Candid Teacher's Classroom

The view from the other side of the desk.

Ah Hah! May 27, 2010

Filed under: education,just for fun,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 10:50 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I like teaching Kindergarten.

This may seem like an odd statement since I’ve taught Kindergarten the past two years.  However, going on interviews for Kindergarten and other grade levels has made me realize that I enjoy the Kindergarten curriculum and child.  I know a piece of that is due to the fact that I’m now comfortable with the curriculum and the expectations of a Kindergarten student, but I also really enjoy teaching social and beginning academic skills.

I get to teach students how to speak at appropriate volumes, make eye contact, use words to problem solve, make and maintain friendships, and help them develop into independent thinkers.  It’s gratifying to know that when they leave my classroom, they will have manners and respect.  (Well, I’ve tried to teach that anyway.  They SHOULD have manners and respect.)

Also, I get to sing and reward them with “dance parties” and stickers, so really, that’s pretty sweet too.

Social skills are so important in their lives now and in their futures in the workplace.  I’m glad I get to play a role in shaping them in that way.

Yours,

Candid Teacher

 

Now What? May 25, 2010

Filed under: education,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 8:25 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I’m so lost.

I had 2 interviews today.  One was a second interview for the district I mentioned in a previous post, and another was for a private Kindergarten.

I felt that the Kindergarten interview went very well.  However, the second interview was a mess.  When I entered, I was informed that the air conditioner for the office we were in was too noisy, so they were keeping it off.  It was 90 degrees today.  Let’s suffice to say that I got sweaty fast, and today I had chosen to wear my very baby fine hair that shows sweat quickly down.  So I was hot, insecure about my appearance (red faced, sweaty), and babbling like a fool.  I don’t think I put one coherent sentence together.

I know it’s still early in the game, but now I feel like it’s game over.  It feels as though I blew the only good opportunity I had.  Yes, I feel relatively confident about the Kindergarten interview, but it was for a private school and unfortunately, usually private schools do not pay well.  Who knows, perhaps this will be an exception.

On top of that, while I was being grilled about teaching literacy and math in the second interview, I realized: I don’t actually LIKE teaching content.  I like teaching social skills (which is a LOT of what Kindergarten is).

So now not only did I blow this opportunity, (or at least, I feel pretty certain I did) but I don’t know where to turn from here.  Do I continue applying for teaching jobs, which are few and far between?  Or, do I try to get into doing something else, even though I’m not qualified and there aren’t many jobs available right now?

Yours in turmoil,

Candid Teacher

 

Don’t Make Me Go Back May 19, 2010

Filed under: education,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 10:59 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I don’t want to go back to teaching my class tomorrow!

I spent yesterday and today meeting the incoming Kindergarten students for the 2010-2011 school year and screening them to see if they were prepared for Kindergarten.  Each assessment takes about 20-30 minutes to administer, and it involves the child completing tasks such as counting, creating & continuing patterns, shape identification, following directions, name writing, cutting, and identifying initial sounds.  Though I know I will not have any of these students next year (which I was relieved about in some cases, but disappointed about for others),  it was a welcome break from the classroom.

Lately, 3 of my students have been driving me up the wall.
Student A: Thrives on NEGATIVE attention.  No matter how much positive attention I slather this child with, he screams, whines, stomps the floor, hits the table, hurts friends, and refuses to work.  I’m at my wits end and am out of resources.  I’ve tried everything I can think of and NOTHING seems to be working.  Even my support team is stumped with him, and his parents don’t want to “suppress” his personality… but it’s not a personality thing at this point- it’s a major disruption!

Student B: Has aspergers.  Without a doubt.  The parents will not admit it and will not get the child the help required.  I need more strategies.  A doctor’s opinion & advice would be so useful, but despite the urging of me and several other staff members, the parents remain in denial and will not take the child to a doctor to learn strategies for meeting their child’s needs.

Student C: Is late nearly every day.  Mom curses at school staff in front of the child, using the “f word”, when forced to sign the child in or is denied breakfast when she rolls in at 9:30 AM (school begins at 8:50).  The recent change in the child’s schedule has caused struggles in the classroom, which mom thinks she has no responsibility to deal with.

So, you can see why after 2 days away from these students, I simply don’t want to go back.  The last 2 days have been peaceful and relatively relaxing.

Adding to this is a slew of (yay!) 3 interviews I have coming up.  One is for a new charter school that will be opening in September 2010.  The principal would like to come into my classroom to observe me.  I am very worried about these students, especially “Student A”, who thrives on attention and pulls out all the terrible stops when a visitor comes in.

Yikes.  I know I’ll get through it, but for now, all I can do is take a big breath and hold it until June 17th, the last day of school.

Then, I will exhale.

Yours,

Candid Teacher

 

My Class is Cuter Than Yours May 17, 2010

Filed under: education,just for fun,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 9:04 pm

Candid Teacher Admits: I feel like a proud mom; “My kid is the ____!” (Insert cutest, best, smartest, most talented, and so forth in the blank.)

Some days, I feel like a proud mom and secretly hope my students slip and call me “mom”.  While they do call me this occasionally, it never happens often enough!

Today was one of those days.  As I observed my students during snack I thought, “The kids in my class are so much cuter than any other Kindergarten class in this building.”  Then I realized I felt that way about last year’s students as well.

Though I have kids who push my buttons and wear me down so much all I can think about doing is sleeping once I get home, when I step back and look at the class as a whole, I feel such pride.  These are my kids, and I will truly miss them next year.  (Of course, I do realize it will be a lot easier to miss them once I don’t have to deal with their tantrums and “personalities”.)    It’s so heart-wrenching to know that I won’t get to see them grow next year.  Not only that, but I won’t get to see my students from last year advance to second grade and blossom even more.

I know they’ll all go on and be fine without me and eventually, I’ll be fine without them.  But every day I give my students pieces of myself.  I hope they’ll take good care of those pieces and carry them with them forever.  I know I’ll always hold onto fragments from each and every student as well.

Yours,

Candid Teacher

“I appreciate all that I am and all that I have.”

 

In Need of Advice May 11, 2010

Filed under: education,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 12:56 am

Candid Teacher Admits: I feel out of practice!

I have an interview tomorrow in a very well-off area.  I feel so fortunate and ecstatic to have an interview so quickly after getting the horrible news almost 3 weeks ago.

I’m so nervous because I know opportunities are quite rare, but I’m allowing myself to feel extra pressure because this particular town is so ritzy.  Though it’s terrible to stereotype, I keep envisioning myself shaking hands with a well-manicured man and woman who look down their noses at me because I look very young and well… simple.

In addition, it has been quite some time since I’ve been on an interview.  When I graduated college 2 years ago, I went on a slew of interviews – about 7 in the course of 3 weeks.  I fed off the adrenaline and actually enjoyed interviewing.  Now, I’m nervous and timid.  As I review possible interview questions and attempt to prepare answers, I feel out of place – even in my own mind.

Can anyone offer a bit of last-minute advice?  Whether it be on answering interview questions, staying calm, or dressing for success, anything would be welcome.

Yours,

Candid Teacher

 

I Did It Again. May 4, 2010

Filed under: education,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 1:28 am

Candid Teacher Admits: I said I’d kill a spider again, and I did.

For the second time in a few months, a spider was in my classroom.  The students alerted me to it during “free play” time at the end of the day.

This was not an average sized spider.  This was one of those huge, HAIRY spiders that many people fear will climb into their beds while they sleep.

I turned around from my nemesis (yes, the spider) to face the same student who insightfully asked me why I killed the spider last time who, as she put it, wasn’t doing anything wrong to us.  I said to her, “I’m going to kill this spider.  Okay sweetheart?”  She replied, without hesitation, “Okay,”

Am I disheartening her?  Or did my shallow logic of, “The spider is inside and it doesn’t belong here,” actually work?
Score:
1 shallow logic

I owe the student yet another apology.  And while I’m at it, I feel it’s only right for me to extend an apology to the remains of the spider on the bottom of my brown flat.

Yours,

Candid Teacher

 

Stormy Monday

Filed under: education,Kindergarten,teaching,Uncategorized — candidteacher @ 12:46 am

Candid Teacher Admits: Storms effect my job!

Most people don’t think about a stormy night.  When there is a severe storm with thunder and lightning, most adults aren’t effected by it.  They may be surprised by a particularly aggressive bolt of lightning or clap of thunder, but then it passes.

As a teacher of 5 and 6 year olds, my day is largely impacted by the weather; especially if it’s stormy.

This morning, many of my students arrived at school tired and irritable due to last night’s weather.  They were frightened by the storm and a large number proclaimed that they spent the night with their parents.  (I’m sure their parents had a great day at work today as a result.)

I always knew the weather could determine my mood and activities for the day.  However, I never thought it would have such an impact on my job.

How does the weather impact your job and day?  Or, is it something you don’t give a passing thought to?

Yours,

Candid Teacher