Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Ruminitions

School: I'm having a rough back-to-school start this year. I have two classes that are outstanding. But I still have one large class that is over the capacity of 21 students, where Intensive Reading classes are supposed to "cap." The large class is a daily frustration, as it is impossible for me to have every student on the software for 20 minutes, as my curriculum program requires. Due to only having 7 student computers in my room, there are not enough minutes in the class block, nor computers for 30 students to rotate to. (Read180 is supposed to cap at 21 so we can "rotate" with 3 blocks of 7 or less students.) I have 30. It is SO frustrating! The needs of my students are not being met. I have sent multiple messages to my principal and vice principal, who both assure me they're "working on it." Next week is the FIFTH week of school. What the heck is taking so long? I don't understand why my class size has not been lessened. (Both of my morning classes have less than 21 students, so all that needs to be done is to create schedule changes for some afternoon students in order to move them into one of my smaller classes.) UGH!

--I've been thinking about calling the Teacher's Union. But I don't want to "stir the pot" and cause negativity between my administrators and I.

--In addition, our new reading teacher only lasted four days. She turned in her resignation. I've spent MANY planning periods helping the substitute in that classroom complete district required testing with the students. I am frustrated...I have had minimal "ME" time this year, because as department head I've been repeatedly asked to help others. UGH again.

Emma: My sweet girl turned 5 this week! Wow! The time goes so quickly. Things I love about my sweetie...
--She LOVES tracing letters. She's been working on lowercase letters, as she has been able to free hand all of her uppercase letters for a while now.
--She LOVES drawing. Recently she has been drawing small "U" shapes on the clothing of people she draws. She informed us that these are "pockets." I had to giggle...the first day of school, her teacher asked the students to draw a picture of themselves. Emma drew herself in a dress---with 2 pockets. The teacher asked me, "Are these boobs?" ROFL! No. My 5 year old doesn't think she has large breasts, she just thinks it would be cool to have pockets on everything she wears.
--Swinging. My girl loves it. She mastered the art of pumping her legs in and out in and out last summer. This year I can't believe how high she can swing. SO fun!
--She scored a 20/20 on screening given to all 4/5 year olds at her school. The screening indicates Emma has "mastered pre-reading skills...such as print knowledge and phonological awareness." YEA! Her teacher has already told us that when she divides the class into "reading" groups in November, Emma will be in the group with students who are learning to read.
--Manners: I love that she (usually) has manners when it matters most. When we went to C.racker B.arrell for dinner last night, a man held the door open for us. She looked right at him and said, "Thank you, Sir" with no prompting. Smiles. Then she said "Excuse me ma'am, can I have some cake please?" to the waitress...again without prompting. LOVE it.
--By the way, last night was Em's first experience with restaurant workers clapping/singing for her birthday. She was a little bashful and dumbfounded at first, but was grinning by the end of their song.

--My parents sent a package including many goodies. Em LOVED the SuperGirl outfit my Mom bought. (See pics below.) (This may be her Halloween costume, we're not sure yet.)
--My sister Laurel sent a package as well. Em has been playing with the Kelley and Stacey dolls (a "teen size" and "kid size" B.arbie) every spare second she can.
--We arrived home yesterday to a card on our door from Nana and Papa (DH's parents.) Em was thrilled to see money in the card, and was even more excited to have spending money for our weekend...

Weekend Getaway: As we use nearly all of DH's vacation time during the summer in Ohio with my family (and some of DH's extended family,) we don't really "vacation" with just Emma, DH, and I. Thus we try to venture to Orlando once or twice a year, especially when we're able to get post-summer Florida resident discounts. This weekend we'll be going to visit the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Em was super excited when she found out her "big" birthday present from us will be eating lunch with the princesses in Cinderella's Castle tomorrow. She can't wait!

--I ordered a (free) Disney World vacation planning DVD, which Em enjoys watching. In the DVD, the narrator states, "At Disney World, the princesses are real..." Em was thrilled by this. She knows that Mickey and the other costumed characters are "just somebody dressed up." But the DVD confirmed her belief that the princesses are REAL. She was amazed by this. Unless she asks me directly, I'm not going to correct her. And since she runs to and hugs the princesses, but continues to be petrified of large costumed characters, why adjust her thinking just yet?

--I took the day off today. DH is off at 3. So, I'll head to pick Em up from pre-school at 2:30, then we'll pick up DH and head to Orlando. Hopefully I'll be able to post some pics on Sunday.

Pics of my Super Girl:


sklay723 said...

Love Em's costume! So cute!!! Have a blast in Orlando. We're taking the kids back in December to celebrate their birthday, too. Isn't it fun to see the parks through a child's eyes? Looking forward to seeing your pics when you get back...have a great weekend!

Sunny said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA! Five, what a milestone. And the perfect way to celebrate, with princesses. :)

I'm sorry about the class size frustration. I don't blame you for thinking about calling the union. I hope the admins fix it for you soon.

Anonymous said...

DUDE! How cute is she?! She is rockin' that costume! Happy 5th Birthday to her. I hope you all have a great time in Orlando and that work gets better soon.

Aimee said...

Happy birthday Emma, you caught up to Kyle now! Brittany turned 9 yrs. old last weekend. And Ashley's 10 1/2. Time flies.

Beautiful Mess said...

Happy birthday Emma!!!! Enjoy your weekend away. Sorry work is so crazy. I hope it all gets better.

Can't wait to hear about your great weekend when ya'll get back!

Danifred said...

Ugh... educational bureaucracy crap! I hate that teachers/ educators/employees are treated like crap and then blacklisted for being difficult. Makes me furious!!!!

But.. loving that supergirl costume :)

tbonegrl said...

Happy birthday Emma! We love you!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Em looks so sweet! Of course Em loves reading... she doesn't stand a chance of anything else with you for her mom! :) The pockets thing made me laugh out loud! I'm sorry that school still isn't worked out. Sending prayers that it gets corrected soon... for you and for your students.