Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Spring

Not a good picture, but had to document P in all her daisy glory. Check out those shoes!

Mom's Birthday Trip to Yosemite

We celebrated a milestone birthday for my mom with a trip to Yosemite and a stay at the Ahwahnee. Yosemite is a fav for my mom and stepdad, but for P and I - it was our first trip.

Birthday dinner - doesn't my mom look great at 40? : )

I love when hotels have a children's program. Heck, I love anyplace that helps provide quality entertainment for my child! The Ahwahnee had a really cute Bats class. Here you are seeing the 'world's largest bat.'
Singing about stories about bats above. The waterfall below.

We had great weather and wished we could have stayed longer!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Last chance workout!!!!!!

We had a fun St. Patrick's Day. My class made traps on Tuesday and loved it. Sadly, the leprechauns escaped, but they left behind some gold! My afternoon was spent having quality time with my report cards. After multiple interruptions (final leprechaun cleanup, meetings, getting things ready for tomorrow), I closed up shop at 5:00ish to get together with our friends to celebrate one couple's nine year wedding anniversary. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks, so it was so nice to get together and connect. My r.c.'s suffered though. I came home, put the miss to bed, did a bit more work - had to stop for Modern Family, and after that, all bets were off. My eyes just shut. (With our new set-up, the office is far away, with no t.v., so I cannot multi-task. In the past, I would have watched and worked.) Anyway, report cards go home tomorrow (I've never been finishing them at the last minute! Hopefully there aren't any computer/printer issues at school today!). So this afternoon will be last chance workout! last chance workout!! For all you biggest loser fans!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Whirlwind weeks!!

We are in the new house!! The weekend of the 6th, we hauled arse and started, I mean finished, packing, moved, and cleared out completely from the rental. Hard labor, let me tell you! We were lucky to send Miss P on a lovely vacation to grandma's house starting Friday afternoon. As is tradition, P left her intact, tidy, bedroom in house A, and returned to her new, fully set-up bedroom in house B. Despite that, I have to mention that she told her teacher dramatically upon returning to school Monday, "I don't know if I can do any work today. Moving this weekend took it all out of me!" (nice try).

Following the move nuttiness, and before I could unpack, it was back to (school) work for me. I coordinated a Family Fun Night for the kindergarten - through second grade students at my school, with a leprechaun trap building session, Irish jig dancing, shamrock relays and mad libs. Very fun - but my timing stunk! : ) One funny - I led the Irish jig dancing. I love to dance, but am not, a dancer. I was stuck leading dancing, because I knew no one would want to do it. I basically channeled all my memories of seeing Irish dancing on TV, and taught my 'station' the way my friend and I learned bollywood dancing in Portland. Basically, taught the group a few 'steps' and then put the music on and told them to go for it. Anyway, again, I never have done Irish dancing, but I know about the stiff upper body and arms, and quick feet. I am not kidding you, but at least three adults complimented me effusively on my 'craft.' One said she could tell I was Irish as I must have grown up dancing this way, another asked where I had studied. As I type this, I feel like it sounds as though they were teasing or being sarcastic, but they were dead serious!!!

This past weekend we headed to Yosemite and I am now in report card *%$#. I don't mind doing them usually, but I am on a tight deadline this time. See you on the other side!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stand up for Schools!

Today, March 4th, is California's Stand up for Schools Day. Our public schools have received 60% of the state's budget cuts. We already stand at #46 in the nation for education spending. Hello! Not good! Our district is losing class size reduction, as has every district around us. This results in all classes having at least 30 kids and one teacher. This is terrible!

For the second time this year, a parent approached me, basically to lament that her high performing child may not be challenged enough. I differentiate like crazy, and she acknowledges my efforts, but with kids at such different levels and circumstances (special education, english language learners, no prior school experience, etc.), her child is not able to be challenged at every lesson. I think her child has learned a lot more than she realizes. However, basically, what she was saying, is that having her child mixed in with children of all different levels and abilities is holding him back a little.

Moving from 20 kids to 30 kids, I am expecting a lot more of this feedback next year. I can understand the parent's point of view, but it makes me sad when I am trying so hard to meet everyone's needs.

I believe in the teachers at my school and the ability they have to overcome obstacles. Yet, how bad will the state let our school situation get?????? 35 kids? 40?