domingo, agosto 21, 2005



it's been an interesting week. there was minimal stress, a frightening amount of socializing, and a lot of prep and planning.

my kids are great. most of them have a really good understanding of english, in stark contrast to last year's group. i have two kids that have some difficulties waiting their turn to talk and getting to work, but they're all about trying their very best so it's hard not to love them. one kid is so desperate to help everyone else that she never gets her own freakin work done, but better that than being mean and picking fights. and my favorite is the chamaco who has never been to school before and is fresh from a rancho in mexico... his first two days were a bit of a nightmare (as soon as he was done with lunch, he got up and left... luckily he was intercepted by the principal, then handed off to me. he's definitely marching to the beat of his own drum and sees no point in asking permission or doing as others do.), but he's getting the hang of things. unfortunately, he have zero letter/sound knowledge so i've already met with a kinder teacher about having him join their class for language arts. we'll get him on track soon enough.

two of my fifteen will be leaving in the next week or so in order to receive special ed services at another campus. this means my already small class will be officially tiny. i LOVE it. they are super hard-working and looooooove the fact that they have TEXTBOOKS! friday we made a graph of our favorite foods and they had to copy it in their math notebooks. i was very impressed by their work ethic as they all sat quietly on the carpet and copied diligently. one kid started talking, and the student next to him hissed, "Stop talking and do your work!" really, i could have left to go get a milkshake and they would have been fine.

the new first grade bilingual teacher next door and i have great lofty dreams of team teaching. we've already begun a little swapping... last week she read social studies to both classes and i did a math lesson for both. ideally we'll start with 4-5 reading groups in september and try to work our way up to switching based on ability level in ESL and math. it'll require a ridiculous amount of planning at first, but the benefits for the kids would be extraordinary.

so there you go. a surprisingly smooth first week. we did some alpha knowledge and math testing but now we have to pull out the big beginning-of-year assessments that we all HATE. they absolutely require busy work. blech.

sidebars: first, at breakfast yesterday, i overheard a parent tell his spouse to buy their kid a gumball instead of a bouncy ball. what the hell? since when is sugar preferred over something that might inspire physical activity? lazyasses. second, today i went to the mall with a friend. as we waited in line at the cashier, a mother who appeared to be on the verge of self-implosion kept grabbing her kids by the ear and yanking them into line behind her. the first time i know the shock on my face was evident... the second time, i had to walk away or else i was gonna start lecturing her. what do you guys think of criticizing bad parental discipline in public? i've never done more than make a face, but now the teacher in me is way less tolerant of bullshit discipline methods.

back to my classroom, this week we'll work on retelling the fantastic book Tuesday by David Wiesner. it's one of my all-time favorites, check it out! we'll also be using My Little Sister Ate One Hare by Bill Grossman for rhyming practice and ESL. hmm, speaking of books... anyone willing to email me and teach me how to put that stuff on my blog that allows others to know what i'm reading? i love sharing great children's books and think that might be a good way to do it.

sorry for the lack of updates, but it'll likely continue as i try to maintain a social life =) more classroom photos will be up on flickr this week, so make sure to add me as a friend if you'd like to see them since i'm no longer making those photos public. ¡cuidense!

I think you need to speak of this week in hushed tones to be sure your good fortune doesn't evaporate.

I hesitate to discuss other parents' discipline methods with them, especially in front of their kids. I worry that if I end up embarassing the parents, the kids will pay for it with even worse treatment later, when I'm not around. But I will interact with the kids as a way of keeping them out of trouble - engaging a screaming toddler with a game of peekaboo, for example.

I had a student who worked as a checker at the big grocery chain here in Central State who told me the managers ended up having to call social services on abusive parents several times a week! They would get the identity from a check or credit card.
I am not sure the cultural background of the parent but in Mexican families it is very common for mothers and grandmothers to grab children by the top of their ears "jalar sus orejas" this happened to me quite frequently and while it looks painful it really is more startaling than anything. My mom used to "jalar mis orejas" all the time, public or not, but she never spanked me.
mom & kids were white. quiensabe.
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