Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Friday to Me

Happy Friday all! Fridays are my favorite day of the week. Most people really like Saturdays. I'm fan of those too, but I think that on Friday evenings, you have the fresh hope of the weekend ahead of you. All during the weekend, I end up thinking of all the things I should be doing and dreading the upcoming week. Fridays are usually one of the easier days at work, mostly because I give the kids quizzes on those days, and they stay busy. This year I decided to treat myself because I'm finding that I as I get older (and this is a slow process by the way) that the fabulous treats from others is slowly dying off. So I decided to treat myself.

First treat of the day.....Krystal's Original Breakfast Scrambler. I'm not a paid actor for them, but I have to say that this is one of my favorite breakfast treats. If you haven't tried it, you should. Just don't go on Friday mornings around 6:30 AM. There's usually no line so I can drive right up and get my stuff quickly. The Original Breakfast Scramber is a wonderful cup of buttery grits, covered in scrambled eggs topped with melted cheese, and a sausage patty on top. All of my favorite things in a cup. Totally delicious.

Another treat is my lunch. (Do you notice a trend here?) My school has a potato and salad bar for the teachers each Friday. The potatoes are very good and the salad tastes better than the salads do throughout the week. I think it's because it's Friday. Everything is better on Fridays.

A usual Friday treat is my attire on Fridays. I wear all the glitter makeup....and usually don some type of hat or costume. Also, Friday is t-shirt and blue jeans at work, and I'm totally into that.

There are so many wonderful things about Fridays......what's your favorite day of the week?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Easy Breezy and Oh So Cheesy

If you've ever met an elementary school teacher, you've met an angel on Earth. I'm not sure there is any other profession that requires as much from a person and expect her/him to do many different things at the same time flawlessly. It's one thing to mess up a bunch of paperwork, but something completely different to mess up someone's kid. There are many areas of greatness that I could go on and on about in the life of an elementary teacher, but today I will focus on just one element. The dreaded bulletin board display.

Now don't get me wrong.....I like how bulletin boards brighten up the hallways at school. Most professional places lack this sort of creativity. There are two parts of bulletin boards that I don't like. The first is thinking of a decent display to do and the accompanying corny title. The other is just the sheer time it takes to put the thing up. And if you've got even the slightest bit of OCD, you can forget it...because the border won't be right and your letters won't be straight. I think that doing bulletin boards may be part of the OCD'ers intervention and recovery plan. I've been out of bulletin board rehab for quite awhile and am proud of my progress!

The aspect that most pains me is getting the idea for a bulletin board display. I have several books and of course the Internet is really good for stealing ideas too, but I find that most of my boards come from my brain after much worry and debate. I have an idea for one and then start to thinking about a decent title. This is part is my roadblock. You see, I don't think people realize that creating a bulletin board with a cheesy title is a "must have" in elementary school. More often than not, you do some title that has a play on words. What kills me about it is that most kids that young don't get it. It's wasted humor.

For example, a couple of years ago, I did a back to school bulletin board with the title, "We're a GRAPE bunch!" and took purple party plates and wrote the kids names in paint pen on them and arranged them on the board like a bunch of grapes. The kids didn't get it. They did tell me that I spelled the word "great" wrong. For that, I was grateful. At least I got them to thinking. The titles are really hard to come up with for me, so I usually "collaborate" AKA ask the teachers around me what a good title would be. The teacher across the hall from me LOVES to do bulletin boards and really gets into it when I ask her. She is very creative and has come over to help me out many times. She plans her bulletin board displays a year in advance. Obviously she's never heard of the bulletin board 12 step program.

One Christmas I was hanging students' stockings in the room on the backdrop of a butcher paper fireplace. My lovely teacher friend came right over and drew my bricks for me. She has drawn more bulletin board stuff for me than I'd like to admit. I'm not sure where the line is from "collaborator" and "creative genius" but I find it's pretty blurry. Her handwriting is really nice too....that's always a bonus when she's lettering something for me.

As you may not be aware, we've just started back to school. Outside my room I have two bulletin boards and I cover my door and use it as well. The kids did the large board at the end of last year and it looks fabulous. They made a huge sailing ship with mast and pirate flag sailing on an ocean of waves. They made the sun setting in the distance and an island of treasure just on the horizon. I added pictures of the students' faces in the boat and the title says, "We're sailing into fifth grade!" I think most kids get this since the obvious association is with a sailing ship. (Side note...I have some very artistic students. They ate this project up.) The other outside bulletin board is used to chart students' progress in Accelerated Reader. The title for that one is "A.R.e you meeting your goal?" (I stole this title from a teacher friend.) On my door I have a map of the United States that says "Mrs. Rosamond's class is going places!" and the students have little pictures of themselves attached to little cars and they're driving around the door. The border of the door is surrounded in post cards. The saving grace for me here is that a couple of my students' parents came in this summer and put it together for me. I gave them the idea and they went with it. And went they did. It turned out fabulous!

So I've already started worrying about the bulletin board displays for next month. I think that the kids doing the big one in their spare time was great....they really enjoyed it and have asked when they could do another one. (It took lots of planning and measuring to do it right! Ahhh authentic learning!) It does take some time to do so we'll have to plan it accordingly. If you have any "cheesy" ideas for a board....let me know. One can never have enough cheese in their life!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Betty and Veronica

Hello loyal fans....things have been busy in TassieWorld where school has started back up again. The first two days were pretty good....I've tried real hard to find the positive in people and situations. It's harder than being negative, but the payoff is so much better.

So today's post is about Betty and Veronica. You remember them, right? I can remember my excitement in getting each comic book. Back in those days, they were larger, like the size of a magazine. There would be the Double Digest that was smaller and had more stories in them too, but I didn't like them as much. I've read lots of comics from the whole gang in Riverdale. None of them are as interesting as Betty and Veronica. I enjoyed it so much that I played Betty and Veronica with the kids from the neighborhood. Mark was Archie, Kim was Veronica, and I was Betty. I really like Veronica more (and no, it isn't because of her money-I just think that brunettes are prettier) but we all thought that since Kim was African American, she'd make a better Veronica. So I let her have it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing the book and magazine section of the evil Wal-Mart with Raelynn, which is what we do because she loves to read more than I do. Now that I think about it, I loved to read a lot when I was her age too. I think it has to do with the fact that children didn't control the TV shows watched at my house growing up. Raelynn probably has the same problem.

Anyway, I saw a Betty and Veronica comic book and picked it up. Raelynn was very interested in it, probably because it had two fashionable and pretty girls on the front. I perused the issue and decided to buy it for her. (I made sure it was age appropriate.) She read that thing over and over and over. We looked through the issue to find out when the next issue was coming out and it was this past Monday. I went back to find it for her but it wasn't there. She was pretty sad.

But anyway, I'm glad I introduced her to the wonderful word of comics. There are many things I enjoyed as a kid that she's never experienced. I can remember the days of wax candy bottles, candy cigarettes, and orange sherbet push ups. I hope that in this crazy, fast-paced world, she and I can share some of life's simpler pleasures. Those are things we remember. That and the fact that Archie could never decide which girl he liked...all the while I was rooting for Veronica. Oh well, maybe next issue.....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"I Don't Want to Work" is more than just a song title.

Tomorrow is my first day back to work. The kids don't come back until Thursdays. We've been told that there will be no time for working in our rooms, so I'll be getting in early and staying late. So what else is new? There is a small part of me that is looking forward to seeing everyone again but I'd be lying if I said that I wouldn't miss the freedom to do what I want, when I want to do it. The up side to it is that I'll be back into my routine, which is good. Predictable events happening at a predictable time is a good thing. The kids keep things interesting and unpredictable. Teaching is never boring.
This summer has been a good one. I was a part of the Writing/Thinking Project during the month of June. We met each day from 8 to 4. It made for a long day. I met some really great people and got refocused for teaching. That was good.
Before my class and during the month of July, I spent lots of time with my friends Wendy and Kathy. Raelynn and I went swimming several days a week at Wendy's house. Wendy has three kids and they are great. Raelynn really enjoys being with them, even if they're older than she is. I also spent time with Kathy and her kids (she also has three) at Wendy's and at other venues in town. It's great that Wendy and Kathy are friends too....we had great times hanging out! I spent the night at Kathy's lake house a couple of times and all the kids slept on the porch. They had a blast...and to be honest, I did too. We also saw Harry Potter and some other movies...some with the kids and some without. On top of this, I spoke to them daily. We have a really good time together and part of why I'm dreading going back to work is because I won't see them as often. Well, that and the whole work thing.
I am looking forward to a new beginning with my students. I had them last year so I already know them. I love how at the beginning of the school year it feels like anything is possible. There are so many possibilities for growth...both mine and theirs. It usually takes a few weeks to start feeling overwhelmed.
Well.....I still have lots to do before going to work tomorrow. I need to get plenty of sleep so I'll be fresh for my first day back. If I get bored later, I'll just call Kathy or Wendy.