Summer break is over

I have 4 days left of Summer break. On Monday I head back to school. July 31. No one is happy about the encroachment of the school year calendar into July, but with all the other mandated and preferred “must haves” during the year, this is the way it turned out.

We have 4 days of pre-planning and then on Friday, August 4, the kids come. This year I’ll be stationed in  the second grade level and mainly in one second grade classroom for 95% of the day. I only have one segment in first grade, helping out another teacher who will be working with first grade students. My home spot where my desk is and where I put my purse and eat lunch etc. has changed too. I used to be at one extreme end of the school and now I’m at the other. This will be really convenient because my new spot is in the second grade area and it will save me a lot of time and steps during the day.

In the last 6 years I’ve never been stationed in one class or dedicated to one teacher as much as I will be this upcoming school year. I used to go somewhere different every hour. I traveled with the kids instead of the kids coming to me.

I’m looking very much forward to this year. I like the security of the job (as secure as these things can be) but also look forward to the small changes within the job because that means it never gets boring. I used to be dedicated to kindergarten, this year it will be 2nd grade. I used to travel the building, this year I’ll mainly be in one classroom. I love the teacher I’ll be with so that is a huge forward start.

Our school is really good and the Administration is excellent. It has a positive and friendly climate. It is a good place to work because of the collegial support and encouragement. The work environment is physically comfortable. The high-level professional quality of my colleagues and especially the Admins is all good. I am really blessed to have a good job with a steady paycheck, regular hours, and is fulfilling because it is with kids.

As a result we have a low amount of people requesting transfers away. Employees come, and they stay. We have historically had the largest amount of 20, 25, and 30 year workers in the system. The downside is that these long-term workers are starting to retire now, and last school year we had a few. We were given funds to fill the positions for those who left. I’ll miss them. That, plus the blessing of receiving funds for some new positions, means that this year in our building we have ten new faces!

What I’ll miss about summer break at home:

The warm glow of the kitchen curtains as the sun rises and filters through the lace

Savoring coffee slowly first thing in the mornings

The green grass outside my window

Hearing the birds in the morning, along with the Wayward Rooster (who crows a chortled crow at all hours not just morning!)

The quietness of home

Snoring kitties

Eating at odd times

Going to the bathroom whenever I want! (You teachers and mommies know what I mean).


Surfing the net all day


Not having to talk to or see people

Not having a schedule


What I’m looking forward to at school:

Having a schedule

Seeing the children

Kids’ bad knock knock jokes


Helping children

Serving my teachers

Feeling useful

Being a good employee

Not being able to eat whenever I want to (phew I ate myself out of house and home this summer!)

Being part of a team that makes a safe place for children to come to and be loved

Actually earning the paycheck that comes through the summer

Seeing my principal and assistant principal do their work because they are so good at what they do

Coming home at the end of the day

Rainbow over my school at dawn a couple of years ago. EPrata photo

Exciting weather quizzes

I was subbing in the fourth grade today. A bunch of 4th grades got together and played Jeopardy on the large-scale, wall computer (Smart Board). This was a review for a weather quiz they are having tomorrow. I was impressed with how much the kids knew about weather instruments, atmospheric conditions, cold and warm fronts, severe weather, and all the rest.

They got so excited and at one point they were bubbling over with pride in what they knew and in the excitement of the game. The question was posed about two kinds of fair weather clouds. In his group to debate the answer, one shouted, “Cyrus and Curious!”

LOL. The finally got it ironed out to cirrus and cumulus and won $400, Alex.

Oink, oink, swine flu is here

The LA Times wrote today, “Swine flu outbreaks are already sporadic throughout the country, and they are highest in the Southeast. “The most likely explanation is that schools started earlier there,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC.”

Our public schools did start about a month ago and our school is just now getting hammered with the flu. There is one case with a teacher out that is confirmed H1N1, I was told today, and the classroom next door to us had 6 children absent. Many other teachers have been home sick and the substitutes who have been called are declining to come in and cover classes, because their own children are home with it.

In my classroom, the teacher is out to a training session for two days and we had three subs. At 2:00 today, a message was broadcast over the intercom asking teachers who have children requesting to go to the nurse for bandaids for minor cuts etc should instead redirect those children to the office, and leave the nurse for those who complain of nausea or who have a fever. The nurse’s office sure was busy today.

Meanwhile back in Pre-K land, I was putting anti-bacterial ointment on one boy’s nasty cut in preparation for applying the bandaid, and two of my smaller boys walked by and asked, “What’s that?” and I said, “boo-boo cream.” They laughed like crazy, saying ‘boo-boo cream’ over and over. It doesn’t take much to tickle a four-year-old’s funny bone.