Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Day Is Bananas!



Oh Kelly :]

First of all, two blog posts in one day. Come on, that's bananas!

Second of all, I had a ridiculous day! It started out normal...
  • I taught my first two classes, and then during 3rd period I had to teach a guidance lesson to another class. So I did that.
  • Fourth period was also normal, except today I was running my group (for my internship) so instead of eating lunch I went to the counseling office to work with those kids. Then I finished teaching fourth period.
  • At the beginning of fifth period, I had told a few girls that I would be willing to be filmed for a documentary they were making for one of their classes called "Teaching and Pregnant." Yes, this is a take-off on "16 and Pregnant" which I've never seen, but my students love to tell me stories about because they think it somehow relates to my life. Oh my.
  • After the documentary filming, I had to stop in another teacher's classroom to look at some fabulous WW2 stuff he had, some of it American (his dad fought) and some of it Nazi (very cool). He's not known for being a short-winded guy so this took longer than I would have liked especially since I was waiting to eat my lunch!
  • I finally made it down to the counseling office to eat my lunch and go over some data with my mentor. As we're going over the data there are all these questions about it and things that don't seem to make sense. I asked who compiled the data and she said it was from Central Office and we had a meeting about it after school today. So I asked if someone from CO was coming to run the meeting, and she said no, she thought she was supposed to be running it.
  • I head back to my classroom to teach sixth period. About 1:45 a student aide walks in my room with MY SISTER. What the what?! So I stood frozen and staring for a minute trying to understand where I was and who was there and what on earth might be going on. Then I walked over and was able to ask "What the what?!" Amberly hands me a Starbucks coffee and some chocolate candy, and then says she came to bring me some short-sleeved maternity clothes. All I could think was that this was about to be followed by something terrible, so I stared again waiting for her to drop a bomb. Turns out she was just in the area having lunch with one of her friends and decided to pop in and bring me the short-sleeved clothes I had asked about. Wellllll... ok. So she offered to stick around a few minutes until school was out, but I told her I had this meeting. So we went out in the hallway so I could show her how to get back outside.
  • While standing in the hallway the guidance office secretary walks by. I stop her to introduce her to my sister and show her Caraline. I noticed she was holding two cups of salsa and thought it was weird, but didn't inquire.
  • End of the day arrives and I fly back down to the counseling office to meet up with my mentor for this meeting. She gathers her things and we head to... wait, where is this meeting again? She tells me it's in room 105. Amanda's room? Amanda is another social studies teacher. How strange that a counseling meeting is taking place in there.
  • It's not a counseling meeting, it's a baby shower thrown by the counseling and social studies departments. How cute!
For some reason I thought I would definitely see a shower coming a mile away at work, that I would be able to identify some weird random after school meeting as a surprise shower. How miserably did I fail? Hahaha :] I guess if you're going to fail at anything, guessing your surprise baby shower is a good one.

Today could only be topped by tomorrow being the last day before spring break. Ohhhh hoooooraaaaaay!!!

Breakfast Post

It's been so long since I've posted, and believe me, I think all day about the things I want to write about. I've just been way too incredibly busy. Things just aren't going to wind down until little miss Carsen arrives and I'm forced to abandon everything else (can't wait!!). So I decided I'd squeeze in a post while I eat breakfast this morning. Hope I don't make myself late! Here's what I'm up to:
  • Completing internship hours. I had 60 to complete in 3 weeks, this is week 2. I'm clocking everything including writing my papers!
  • Researching and writing a paper for my data and advocacy project. Paper is currently on page 8 and unfinished....
  • Reflections on each week of internship since the second week of December
  • Putting together a portfolio to demonstrate my competency as a counselor
  • Copying all of my 4th quarter lessons for my substitute
  • Writing instructions for my sub on everything she'll need to know
  • Preparing my hospital bag and making a list of everything I can't pack in advance to make sure I don't forget it
The list goes on, but these are the current things I'm trying to accomplish. That aside, I've kept a sticky note with some pretty good "Say Whats" on it. Here are a few...
  • As we began WW2 we were talking about dictators as leaders (like Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini). I gave the students a homework assignment to look up and describe another world leader who is or was a dictator. Some that I got were-- Napoleon in the 1930s, Sarah Palin, and George Washington. These are not students expressing political opinion and saying that they think Sarah Palin would be a bad leader, they simply described who she is factually and said that she was a dictator. Same with George Washington. I kind of (kind of) couldn't believe it.
  • Another student I had to write up for making cat noises in class, including at me. He (yes, he) would just sit in his seat meowing and hissing while waving his "paw" in the air like he was swatting at something. I told him to stop many times, and then had to write him up. He was thoroughly insulted and tried to argue that I couldn't write him up for it. Then I shared the story with his soccer coach who made him cry.
There are more but unfortunately I'm out of time for the morning and have to cut this short. It's kind of been the story of my life. My family has even been asking where I am. The answer is: buried in school work. But better now and to get it over with by the time Carsen is here.

And the best news of today: Tomorrow is my Friday, then I'm on spring break until April 12th! Yippeeeee :]

Monday, March 22, 2010

Manic Monday

Oh my, what a Monday. Well, I know I've missed a Say What?! Wednesday last week, and I haven't posted the latest pictures of the growing belly.

I'll start with some Say What?!

Interim reports went home with kids on Friday. Naturally then, I received half a dozen emails from parents regarding the immediate necessity to meet. Two of those students have Cs.

One of those students did in fact have an E. This wasn't because he's a struggling student, but because he had been absent a few times and missed 2 quizzes and 2 homeworks as a result. His mother was hysterical. Her hostile email accused the following:
  • I had not told her her son had an E
  • She did not know he was missing assignments
  • He could not possibly have an E for a quiz he was absent for (ahem... and never made up)
So I had to try to calmly respond that
  • All of her son's grades are posted online and have been since November, so I did not in fact keep any information from her
  • Her son had already made up one of the two quizzes, it was just after I had to submit my interim grades
  • He handed in both of his missing homework assignments today, indicating that he did in fact have his make-up work, he just hadn't handed it in.
This is why they can't keep teachers.

On a happier note... Carsen is growing like crazy :] We are 36 weeks along today! Next week Carsen will be a full term baby. I can't believe it! The time has really gone by so much faster than I thought. Here's what we look like this week.....

Things are getting a little stressful as we come down to the last few weeks. I'm not at all worried about the baby aspect of it, but more so with finishing my internship and the papers I have to write for the class. I also need to get stuff together for my substitute, but I'm planning to do that this week after my many many conferences :]

Ahhhh, 2 more weeks until spring break!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Say What?! [Thursday]

Just thought I'd change things up a bit this week to see who's paying attention! It's a teacher trick. Jenna passed :]

So, in the middle of class, as always, a girl raises her hand.

Girl: Mrs. Beck! Is that a winter coat and scarf??
(I have my coat and scarf on a 3M hook by my desk)
Me: Yes....
Girl: Why are you wearing that in the middle of spring?!
Me: It's been 50 degrees for two days.

Although I've got to say I'm pretty sure the snow is behind us. Kind of makes me sad, I was hoping for one more big storm in March since it's such a long month with no breaks. My hope for that is fading fast. At the same time, I am such a summer girl that I usually love nothing more than to see the warm weather settle in. And while 50 degrees isn't very warm, we've hit 60 a few times this week and I am not complaining. I wore sandals to work today (maybe not the best idea since they were a little snug) and I might actually be disappointed if temperatures went back down to the 40s or lower. I could really skip spring altogether except the enjoyment I get out of the whole build-up to summer. It's usually my most frustrating season because temperatures go up for a few days and then drop way back down.

Well I guess the weather is really all else I have to share today. I had two baby showers over the past weekend but everyone else has the pictures. This coming weekend we have two birthday parties (including Leo's 5th!) on Saturday and a baptism on Sunday. I'm excited, although not sure when I'm going to rest!

Ok. Time to get working on my to-do lists. Some call it nesting. I call it:
1. I need to graduate and I'm running out of time to clock internship hours/write papers, and
2. I have to do all of my work for work prior to being out for 9 weeks!

Add nesting on top of that because we still need to get our house in shape to welcome a baby and do all the things that won't get done once all of our time is taken up by staring at her :]

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Many Things

Say What?! Wednesday
This week, I got a flood of ridiculous parent emails. It was perfect timing for Say What?! Wednesday!
  • Let's see... one parent emailed me in all caps to ask when her son could make up his mid-term exam from January. I love all-caps emails. They give me that sense that I'm being yelled at -- love that from parents.
  • Another parent emailed to let us know that while she can talk to her daughter about her behavior, when the girl is in class it's the teachers' responsibility to deal with the girl's behavior problems. Ah, thanks for the support.
  • The best, for me, was a parent who emailed to tells us (us) how much she needs a vacation. Hm, a week and a half off for snow and spring break coming up in 4 more weeks... yes, next week seems like the perfect time to take a vacation. The point of her email was not just to tell us she needed vacation but to ask the ever-important question: "Will this affect my daughter's education?" By the way, the answer to this is always, "No, we'll probably just color pictures while we wait for her to return."
Ok, so as good as those were... my 2nd period cherubs made the best Say What?! statement today. I've mentioned that there are a handful of native spanish-speakers in that class. Well some of the kids in this class like to joke with each other about being black and "Mexican." So one of the black girls is trying to pick on one of the hispanic girls and she just says out loud to the whole class: "Did you hear about that Mexican that went to college?........ Me neither." The good news is that these kids are only kidding with each other and they all laughed, but it was a bit of a challenge to get them back on task after that.

33 Weeks

I'm still feeling really good here at 33 weeks, aside from my feet! The swelling has been going on for a few months at this point but the night I took those pictures it was really really bad. I have some pain in my feet but I can't tell if it's from the swelling or just the extra weight. They just feel like there are some strains or injuries in a few spots. I'm not too worried though. I asked the doctor once and they basically said, "Yea you're pregnant. It's mild."

Otherwise, I have just 6 and a half weeks left until baby day! I'm really really excited to meet this little girl and to get some good stay-at-home time to spend with her and getting to know her. I can't lie that I'm really excited at the thought of my school year being over in 6 weeks, and I still have spring break in there too.

My biggest stress right now is getting the internship hours clocked. Remember my recent post about how I would be getting an intern to teach my classes? Turns out for some reason her advisor doesn't want to let that happen. He thinks it would be best for her to begin teaching my classes on the day she takes over as my sub :[ I am disappointed because I was looking forward to having that extra time to get in some internship hours and, well, just prepare for being absent for 8 weeks, but I'll have to find another way to make it happen. I think my department leader has decided that he wants her to actually split her time between my classes and the guy she has been interning with. So at some point she will teach my classes a few days a week and that will be helpful, it's just going to be a longer transition. But either way, I am very grateful to have a competent substitute that I'm comfortable working with.

One last thing for tonight before I go... I also posted not too long ago about Facebook and how iffy it can be to unfriend someone or to not accept a friend request. Well, I took the plunge and unfriended someone. Despite never having said a single word to me on Facebook until a few months ago when they made some rude comments about something I had posted, the reaction was exactly as I had predicted.

Call me what you want, I just don't tolerate people being rude to me. It takes about once until I'm done -- particularly if it was a barely-there connection to begin with.

I will end with this thought: God leaves us no choice but to age, yet so many of us choose to never mature.

Wouldn't the other way around have been glorious??