Saturday, August 30, 2014

The First Week of Students

First Week of Students
Day 1: I stayed really busy and I did a lot of mind numbing stuff. I'm glad I could help out, and I made copies.

Day 2: The bathroom flooded in the 3-5 hallway. It leaked into the art room and music room. It turns out a pull-up was flushed down a toilet. Ms. Helen had a student break her arm, and I made copies.

Day 3: I helped Ms. Sue, Kindergarten, and learned about pencil norms (you could kill someone if you're not careful) and made copies.

Day 4: I subbed in the 5th grade. At one point, I had to cover for a teacher for a few minutes. One kid would NOT stop talking. It was annoying. He drives his teacher crazy too. I held a bearded dragon and I made copies.

Day 5: In the morning, I got to help Ms. Sue, that woman is a nut case and I can see why O loves her. I was informed I have a schedule posted for me each day at the front desk. Oops! I found a home base for my water bottle, (see lessons learned, below) and I laminated.

Lessons Learned
I can never find my water bottle. I leave it everywhere because I don't have a home base. Next weeks goal is to find a home base. (This was actually my goal the week before last.)

I never hear my name over the P.A. and other people have to tell me. I need to listen closer. I just block it out because I think of it as just noise. I will have to work on that.

Monarch sends out a minimum of 10 emails a day. Well, maybe not 10, but it's close.

Knowing where all the extra school supplies are stored makes me a valuable asset to the education team. (I forget what Monarch calls the ed team.)

Some TAs are VERY territorial. WATCH OUT!! Wow, I was shocked.  I love the one who said, when asked if she needed help, "Sure, come on in, I would love help."

It's been such a long time since I have been in a work environment, I've forgotten what it's like to be around a variety of personalities at once. I paid attention to how people talked and interacted with each other. You can learn a lot from listening to the types of words people use and the topics they choose to talk about. One person, in particular, LOVES to talk about themselves. I asked questions but it was never a back and forth conversation, it was always a, "let me tell you all about myself, not ask you anything and then leave" interaction. I struggle with people like that. I call them "monologuers", or Shauna. (That's an inside joke.) It's never a conversation and you are just the "lucky" audience.  There are other things I noticed, but I'll share them later.

M - "What are you going to do now that all of your kids will be in school?"
Abby - "I don't know, probably make meth or something to kill the time."

Ms. Sam - "The line between being a savvy art teacher and a hoarder is very fine."

Ms. Kenzie - "We are going to do great and follow the norms."
O - "Back in 1st grade we didn't behave so well." (Which is true, I heard they were little turds.)

Ms. Kenzie - "Why do we want to be respectful and how can we be respectful?"
Jordan - "We don't want to be crappy to each other."

One little guy couldn't stand still in line and he pushed some people.
Ms. Kenzie - "Be respectful, hands to side."
Interrupted - "Well, I'm not on medication."

Me - "Is there anything I can get for you?"
A teacher - "Some alcohol? A glass of wine?" She'd been having a rough day with her class.

O Speaks
O - "Can we get something to eat that's food?"
M - "What do you have in mind and I'll tell you if it's food." (We'd been having a lot of Jamba Juices.)

O - "Mom, did you have mac n' cheese when you were alive?"
M - "I'm still alive O."
O - "I mean when you were a kid." (I guess some sort of death occurs when you become a parent.)

There is nothing as fun as getting a phone call from your 7 year-old telling you, "This is a warning, if you do.... I'm going to take away your driver's license and debit card."

Boob Talk
O - "How do you spell birthday?"
M - "What is the first sound?"
O - "B"
M - "What is the second sound?"
LT - "You spell the rest of it F...A...R...T!
O - "Dad, it's B...U...T...T!"
LT - "Butt Day."
O - "No, it's Bust Day."
LT - "No, it's Breast Day!"
M, fingers in my ears, "La la la la la la."

LT has ruined my daughter.

M, repeating something O said, "Why is there a birthmark by my nubbie?"
O - "Hey, mind your own nubbins. It's a breast joke."

Monday, August 18, 2014

The End of School, The Beginning of School

O finished 1st Grade in June

We are so proud of her for persevering, she had the roughest year she's EVER had in a school setting. By the end of the year, she hated going. The last 5 or 6 weeks of school, she would ask, at least once a week, if she could stay home. The second to last week of school she told me she didn't want to go because she hated it. I just said, "I know, but it ends next week." She was okay with that.  As you can imagine, LT and I are very, very concerned. 

I'm hoping she will have a much better experience this year. We are working on her behavior but she isn't the only one culpable. Before this year, she's never had a friend call her "stupid", "fat" or tell her, "I'm going to punch you in the face" or intentionally exclude her from something. It was quite upsetting to her. These life lessons are hard. 

Here she is with her boring, horrible, awful, inept, terrible, professional embarrassment, sorry human being of a teacher. Not really, despite the rumors, she's a pretty cool lady. I volunteered weekly so I can confirm she's not a professional embarrassment, except for when she laughs. In general, laughing is not allowed nor professional. :)

Ms. Helen and O are discussing the flight pattern of an Alpine Butterfly, or the end of school party at Ram's Head Tavern, I don't remember which.

Maybe it was a butterfly.


Something that REALLY surprised me was a thank you gift and book I received from the teacher and students at the end of the year. I even got a little teary-eyed when it was presented to me. 

Helen gave me a "that's so beautiful.... what is it?" plant. 

Here is the cover of the thank you book.

The picture is my favorite part of this page. It looks like someone, hopefully not me, is in the stocks.

"I thank you for caring for us. And I love (friend) your darter."

I'm on top of the world, hey, I'm on top of the world, hey!
"Dear Ms. Melissa. Thank you for being the best helper in the wholl intier world. You are one of the best teacher in the world." I like that I'm standing on the world.

"I think you are so nice because you some times help people."
Only sometimes? I need to work on that.

"I appresheidte you for helping us, and helping us when were hurt."
I don't remember doing that.

O told me I was the RED one!!! She thought it was REALLY funny. Also, that is her name on top of the paper. She wrote it in "cursive."

Ms. Helen's picture was my favorite.

The Beginning of School

School starts in less than a week and I think O is excited to go back. 

Also, I applied and was hired as a Teaching Assistant. I get to float from grade to grade and assist anyone who needs help. I like that I will have a variety of things to do. 

I was driving from Idaho to Maryland during the first week of training, so, unfortunately, I missed some of the "getting to know you" activities. Oh well, it will be good for me to seek out each person to get to know them. Also, because I was out of town, I didn't have the most current schedule for work this week, my first week. I showed up today at 8:30 and things started at 8:00. I was really, really embarrassed. And, oh well, I got over it. 

I spent time with each of the elementary grades while they were planning their fall expeditions. I'm excited to see how they all turn out, AND, I get to be involved with each one. At least, I plan to be involved. Actually, I'm really not quite sure what my new job requires. 


O - "Mom, why do I have a mustache?"
M - "Oh, it's no big deal. Lots of people have them. We can take care of it when you get older."

L - "If you get cold, you can cuddle."
M - "No, cuddling is for sissies."

M - "I really like my cargo shorts, but they're not very girly."
L - "But, they're comfortable."
M - "Ya, I don't want to sacrifice comfort for fashion

M - "To ensure the longevity of our relationship, I suggest you NEVER use my towel again."

M - "Ya, he's a jerk."
O - "He's like an ice cream cone where the ice cream fell off and the cone melted. He's like a jelly bean that got squashed."
M - "Wow, those are interesting analogies."

Conversations with my Dad usually catch me off guard.
Dad - "You looked so lovely at the memorial service. Sometimes I think you're getting heavy but then I see you next to...."
M - "Well, I am about 30 pounds heavier than I want to be."
Dad - "Yes, you're not as small as you used to be."

M - "Do you want to wear something that matches?"
O - "Aw Mom, do I have to?"

Boob Talk
O - "Mom, am I in puberty yet?"
M - " No, not yet. You are in pre-puberty."
O - "But, I'm getting boobies."
M - "Would you like me to buy you a bra?"
O, shyly - "Yes."

My friend Joanna doesn't have boobs. Truly, she says so herself.
Josie - "Mom, when do I have to wear a bra?"
Joanna - "Probably never."