Sometimes, I post pictures to let people see my life. Sometimes they are to help remind myself of an event, a time, a person.
Three pics today, two of my folks’ dog, one of the lovely crocuses outside their front door.
Not sure if these are more for other folks, or for me. I had a lovely, quiet day, playing with Murphy, walking around the yard, enjoying the nice weather.
This morning, as I do most Saturdays, I attended an online seminar from Classroom 2.0 Live!
This morning, unlike many, I was away from home and partially distracted by my parents’ wonderful dog. Here he is, attending to the web seminar when I stepped away for a moment.
I began to write this in October 2012. Here at the beginning of 2014, now finally teaching and dealing with flexible thinking as I and the family adjust to the changes of the last year, I am putting it up for comment — I do not consider this a completed piece, but a holding post until I can get the time to do justice to this topic. Thoughts and comments are invited!
I had a wonderful day today with 5th graders. Tomorrow, kindergarten for part of the day, and then a couple partial days with 5th and 4th graders. Lucky doesn’t like it when I am gone, but he likes having me home for at least part of the day! I like getting paid…
It’s funny — when I am away from classrooms for a couple of days I start to wonder if I am any good at it, if I should even be there. I think perhaps if I just stayed home I would start to pick up the art and crafts that had the potential to make as much money as — and in my fantasy world a lot more than — teaching. I consider how much more use I would be around the house if I focused on my physical health (teaching is admittedly hard on me day-to-day, I come home physically exhausted and fighting viruses several times a month) and got the house and yard in better shape.
And then, when I step in the classroom… I have said it before, but it’s true: I am getting more and more comfortable with that discomfort of not knowing where things are or what is supposed to be happening. I find that I am getting pretty good at quickly identifying the kids who are off task, figuring out how to explain things, and back-filling. I am still working on things like finding where things are likely to be in the room; locating supplemental materials in advance of needing them; and, perhaps more importantly remembering all of the end-of-day rituals. I am starting to correct papers sometimes, and am giving occasional observational feedback to teachers in the notes I leave (so-n-so seemed confused, the kid in the back was reading a book during explanations…).
I am enjoying myself more and more, starting to differentiate better on the fly, and moving things ahead more efficiently in general. AND I am becoming more articulate about what is going on in the classrooms, now that I have some time to think about it. I have a lot of fun talking with other teachers nowadays.
Hope your week is going well, too!
Daffodils, hyacinths, little ground covers. End of winter, time to look ahead.
For a view of the entry garden as it has been maturing over the last eight years, take a peek at the Garden View page. In chronological order, a series of shots taken from about the same angle over the years, with new pics from today at the bottom.
It was a very wet week. Apparently we have already surpassed, halfway through the month, the previous record rainfall for the entire month. I had an unexpected chance to sub for a friend on Friday, and it went from raining sideways to full sun in half an hour. Yesterday was similarly wet, rainy-snowy-haily alternating with dry spells. Today, mostly dry and at the end sunny!
The garden is slowly returning to life. I didn’t get pics in the front yard today, but I caught a few in the back. Check out this years’ first glimpse of unfurling trilliums!
And a couple of others: shelf fungus under the bat house, huckleberry and ferns reclaiming cedar stumps.
Tonight we are dining on potatoes, leftovers, fresh veggies. Our last winter grocery box pickup was today. There is a lovely hazelnut pie for the fellows’ dessert, bread, crackers, and delicious veggies from kale to carrots. I have so enjoyed our monthly packages of lovely treats! Now looking forward to the opening of the farmer’s market and the weekly fruit truck at Madrona Grove.
I spent the last two days with a class of fourth graders.
First day: power flickered regularly for the first couple of hours, winds were strong and an announcement made AFTER students were in the building that teachers should have their walkie-talkies on standby in case the power went out… the kids were pretty on edge for a while.
Second day: At our house it wasn’t even sprinkling. By the time we reached the high school to drop off our son it was snowing lightly. By the time Tom dropped me off at my assignment school it was snowing heavily. So the kids came in (a little randomly as some buses hadn’t been on time/able to get to all their stops) already feeling a bit “off” — and then a special program for parents mid-day, with treats… the kids were pretty on edge (snow) and then very excited (performance), and then overly tired from adrenaline/sugar overload.
Fourth graders can handle the pressure!
Both days, I explained to the kids that I knew what we were doing, that I knew what to do if things changed, and then I set clear expectations that I enforced. A lot less enforcement needed on day two even though it was actually a more difficult energy day.
Both days, there were only minor incidents between kids, easily addressed.
Both days, there were only minor attempts to flout rules, which were easily addressed.
Both days, I had a really good time; and most of the kids had a really good time, too.
Both days, I actually knew what I was doing in terms of teaching, and I became a lot more comfortable thinking ahead and pre-addressing misconceptions. I am not “there” yet at this grade level, but I can see where I need to be, and think that with a week or two to develop a sense for where each and all students are I would be proficient at explaining tasks and concepts at this level. I think my biggest issue these past two days was just not knowing what vocabulary and prior knowledge were in play in the room. As I figured these two factors out, things got smoother.
My feet… today I stood and walked almost the entire time kids were in the classroom. My shoes aren’t bad, but I think when I have my own classroom I will definitely invest in a couple of cushiony floor mats for the places I stand while presenting.
I really love teaching. It’s a good week!
And that is what I have to say about the week so far.
Chicken soup on the stovetop, simmering away. Love the smell of garlic, chicken, herbs… a wonderful backdrop to a late winter afternoon. Today has been alternately sunny and rainy, warm (for the time of year) and chilly enough that the rain changed briefly to snow. We are on the lookout for snow overnight as well, but I am hoping mightily that it will miss our neck of the woods… last time I subbed for the same teacher there was a two-hour delay. Would not bode well if we had a repeat!
Hoping that the car will be fixed sooner than Friday so I can put myself back on the sub rolls, but thinking if I have a couple extra days at home I can make a little more progress on organizing books and boxes. It doesn’t seem that I do much on my days at home, but this morning I looked at the small desk in the bedroom and realized that in fact I have cleared about half of it. And my “interview folder” is pretty much up to date, as is my website now.
I don’t know what will be happening over the public schools’ Spring Break — had hoped to take a short car trip, but with the price of gasoline and the need to actually grow some of our own produce this year (prices for organic foods are so high!) I think I will have to focus on planting and staying local instead.
The end of Winter. Today was the day we changed our clocks, which used to be a sure sign of Spring. But I am not overly optimistic. I think potato planting will be late this year.