Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Most Terrible Week of the Year

It's here...that week that goes on forever...the week before winter break.

If you are a teacher, you know why. It's not that we are eager to finally focusing on Christmas ourselves (I don't even recall the gifts I have already bought and hidden...(where? who knows. hopefully I left myself a note...somewhere)) but due to the kiddos excitement for the holiday themselves.

I typically describe the week before Christmas break to my student teachers as the week the kiddos act like they ate cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even though we (A) know that is not true and (B) keep being told by "researchers" (real definition: people without children) that sugar does not impact behavior. Oh, Mr. or Mrs. Researcher, please come into my classroom after the doughnut day breakfast. Sugar impact is real.

So...It has seemed a little longer than normal...strange, and I have counted and it's still 5 (Kindergarten joke Image result for emoticon for laughing out loud)

but other than that, this week has been pretty fluid, pretty calm (not counting the chaos of loading donations into bags for the Community Food Bank), and pretty enjoyable....what's wrong with this picture?

I'm pretty sure it happened last week instead.

We had Christmas related theme all week. We wrote our letters to Santa. We made reindeer (at least I think we's all kind of a haze...) and we had our Christmas program. Last week also included the Creation Station teacher flip out and subsequent hiatus of said center.

It went something like this...see if you can relate...
Scene: All kids are thoroughly enjoying Creation Station (making cards for loved ones, making hats, making super hero bracelets. It's like a Makerspace for K including paper, tape, staplers, and stickers.)

Scene 2: T sings the, "Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Do Your Share" song.

Scene 3: All kids continue to make things.

Scene 4: Sing again, with added freezing to secure listening.

Scene 5: 1 girl starts cleaning, 10 continue working on what they want, 8 wander around the room because the mess they just made wasn't "MY mess."

Scene 6: T begins to threaten the lose of privileges of CS.

Scene 7: No one cares. Not one iota. They are seriously in an alternate universe where I am their maid and rules do not apply. (Note to kids--I know this scene because I personally dream about it daily--It ain't happenin.)

Scene 8: Me and Student Teacher clean up with about 5 kids who are now so riddled with guilt they have to help. The rest still oblivious. Highlight: S.T. telling kids, "We don't need to unroll the whole roll of stickers to get one since they are all the same sticker." Ya think?

Scene 9: Announcement is given in crabby teacher voice: Creation Station is on hiatus until we can remember what we do as respectful, responsible students.

Scene 10: Crabby teacher takes out class and eats peanut butter cups to feel better.

What was missing last week?
*regular routine
*regular curriculum lacking any real bells and whistles
added to:
*excitement for winter program, class party, and gifts for parents
 (Did you ever think math problems would become part of your vernacular while you were sitting in math class in high school? Me neither.)

Teaching is about reflecting, realizing, revamping. I was reminded during my National Board cohort meeting last night...and it all came together. I have never explored Christmas until the last week of break. Since we did it last week, and moved on to gingerbread stories and Venn diagrams, we are much calmer...and most importantly...I haven't had to replace my Reece's peanut butter cups.

Live Life. Love Life. Lead Life.

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