Sunday, September 30, 2012

What I Learned (Week 4)

The end of September already! This means we have gone through one calendar month and about 10 soccer games already!

This week, it's not so much about what I learned, but what I realized.

I wish I could have been in the classroom when K and B were in Kindergarten. As I go through the day and watch the current Kindergartners answer questions, giggle with friends, solve problems, dance to the (damn) color song and make decisions (good and bad), it makes me wonder how K and B represented themselves back then.

So, I dug up some pictures of them.

This is K on her first day of K. (She brought a butterfly to school).

This is during the year with her favorite friend, Lamby.

This is B on her first day of K.

And B posing after a gymnastics recital.

The one thing that I did do with both of them (for as long as they let me) was send them notes in their lunch. I started this in Pre-school and continued probably through 2nd grade. Now I have many books of all the notes I sent in because they brought the notes home. It was never my intention that they would bring the notes home, but they did, thankfully.

Now, I love going around the cafeteria to see which of the students have notes and need them read to them. Maybe their moms are saving them, too because Kindergarten to Middle/High School goes by way to fast!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Things I've Learned (week 3)

3 weeks into the job and I have learned a lot.... but not enough. I do, however, feel that I am crawling out of that new job feeling when you do not really know what you are doing, but feel like you should know what you are doing.

*Weekends are not long enough.

*Weekends are NOT long enough.

*I still love field trips. Especially outdoor field trips to the beach!

*I learned that a male fiddler crab has one large claw and a female has 2 normal claws. I know there is a joke in there somewhere, but I am too tired to find it.

*I also love recess duty. Perhaps I love it because I am outside. Ask me in January how I feel about it.

*I work mainly with an autistic boy. Autistic children are so interesting. I did not think he was paying attention to a classmate who was explaining a picture about "Batman and his sidekick, Robin". 15 minutes later, we were looking at a book and he said while pointing to a parrot, "This is a pirate's sidekick." I have been telling everyone that story. Unbelievable!

*The special ed room has some plain walls, so I have been doing some crafts to brighten them up. Last week, I made an apple tree. This week I made 12 cupcakes with the months on them and then put birthday "candles" on them. One Kind. teacher saw them and expressed her desire to replace the "stupid" frog and cake birthday markers on her walls, so I made her classroom ice-cream cones with the months on them. I do love paper, scissors, tape, and Sharpies!!!

*I have to wear more make up toward the end of the week than the beginning. Damn those circles under my eyes.

*3 Kindergartners have "mystery" each day. They are allowed to bring in something from home in a brown bag and give clues while the children ask questions about what it might be. One child brought in a whale which is a mammal. One little girl said, " Well mammals don't lay eggs, so how do they have babies?" Damn smart 5 year olds, I had never seen the teacher change the subject so quickly...

*Another mystery was a glass lion that a little boy brought in. It is tricky explaining to the kids that while the object in the bag is small, in real life, it might be really big or the animal in the bag might not really be tie-dyed in real life. So when the kids guessed what it was, he showed it to the class and mentioned that it had a hole in the bottom of it. And the teacher said, "Yes, usually lions don't have holes in their bottoms." Then we looked at each other and cracked up.

*Rarely is there a dull moment in my day :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When You Get An Awesome Text

When you get a text on Friday morning that says "Hey, what are you doing this weekend, we are coming to Cape Cod?!" from one of your favorite blog leap out of bed and do the happy dance. 

Then, you text your mom and dad to see if said friend and brood can stay in their nicely finished basement for the weekend.

Then, you wish the day to go by quick so you can see your friend and her fantastic children first thing Saturday morning.

Then, you see them and hug and say that you have to go to a soccer game in the pouring (and I mean cats, dogs and maybe cows) rain while they go to lunch. When you finally catch up, you take them to the Fish Pier to show them the beauty of Cape Cod in the late afternoon. 

Then, you proceed to ask your ex-husband for lobsters and cook them yourself with the help of your parents and have somewhat of a crazy "dinner party" Saturday night.

You decide to go to Provincetown on Sunday to vicariously live through a tourist's eyes of Cape Cod. Of course you have to torture all the kids to take a picture at the "anchor" because every time you go to P-town you must do this with whomever is with you.

You of course take as many pics of the kid you have with you because you know she has to update her Facebook page.  Thankfully, she allows 2 of your friend's kids into the last picture.

Luckily, someone takes a pic of you and your friend so you can actually prove you were together! (Thanks B)

Then you proceed to cry your way to work on Monday morning while leaving your friend to her own devices because her town gets Jewish holidays off and yours does not.

Then you count down the days until August because "friend" and family have threatened to come back for 2 whole weeks!!!!

If you would like to see Liz's version of our weekend go here. Special thanks go out to Garth (not his real name) and my mom and dad :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What I Learned Week 2

First full week of work.
First full week of B's swim practice.
First full week of soccer games/practices.
Tired. Check.

So far, things have actually been going good. My house is not as clean as once was. Oh well.

What have I learned this week? hmmmm

*We are a bag family. There are at least 2 bags per person in the kitchen at any time. Anyone want to build me a bag, I mean, mud room?

*The tables in the cafeteria have seats connected to them and the whole table folds up in half. Kindergartners are fascinated by this.

*Taking your arms out of your sleeves is one way to entertain yourself when you are listening to a teacher talk/teach.

*One little boy told me that he wants to be a penguin.

*The little boy I mostly work with fired me the other day. Thankfully he liked me again the next day.

*When toileting, he told me he needed help because his bunions hurt.

*Pay day is a highlight :)

*I had to go to music class this week. It was like I was back in elementary school with Mrs. Romberg. Ta Ta Tee Tee Ta It's amazing that my girls are musically talented.

*I am in the lunch room every day and the things kids bring for lunch is amazing. We are a pretty basic food group family. In the last week I have seen dried seaweed, ham/cucumber/cream cheese wrap, hummus, lots of veggies, and have opened more Gogurts than I care to remember.

*My gym has not changed in my 3 months absence and they didn't throw me a party or hand me a cupcake when I walked in the other day.

*Is it necessary to scream/hoot/holler when your team is up 5 nothing and proceed to score another 6 goals? Yes, K's team got smoked yesterday by a team double in people and size. Thankfully no one got hurt!

*The best part of the week is waking up on Friday to a text from Liz saying that she and her kids are invading Cape Cod for the weekend. Time to go wake them up!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Want To Go To Camp

As I have mentioned, K went to a fabulous camp(Long Lake Camp for the Arts) this summer in upstate New York.It was such a beautiful setting that I actually wanted to stay for 3 weeks (or the summer).

We did not have a lot of communication with K while she was at camp except for the Sunday night phone call and a few letters. She was on her own and we had to assume (and hope) she was having a blast. We were right, she survived and had more than a blast!

For Parent's weekend, we were able to see the fruits of her labors. She was in Cabaret with quite a talented group. It was hard to remember that the kids in the show were ages 10-16.

She had the opportunity to try circus things and found that she was very good at 'the silks'. Somehow she was able to twist herself up in these silk scarves and pose, hang upside down and spin. The video we took is funny because we are making remarks like "who knew?" "what the ?" "I didn't know she could do that!".

I believe that she would tell you that her rock band was one of her favorite things. She sang (they played) Aerosmith for the crowd of parents. Steven Tyler would have been very proud! Her other favorite thing was hanging out and making friends with the other campers. She now has international friends and was lucky enough to make a friend who lives an hour away!

There is already talk about going next year. I need to start saving my pennies NOW! 

Some of the pics I took off K's FB page
If anyone would like to donate to K's camp fund or "road to fame" as I like to call it, message me. You will get full credit on her first album. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

3 days down, 187 to go

It's been 3 days of work, 2 days with the students and 1 day of meetings. What I have learned so far?

* Sparkles and sequins are in for fashion this school year.

* Hello Kitty is the cat's ass right now. Hahah, pun intended. She is on everything from shirts to lunch boxes and if she has sequins, it's even better!

* You can still participate in circle time when you are in the bathroom, if you can shout loud enough.

* Teachers that sit on the floor are cool because you can touch them and maybe sit on their lap if you are so inclined.

* Kindergartners are way smarter now than they were  (OK, I was)  40 years ago.

* In one girl's eyes, I am older than 8, but younger than 25. Yes, she is my favorite.

*I am hysterical to many 5 year olds.

* I still love recess.

* I still am uncomfortable in the cafeteria even though I am not actually sitting and eating lunch.

* Some 5 year olds have some serious balls and are not afraid to stand up to the teacher.

* I have a song about colors stuck in my head. Want to hear it?

* I am really happy tomorrow is Friday and I have no plans for the weekend.

* Teacher's have each other's backs.

* I still like to do crafts. Um, maybe more than the kids.....

That's a lot for a few days. Think of how much more knowledgeable I will be in June! I'll be ready for some sort of degree.... or vacation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's Time!

Today is my first day of school.

A little old for that, right?

Well, it is my first day of full time work in 15 years and it just happens to be at an elementary school.

I am nervous, excited, scared, happy and did I say nervous?

I know most of the staff already. I have actually worked in this school before part time. I have subbed there too. I am even good friends with some of the staff.

So why have I been dreaming about getting dressed in the morning, losing students, making lunch, being able to speak a clear sentence, forgetting to pick up my own kids, etc...

I have been lucky enough not to have had to work full time when my girls were little. Even though, in my eyes, they are still "little" they are not so little that I cannot work a school schedule. This way I can still drive them around all afternoon and evening and go to their games. We have the same days off and the summer "off". So what's to be nervous about?

I feel like I am adding a full time job to my full time job as a mom. Please do not chastise me for feeling this way. I already said that I was lucky enough to stay home with my girls for so long. Some moms stay home, some work, you have to do what's best or needed for your situation. All I am saying is that this is different for me and it's going to take some time to adjust.

So I will take my shower, hopefully not try on 8 different outfits, have breakfast and grab my new bag that has lots of fun pens, Sharpies and paper (thanks, MOM!) and head out the door with my head held high; off on my new adventure!