Well, it's been a few weeks since I've been able to write a 5 for Friday post (or blog at all, for that matter)! Life has been crazy... like, CRAZY crazy... So, I will try to use this post to give a quick summary of the crazy...This is three Fridays is one... Here we go!
So, the back to school craziness started off with the "usual" crazy... Long days of setting up my classroom, a busy "Meet the Teacher" night, and hours and hours of preparing for the new little kindergarteners that were about to be "mine".
Oh, I also had to get my own 4 kids ready to start school. Which is no small task! From uniform and supply shopping to haircuts they kept me running in circles.
I have to be at school very, very early. So, the girls get dropped off at their grandparents' houses before dawn each day. (We are very, very, very lucky to have an amazing grandparent volunteer taxi service. I don't know what we would do without them!)
Anyway, Kirsten's "First Day of School" photo was taken in the dark... but you get the idea. She looked beautiful and is enjoying her sophomore year so far.
These goofy guys come to school with me. Taking their photo in my classroom should have been easy... except they have yet to stand still in the 9 years they have been on the planet! They had a hard year last year and were not super excited to come back to school. Luckily, the year is off to a GREAT start! They have fabulous teachers and are really enjoying 4th grade!
My baby seems to be less and less of a baby each day. It's so hard to believe that this is Ella and not Kirsten! I swear my oldest was 4 YESTERDAY! Anyway, Ella is loving everything about VPK.
My first day of school was a little less wonderful than the kids'. If you remember, Rachelle and I were set to co-teach this year and were SO excited. We were both caught a little off guard with the first half hour this year though... We had a LOT more crying than we have had in previous years. And it wasn't the "I miss my mommy" kind of tears... It was "GET ME OUT OF HERE NOW!!!!!!" hysteria.
We also had a really, really hard time convincing some parents to leave. They always want to stay and we always have a few stragglers... but we have both been teaching for 16 years... We are pretty good and moving them on... But this year it was hard!!! Which did not help the screamers.
I finally got through to one dad that it was really time to go... (His son was getting more and more upset... His being there was NOT helping). Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting his (very tall) son to try to leave with him... and I really wasn't expecting him to head-butt me in his attempt to escape. Luckily, I was able to grab him, hug him, calm him down and diffuse the situation pretty quickly. Unfortunately I completely threw out my back. During the first 20 minutes of the first day of school. We are now in week 3. After 13 visits to the chiropractor, lots of ibuprofen and muscle relaxers and many, many sleepless nights I am finally feeling a bit better.
The first week of kindergarten is no joke! It is EXHAUSTING. I don't even know if there is a word that accurately describes just how hard the first week is... and this year I got to experience it with excruciating pain in my back... Good times.
So, on the 7th day of school things were finally coming together. The kids were learning the routines slowly but surely. They were settling down and we were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Then (on a Thursday afternoon) we were called into a meeting and told we didn't have enough kindergarten students to keep our 5 classes this year and that one of us was being moved to second grade. Guess who... Yup. I still can't believe it. I was in complete shock and was not expecting it AT ALL. My classroom went from looking like this:
...To looking like this almost immediately. I cried and cried as I packed up my kindergarten unit and told my sweet students that they were going to have "even better" teachers and that I knew they would be so happy. I was really heartbroken.
So, Monday I walked into an empty room... and I thought that was overwhelming... until the plant operators started bringing over all the second grade things... that were thrown into boxes and a complete disaster...
So, Monday and Tuesday were spent trying to sort through the mess. (Thank goodness I have amazing friends that spent hours and hours helping me.) It was not an easy transition at all. :(
So, last Wednesday I started teaching second grade. Oh, and did I mention Open House was Thursday? Seriously, not joking. So, here is a quick look at my second grade class. (I don't know how in the world I pulled this off in 2 days... but somehow it got done. It always gets done.)
Thank goodness for Teachers Pay Teachers! As I have tried to teach myself everything about second grade in less than a week, I have been "saved" by some fabulous TPT finds. (Thanks Amy Lemons!)
So, we are getting there. My students are sweet and we are learning together. Everyone keeps asking me if I "love second grade" yet... Not quite yet... but I will! I am getting there... I am just still processing the craziness.
I will tell you what I DO love though... second graders are VERY independent! They can read, write and tie their own shoes! It is a very different scene than kindergarten right now.
Our school uses supplemental, computer based math and reading programs. Let me tell you... going to the lab with kindergarteners is HARD work! I had to log-in 18 kids... and by the time you get to student #3 the first student has accidentally logged out. It is HARD.
Taking second graders to the computer lab is a DREAM! First of all, they love it (Kindergarteners whine the entire time)... and then there is that independence thing... Heaven.
So, I am a second grade teacher. I don't really know what I'm doing yet (which I HATE)... but I am figuring it out... and trying to love it.
As if this wasn't all enough...
I got really sick (on top of my broken-ish back) last week. Fever, sore throat, body aches... but no infection... which is technically good... but in the moment I was wishing for an infection that they could just give me medicine for so it would go away. :(
And we are currently experiencing the awful weather effects of Hurricane Hermine.
My girls are pretty excited about school being cancelled...
But I am just exhausted from putting out a million (or 30) sandbags and stressed because this is what the
river street in front of my house looks like. I am really, really, really hoping the water stays out of my house... but the way things have been going recently, I am certainly preparing for the worst!
But I got to wear my cute, new rain boots... That's something, right? (I know it's a stretch but I am REALLY trying to look on the bright side!)
I am really sorry for the longest post ever... There is probably no one still reading this... but it was cathartic to write. So... my "hurricane day" plan is to light a pretty candle, put on some comfy yoga pants and learn how to teach second grade! What are you up to this week??