I'm Sarah and I teach kindergarten and first graders with hearing loss how to listen and to speak. This is my 7th year teaching! Join me for my adventures and misadventures in the classroom!
You can contact me here:
untenuredteacher [at] yahoo [dot] com
This morning I got up a little earlier than usual because I knew I had a big day today (what with my first "real" day servicing kids). And it's a good thing I did, because when I stepped outside, I discovered frost all over my car. At first, I thought it was just a little frost... nothing a swipe of the windshield wipers couldn't take care of. But then I looked closer. I rubbed my finger against the window.... FROST!! It took me a long time to come to the conclusion that it was frost because it has literally been years since I've seen the stuff on my car.
Anyways, at this point, I had a small moment of panic. Here I am, I'm in sandals, and only wearing a hooded sweatshirt for warmth, and I'm not sure if we have a de-ice-er-thingy in the car (see how long it's been? I've even forgotten the right word for it!). I opened the trunk to check, and sure enough, waaaaaayy in the back was a de-icer. When I picked it up it even stuck to the carpet a little, as though resentful of the need to be used. It will have to get used to being worked hard again. *Sigh*
As I understand it, your job isn't that complex. You carry the mail from the post office to my mailbox. You carry my mail from my mailbox to the post office. The end. As I see it, you've only been doing half of your job. You see, last Monday we put a bright red Netflix envelope in our box. We were anxious to return it so that we could get another movie for the weekend. Alas, at the end of every day, we were dismayed to see it still sitting there. Sometimes, it was sitting there amongst grocery ads you dropped off. Sometimes it was sitting there among other mail. Sometimes we didn't get any mail. The point is, it's now Friday and we are left with no weekend entertainment. I'm not sure where to direct my complaint. I sure can't mail it to the post office because you and I both know that you will pointedly ignore it.
Mail Carrier, I'm not sure why you have failed so miserably in completing the other half of your job. Possibly you are too short to see into the box? Possibly you are scared of reaching in and finding a spider? Maybe the previous tenants played practical jokes and hid yucky things inside? Maybe you are new to this profession and you haven't been trained in this very difficult part of your job yet? Or maybe you are just unbelievably lazy?
Whatever the reason, just know that you are dealing with a school teacher. I have time-outs, suspension, and detention, and I am not afraid to use them!
One of the things that I love about my job is that I get to work with lots of different kids in many different grades.
Yesterday morning, I was in a kindergarten classroom observing one of my students. When my student left the room, I got distracted by the other kiddos in there. I saw this boy, let's call him "Norman" (or, insert any other old person name you wish). He looked exactly like his name. He had bright red hair, parted on the side and slicked down with about a gallon of hair gel. He had a big, round, white face that was animated all the time. When he finished his work, he got up to go put his work away. In doing so, he noticed I was sitting right behind him. "HI!!!" he yelled to me. On the way back from putting his paper away, he tripped, fell to the ground and lost a shoe. This didn't phase him. He got up again, walked over to his chair, and when he passed me on his way, he yelled "HI!!!!" again (but this time with a wave). During snack time, he offered me a crushed goldfish cracker. Maybe just to be nice? Maybe as a bribe? Maybe as a friendship offering? I'll never know.
At the tender age of 25, my husband and I are already empty nesters.
Well, at least temporarily.... I dropped off all three of our kitties at the vet tonight because they're all getting spayed tomorrow (it's nice they work around my schedule and are willing to house them overnight for free). So. All is quiet on the home front. As soon as I got back into my car, I felt TOTALLY LONELY. Even now, I'm pining for a furry cuddle that I can't even get until tomorrow evening. I'm worried they're totally traumatized by having to spend all night in a foreign place. I also learned that there will be another kitty spending the night with them, and we all know how mean our kitties can be with strange animals...
It is totally pathetic how much I miss them! This does NOT bode well for if/when we have children of our own....
I have yet to have a normal week at work. Last week was Not Getting Lost Week, Learning Names Week, and Setting Up Schedules Week. This week, I'm finally on my own, and it looks like this week will be Room Set Up Week, and MEAP Testing Week (that is our state's yearly standardized test). So far, I have set up the majority of my room, figured out testing schedules for sixteen different kids in four different grades, and ordered hundreds of dollars worth of supplies (on the school's budget--yea!!).
This job still feels really new to me. I know it will become all too familiar soon, but I'm still getting there. I have a picture on my file cabinet of two of my colleagues in California, and I keep waiting for them to walk across the hall and pop in. I anticipate good things from this job, but every once in a while, I'll startle myself by noticing something unfamiliar in my room and suddenly remember that I'm not in California anymore, that I'm not teaching DHH anymore....
I am a third year teacher wearing a different kind of hat.
My first full week is over. Next week, I look forward to setting up my own room space. Technically, I still can't work with the kids yet until my fingerprints have cleared. You just never know who's going to be a psycho, I guess! But it will be nice to feel like I have my own space. There are two different resource rooms. I let the other teacher have the bigger/nicer room, but don't think it was an entirely altruistic move on my part: there is so much traffic in there, it would drive me insane! There are kids coming in there to "calm down", sensory kids in there taking a break and jumping on a small trampoline, other kids in there who need a quiet place to do work, and on top of that, it's the home base for the all the para-pros (aides) who work with our special needs kids. So I opted for the smaller room. Unfortunately, the temperature in my room doesn't register with the system in the rest of the building, so it ALWAYS feels like a meat locker in there. I was assured that I could get the administration to provide a space heater, though, so that will be my first order of business :).
But for now, I am really enjoying my weekend! It's nice to get up whenever, and not at butt o'clock in the morning...
Well, Day Two of my new job just ended, and so far, so good! I haven't seen any kids yet, but the other Resource Room teacher and I are taking advantage of the fact that the RR teacher I'm replacing is here for the week to show us the ropes and take care of some details. This is making my transition a lot smoother.
For those of you who don't know, a resource room teacher services students with learning disabilities (and other disabilities) in the general education classroom. So I have students in grades K, 3, 6, 7, 8 who all need extra help with either math or reading. I will usually pull those students into my room for a certain number of hours a week (no more than seven as it turns out), or work alongside them in their own classrooms. And, of course, I'm responsible for writing and implementing IEPs. This is a new kind of role for me and I'm looking forward to all it entails. I really miss my deaf/hard-of-hearing students sometimes, but I remind myself that I came very close to not teaching at all this year! Plus, the experience will diversify my resume :)
The hour commute each way hasn't been too bad so far. I don't mind the drive itself (although, ask me that again in the winter!), it's the waking up at 5:40 AM every day and the ensuing early bedtime that is really kind of gross. Going to bed at 9 instead of 2 is quite a shock to my system!
More from me later.... that is, when I can wrestle the computer away from Max!
Back in June, when I left the perfect job in California, if you had asked me what my worst nightmare was in regards to teaching in Michigan, I would have said:
Teaching in a resource room
Starting late in the school year
Today, I got a job that makes all three true and I could not be more excited!! After months of putting out dozens and dozens and dozens of applications, and lowering my expectations so far as to apply to "Dominoes", this job is a welcome blessing. It's a different role for me, but it will be good to diversify my resume. It also happens to be in a school about an hour away from here, and that bites, but I'm willing to overlook it! (If my mother-in-law can make that commute, why can't I?)
Anyways, thank you all for your prayers and the happy thoughts you sent my way... I start on Monday! Woo Hoo!
Last Friday morning, I noticed that something wasn't right with our cats. They were eerily still (usually they are tearing around in the morning). In particular, Mowgli, our wildest one, was sitting still and having difficulty breathing. All three of the cats have been sneezing for months, but this was a different story. Max and I finally decided that we should bite the bullet and bring them to the vet.
I called around first, and everyone said that it was going to cost around 30 bucks a cat, just for the office visit! This was unacceptable, so I found a place that had the word "affordable" in the name, and they said that it would be 25 total for the office visit for all three cats! Hooray!
I packed them all into the most ghetto cat carrier you could ever imagine (cardboard box with holes, wrapped in a mesh laundry bag) and drove to the vet. Mrs. Hufflepuff hates being confined in anything, and she got out of the box and strained at the blue mesh bag. She reminded me of a thief wearing a nylon over its head.
It was a relief to get to the vet and an even BIGGER relief to find out that he was willing to do everything for free (as long as we contacted this foundation who helps low-income folks to pay for vet bills--they would reimburse him if they took our case. If they didn't take our case, he was willing to take the loss). This miracle occurred for a couple of reasons:
I told him they were rescued cats.
I told him I was an unemployed teacher (his wife is in the same situation and now works as his receptionist)
GOD WAS LOOKING OUT FOR US!
Anyways, each of our kitties got two shots, then the vet sent me home with the rest of the medicine they needed. He also gave us free flea treatments, heart worm treatments, and special kitty food. I only ended up paying 39 dollars!!! I was ready to give that man a hug!!
So, we should be snot free by the end of this week. Already the kitties are doing much better. They can breathe, Mrs. Hufflepuff's right eye is staying open, and they are all more active.