then we watched "Yeh Shen" or Chinese Cinderella for 30min. while they made their own magical fish. They loved them but they turned into teacher projects instead of kid projects. Then it was recess. I now have more duties and hardly any breaks. We finished our projects and did math. My boss walked in and the students were all engaged, quietly working. It was great!

The teacher next to me that has been teaching forever, is getting observed as well. She wants to resign as well. I talked to her before she took a student that the parents requested not be in my class anymore. She is having troubles with him as well. I hate to say it, but that made me feel very good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I am tired

Ok so it has been almost a week since I wrote last. I am just tired. I am tired of having no support from my administration. I am tired to working my tail off trying to renew my license only to have a two second signature from my boss. I am tired of my class acting like the world owes them a living. I am tired of having my breaks taken away so I can babysit my class. I am tired of being treated like a criminal. Today I got food poisoning and they would not get me a sub so I had to teach and visit the bathroom. Luckily after completing emptying out my system, I kept on teaching. Luckily, besides dehydration I felt better. 

A few days ago, I met my replacement. It is the not a happy feeling knowing that you can be easily replaced. There is 13 more days and part of me is thrilled... a large part of me because then this will all be over. However, another part of me is upset and not ready to say goodbye to my children. They are pains in my behind but they are my pains. I love them and I feel so fortunate to be there teacher. Yes, they are challenging and my very high patience level gets thinner everyday. I don't like the person I am with them because I see all of my mistakes. However, I love it so much and I have learned so much about myself this year than any other year. I may never know why I felt that I needed to take over this class in the middle of nowhere, where I did not know a soul, this year and at this time. I am so grateful for it though and would not trade it for the world. I felt this way at the last transfer of my mission. This is crunch time. Before I left my mission, I remember not wanting it to end and then it did end super fast. That is how I feel now.

Anyway, we are working on Mother's Day stuff all of this week. They are making Coffee Filter Butterfly magnets for Mother's Day. They are turning out so cute! I wish I could be a fly on the wall when their mother's open their gifts.