Friday, July 26, 2013

Me to Charlie: Did you have fun at your swimming lessons?

Charlie: Yeah, but why do they call her icky? 

(His swim teacher's name is Nikki.)

It's a Nuance

AJ to Charlie: I want to be alone.
Charlie: I know! I want to be alone too.  I want to be alone with you.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I guess joking about "winging it" in a staff meeting on Wednesday will cause your Master Teacher, your Assistant Principal and your Principal to all do walk throughs on Thursday.  Noted.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If You Are Having A Bad Day, Talk to Charlie

I was telling the boys about the coolest student ever, when AJ (in mock shock), said that he thought he was the coolest kid ever. 

Charlie seeing his brother's "distress" went over, hugged him, then looked up and said to AJ: " I think you're awesome."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dear Charlie,

It is spelled c-h-e-s-s. Please try to remember, because if you go around asking people to play "chest" with you, I'm going to get a lot of phone calls.

Love, Mom


Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's A Matter Of Opinion

I don't know what you are talking about, Charlie. These totally match. They are both pink with polka dots. 

( I am hoping my future principal does not regret leaving me in a room of five year olds all day.)

Funny Young One, You Are

Charlie ( as he is reaching for the black chess pieces ): I'm on the dark side.

Luck (The Crazy Kind)

I decided to switch districts because the hour commute each way was killing me.  I started looking at districts that were either by my house or by AJ's school. Through a friend of a friend, I heard about a district about 20 minutes from my house. It is very similar to the district where I worked last year, but I wouldn't be spending 10 hours a week in the car if I worked there.

I applied on Tuesday at 7:45 AM online.  I had an interview for a 3rd grade position at noon, the same day.  I got to the interview and the principal told me what they really needed was a kindergarten teacher.  I may have turned a bit white.

I had only applied on Tuesday because I had just heard about the district. But until that point, I didn't even know it existed. I was offered the job via email by the principal that night, with the understanding that HR had to give me the official offer.  HR gave me the official offer on Friday.  Here is the kicker, the kids start school on Monday. You heard me.

So, just to review, I am starting a kindergarten teaching job (which I have never taught) in two days.

The school I will where I will be working is what's known in the midwest as a "year-round" school. The students are in school for 200 days, instead of the traditional 180.  Although it means less of a summer break for everyone, it does have a lot of benefits:  1) if a child starts with the district in kindergarten and goes through 8th grade, they will have received an entire school-year's worth of extra class time. 2) There is less summer knowledge loss. This is a huge issue for teachers. We usually have to spend the first 6 weeks of school reviewing things from the previous grade. 3) It helps the community by lessening the childcare burden on parents over the summer.

I know some of my colleagues think I am insane for giving up a month's worth of summer break. And maybe I am. But, honestly I do not do well with a lot of down time.  I come from the business world and am still in awe that I get two weeks off at Christmas that does not have to be haggled and negotiated.

I had a very good feeling during the interview. The assistant principal actually went through the iTeach program back in the day, and even taught at the school I just came from.

My standard for a good principal is the principal I had when I taught art at AJ's school.  She was personable, professional and above all, a problem solver.  Because my new district has to do a background check, I cannot officially be in a classroom until that comes back.  The solution the principal came up with was  that I will assist the other two kindergarten teachers until my background check is done.  And then after school, I will be able to set up my own classroom.  This will allow me to see how the other classrooms are set up, get to know my coworkers and students, and become familiar with the schools procedures and routines.  In the meantime, I am trying to do what I can at home.

Next week will be a bit crazy.  I will be starting a new job in less than ideal circumstances, which seems to be my M. O. Did I mention Shawn will be out of town next week?

Rain has always been good luck for me ever since it rained on my wedding.  I am taking it as a good sign that I accepted a teaching position yesterday and we had the storm of the century last night. I am cautiously optimistic, as I really want to find a "teaching home" for the next several years. Wish me luck. I am going to need it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Kindergarten R &D Department

Who Says I Can't Be Accommodating ?

Golf Lessons

He is the one in red. Also, let the record show that he got a hole in one during a game of scramble. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

At Least He Knows How To Do Research

AJ wants a dog badly. He has been asking for a dog for years, and has finally decided to take the matter into his own hands. 

He started a notebook that has statistics of about 20 dogs. Each entry has a picture and information about care, lifespan, health problems, compatibility with kids and cats, exercise requirements and a yearly cost estimate. 

In the biased opinion if his mother, it is pretty impressive and thorough. (I wish I could take a picture of it, but I have been forbidden to. )

Shawn and I both adore  dogs and would love to have one. The timing is just not right. But when the time is right to choose a dog, I will know who to ask. 

Juror Number 8

I had jury duty this past week. It was an experience to say the least.

I had to call Monday night to see if my number was called. It was. My second call was to the principal I had an interview with, to reschedule. This was not off to a good start.

The jury pool started with about 70 of us. People were excused for various reasons ranging from they were leaving town the next day, to doctors appointments, to having personal experience with the subject  of the case. Soon, they had whittled it down to 14 of us. (Twelve jurors and two alternates.) The fact that my husband was an attorney caused the prosecutor pause, until they found out what type of law he did.

On our jury there were a variety of ages, backgrounds, races and professions. Three of us were teachers.

The trial started and we heard opening arguments from both sides. And then the witnesses were called. The witnesses were nervous, and obviously did not want to be there. (The accused was being charged with a violent crime and had a criminal past.) The man on trial was even on the stand. It was extremely uncomfortable to watch because he was belligerent with both the prosecutor and his own attorney.

He was being charged on 3 counts: 1) tampering with a witness, 2) aggravated assault, and 3) assault with a a deadly weapon.

The deliberations were surreal. We all had our own opinions about the case and what happened. The law was written in a very specific way, and we had to base our decisions on that. For two of the counts I thought the deliberations were going to end in fisticuffs.  This was because although the general opinion was leaning towards one way, the law was written in such a way, that there was really no option on how to find him.

We went back into the courtroom to read the verdict. We had found him guilty on two of the charges and not guilty on one. We were grateful to be done. It was an exhausting process. However, the judge had one more surprise for us. There was one more charge that needed to be deliberated on. The judge said that he had not been allowed to tell us of the fourth charge, until we had come to the verdict on the other three. We sat that there in shock, as we were told we now had to go back in the jury room and deliberate one more charge.

Once again, emotions ran high. Once again, we were forced to come to a certain decision because of the specific way the law was written. We were angry because we thought that it was an unfair, verdict that was again based on a technicality. In fact, we were so upset that the judge came into the jury room after the trial was officially over and talked to us about the verdict. He assured us that we were fair, and had followed the law. We appreciated him reassuring us, because some of the jurors had been losing sleep over it.

I am glad my jury duty is over. It was interesting to be part of the process and it is an experience I will not soon forget.  More importantly, it gave me new appreciation for verdicts that we, as the public, think are unfair.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Gruesome Murder

Shawn was a little concerned when he walked in the house as I was telling AJ to "Get a towel and wipe the blood off the wall"

( A mosquito had exploded when AJ smushed it.)

Night Swimming

Thursday, July 11, 2013

That's About Right

Charlie to me: Where are you going?
Me: Jury duty. 
Charlie (giggling): You said dooty !
Charlie to me:  I love my fire truck, but I love you more. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

There is a Good Chance That Charlie Will be Dating Before AJ

Charlie: I wish I could have a girlfriend.
Me: Why?
Charlie: You have a boyfriend. (I do? Cool!)
Me: What would you do with your girlfriend?
Charlie: I would give her a necklace and rings.
Me: You will be a good boyfriend.
Charlie: I know.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I'm No Betsy Ross

There is a hole in Charlie's blanket. He just brought it to me and asked me if I could sharpen it. Can you tell there isn't a lot of sewing going on in this house?