Monday, April 30, 2012

So Good! So Good!

We had an assembly today in which we honored the outgoing Head of School by singing "Sweet Caroline" just like they do during the Boston Red Sox games, since the Sox are the HOS' favorite team.

The problem with this was that the kids didn't know that you should actually sing that song in a raucous sort of way.  The whole thing was just STAID.

Some of us teachers in the back tried to get things going with the "DUH DUH DUHHHHS" and the "So Goods!" but the kids just looked at us like we were crazy.

Also, starting today I'm trying to maintain a greater sense of order and control in the classroom, so I couldn't really go nuts at assembly like I wanted to. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Got a call from the lower school today.  Apparently Shef threw up in the hallway.  This is just the call that you like to receive when you've got fourteen seventh graders looking at you, ready to start class.

Lucky for me, a building sub was available. 

"Look," I told the class.  "I'm going to explain to you what you're supposed to do, and then you're going to have to do it."

They had a million questions and protested, but I stood firm.

"Come on!" I said. "If you puke at school, don't you want your mom to come and pick you up?" I asked.

Yes, they all agreed.  "Have fun cleaning up the throw up!" one of them yelled. 

When I got over to the lower school (just a trip across a courtyard), I discovered Shef prone on a cot with a trash can full of vomit next to him.

"Yuck," I said.  "What happened?"

"We were getting our writing folders, and I told Mr. B. I felt sick."

"Then what?" I prompted.

"Then he said, 'Go to the office and take the trash can with you.'"

That was good foresight on Mr. B.'s part.  Apparently that's what 30-some years of second grade teaching will do for you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do Re Mi

This was standardized testing week at school.  Friendly, helpful colleagues kept saying stuff like, "Are you okay with the ERBs?"  It was like the ERBs were this amazingly daunting process. And, I was like, Are you kidding?  You know I come from public school, right?  Where standardized testing is on crack?

The teachers kind of laughed, but actually they have no idea because they haven't worked in a climate of insane testing the way the rest of us have.

THEIR kind of standardized testing is so benign, you can't even believe it.  The re-use the testing booklets from year-to-year.  Each teacher is allowed to store the testing materials in her or his classroom overnight without fear of punishment.  If the kids screw up on the bubbling, we can just rebubble for them. If a kid loses a test booklet, we can replace it.  There aren't even any "incident logs" or bathroom monitors.  If the kids don't do well on the test, nothing happens to them. 

In fact, one kid even asked me, "What happens if I fail this math test?

"Nothing!" I said.

I have never been able to say that before during a standardized test ever in my career.  Usually I have to tell them that if they don't pass the test, they won't actually graduate from high school.  I prefer this new, low-stakes situation, to tell you the truth.  I wish every kid could be in it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Professional Portfolio

Today is one of those days where I really want to blog, but I don't have any fun ideas to share or amusing anecdotes to recount.

Sorry about that.

So, here are a couple of things:

This weekend, Shef played in his first ever hockey game.  It was 3v3, and his team lost 50 to 2.  I'm not even exaggerating on the score.  The other team put the puck into the net 50 times.  But still, Shef was happy and proud to have played in his first game.  Yay, Shef!

Also, I have to get serious about my professional portfolio.  I have to make a website that shows how I capitalized on my strengths and worked toward my goals this year as a teacher.  I have some fun pics of the kiddos to put into the portfolio, and that makes me happy. Also, for the first time ever in my career, I've received concrete, actionable feedback from my bosses about how I might be better at my job.  So, I'm actually excited to explain that I made changes based on their suggestions.

Now I'm going to make my grocery list.

The end.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Malaprop Mac

Awhile ago, I wrote that Mac sometimes confuses the words "volcano" and "commando."  Like, he'll say "he's going volcano" when he's wearing pants with no underwear. 

So, last night we discovered another adorable little vocabulary confusion of his.  At dinner, we're in the habit of telling our roses, thorns, and buds.  The rose is something good that happened to you that day, the thorn is something not so good, and the bud is your hope for the next day.  Of course, our kids misheard Claire when she said "bud" for the first time, and now we're in the habit of chanting, "YOUR BUTT!  YOUR BUTT!  YOUR BUTT!" before that portion of people's reports.

That, however, is not the ADORABLE malapropism.  It's this next thing:
During Mac's turn to tell his highs and lows, he stopped before his butt and said, "Okay, play the cello!"

"Cello?" I asked.

"Yes!  Do the cello!" he said.

So, I pantomimed some cello playing.

"No!" he said, smiling.  "Like this!" And then he started drumming his hands on the table.

"OH!" I exclaimed.  "You mean DRUM ROLL!"

"Yeah!" he laughed.  "CELLO!"

We all celloed it up happily.  And now I'm sensing our new tradition will now be Rose, Thorn, Butt, and Cello.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finale: Minnesota TWINS

I want to thank Pronto for posing this blogging challenge.  I want to thank all the peeps for participating on whatever level they felt they could.  To finish the challenge, I'm going to write about TWINS.

Of course, I've always had a general affinity for the baseball them, as I'm a life-long resident of Minnesota.

When I was little, I hoped that I was a TWIN, but that my TWIN and I had been adopted into different families.  However, when I checked my birth certificate, I found out I was a single birth and not a TWIN after all.

Later on, I discovered that I look like lots of other people.  I've mentioned this phenomenon before.  Well, in high school, there was another girl named Casey in my class, and we looked quite a lot alike.  People got confused.  Were we TWINS?  No.  Once you see us together, you realize that we are just two girls with brown hair, blue eyes, Irish heritage, and the same name.

After I graduated from high school, I met my sister, Mary.  We are not TWINS.  In fact, we are eight years apart in age and don't look much alike except for our brown hair and pale skin.  However, when we first met, we were dressed exactly alike.  Identical outfits of yellow shirts and jean shorts.  That was pretty weird and cool, we thought. We were sort of like TWINS.

In my first two jobs, I had close buddies with whom I planned lessons and palled around.  I taught in adjacent classrooms with each of these ladies and, because of the high inclusion needs I've written about before, visited the bathroom and copy center with them every day.  This behavior led people to refer to us as TWINS, even though I don't look at all like either of them. 

I think that's all on the TWINS.  Godspeed, Twinkies!  I'll probably visit your stadium a time or two this season.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Hey!  So, I got stalled a little on the blogging challenge as spring break wound down and I went back to school at full speed.  I'm back now, though, and I'm going to get a couple more in on this great MLB challenge.

I'm kind of surprised I haven't yet gotten to the ROYALS because their uniforms heavily feature my name.  When I was in college, someone gave me a ROYALS cap with the KC logo, but the truth is, I always felt kind of dumb wearing my name on my hat.

It's kind of a lame thing to do.