Monday, June 07, 2004

Word of the day

Hippoponomous

I was reading some animal reports and came across the fact that one of the animals was related to the "hippoponomous". And I had to giggle...and wonder--Is that a hippopotomous that would prefer to remain anonymous?

Friday, June 04, 2004

Surprise! Go home now!

We are very,very ready for the end of school. The kids, no matter how early or late the school calendar goes, sense about 3 weeks before school is over and stop. They just stop--listening, working, behaving. Therefore, teachers either struggle against the hopeless tide of misbehavior and silliness, or give in and do a lot of art projects (or like me some combination of the two).

My mother, who is also a teacher, has said for years now that what we really need to do is have a surprise end of the school year. Never really let the kids know when school is suppose to let out. Just all of a sudden one day tell them "Surprise! School out! Go home now!"

We'd all be much happier.

Friday, April 30, 2004

I'm late, I'm late...

I had a meeting with my principal in the office this morning. While I was waiting for him to finish up a few things, I hung out and observed the enormous number of kids who came in tardy.

Each student who is tardy has to come into the office, give an excuse to one of the office ladies and then get a pass written for them. There were four office ladies busy for at least ten minutes. What a waste of their time!

What I can't understand is this--school starts at the same time every day. Students are allowed to come onto campus 20 minutes before school starts. With that window, you'd think parents could get a handle on arrival time and actually get their kid to school on time.

Friday, April 23, 2004

We've got spirit! Yes, we do!

Today is a "Spirit Day", "Twin Day" to be precise. Students dress like one another and the class with the most "twins" wins... an extra recess.

An extra 15 minutes of time for me, the teacher, to run copies, cruise the staff room for snacks, go to the bathroom or just sit in the blissfully quiet classroom was enough motivation that I gave "Twin Day" as an assignment. I actually spent 10 minutes of class time yesterday demanding that kids organize their wardrobe choices for today. I encouraged the exchange of phone numbers, the writing of notes, whatever it took for my class to get the highest percentage of students dressed like twins!

Well, guess what? It worked! Now I just have to deal with the fall out of 21 third graders all hyped up because they're wearing the same thing as their friend. *Sigh* I guess it's better than the "Candy Day" nightmare of 2003...

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Like this?

Now, when I was in third grade, I was one of these kids. The "like this?" kid, who never wanted to get it wrong. Who desperately studied the teacher model, wanting to make mine just like hers.

As a teacher, I can't stand these kids. They drive me crazy and I often find my self putting off starting projects I know will cause these kids to jump into "like this?" mode.

I want to tell my students who are so concerned with "getting it right" to just relax. You are in third grade! If you can't mess up now, when can you? No one wants to see 25 identical art projects posted outside the classroom. It's the mistakes, the quirks, that make a third grade project special--something Mom is going to want to keep in a box in the attic.

Explaining this to a third grader would be like explaining quantum physics. They would all nod their heads, agree with me and then say "So, like this, right?"