Saturday, December 02, 2006

Big News

Joe and I had an AMAZING time in Thailand. We were gone for a total of 3 weeks and visited Suphan Buri, Bangkok, Cambodia, and Krabi (the south portion of Thailand). Great times to be had!!

The first two pictures that I am going to post are from Cambodia. The country exceeded my expectations. We were only there for a full day (we spent a weekend there. Friday: we traveled from Bangkok to Cambodia. Saturday: we spent going to various temples. Sunday: we spent traveling back). Joe and I LOVED Cambodia and we loved the children we met. They could rattle on facts about where you were from. For instance, they knew the capital of California AND the population!! How many children here know information like that?

Anyways, the reason for my post isn't actually my trip. Joe and I just got back late Thursday night. I checked my phone messages Friday morning and I FINALLY HAVE MY OWN CLASSROOM!! Yey! Mason Elementary's principal called to tell me that they were creating an extra 4th grade class and that they want me to teach it! I was (am) so excited. I'm still jet-lagged so I haven't been able to process it that much but I start setting up my classroom this Wednesday! AH!!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Days off...

You would think that I would have all the free time in the world right now. My stint in the 4th grade ended on Friday, Oct 20. On Saturday, Joe and I drove up to LA to hang ten with my brother and our family friend, Chai. They came over to San Diego that night and we hung out till noon the next day. After that, I met up with Sylvia to help her grade some papers. Monday was cleaning day and Tuesday well...

5am, Tuesday, Oct 24. Skooter starts to bark to be let outside. We let the dogs outside only for them to come face to face with a skunk. Joe said that he saw that the skunk was, "Cocked and ready to aim." The skunk sprayed Benson right in the face. Skooter got some of the residual spray as well. Dogs smell. Dogs run inside the house. House smells. Time for home remedies.

Tuesday night, Annemarie comes into town (thank-god for some happy time) and stays until Sunday morning. Jonathan's stay overlaps with AM's and he's here from Friday-Sunday. Throughout that entire time, I get a sore throat and can barely talk above a whisper.

Monday, Oct 30. Cleaning Day.

11am, Tuesday Oct 31. I get out of the shower to hear a noise that sounds like a running faucet. I run into all of the rooms to find that the turtles have managed to aim the "spray" portion of the water filter outwards. Yes, that's right-- stinky, dirty, salmonella-infested water all over the table and all over the documents I acquired during student teaching. I almost start to cry as I try to separate all of the pages and pages of lesson plans and graded material I kept in the binder. The sun will dry what it can but it looks like most of the material is now just trash.

To take my mind off of things, I like fantasize about Joe and I's upcoming trip to Thailand. This is one of the hotels we're thinking about staying at.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fourth grade in October

I got a long-term sub position for the month of October. I have been made aware that one of the kids in my class is hard of hearing. This means that I have to wear a microphone while I teach-- soo Britney Spears.

Some fun news-- Joe, my mother and I are planning a trip to Thailand in November. I am super excited/ecstatic. We'll be gone for 3 weeks and are planning to go to the south of Thailand to max and relax by the beach. I. Can't. Wait.

So its been awhile...

The last time I blogged, I was up to my eyeballs in kids and classroom management. Now, after a nice break and time well spent with my pups, I find myself back as a waitress, waiting for that phonecall (or email) from the district telling me that they have found me the perfect classroom. So I wait and take sub jobs as often as they come around.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Not 1, or 2, or 3! But 4! 4 students were suspended from my class yesterday!

Okay, really, I know what you're thinking. My class is horrible. I do actually THOROUGHLY enjoy my class on a day-to-day basis. There are just some days when you're thinking to yourself WTF were they thinking when they did X, or Y, or Z. Mind you, none of them were suspended for doing stuff to me (thank you Jeebus!), they just do it to each other (stealing) or write on small sheets of paper that so-and-so teacher is a _______ (insert profanity here).

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"That's one of my kids."

We had a Mad Science assembly yesterday. All fourth and fifth grade classes attended--easily over 200 students, in addition to their teachers. I must admit, out of all the assemblies that I had been to with my kids, this one took the cake. It was fun, interactive, AND educational! *gasp* At the end of the assembly, the "Mad Scientist" told the audience that he would take 3 questions. The first question was from an inquisitive student wondering when the Mad Scientist's love for science began. Legitimate question. The second question asked what was his favorite science class-- biology, physics, or chemistry. Again, another appropriate and legitimate question. So, for the last and final question, he looked at my class and pointed to a girl with her hand raised. The sweet and innocent face sounded surprised and said, "Who? Me?"

"Yes, you in the pink hoodie-- what was your question?"

"I, uhh... just wanted to know-- [Insert "mean girl" face] Do you have any friends?"

Don't get me wrong, she wasn't asking him about his socializing skills to be polite. She wasn't concerned that his Mad Science life took up too much time and that he need remember that life is so much more than work. No, she had said it in a way that implied-- YOU BIG DORK, DON'T YOU HAVE A LIFE? OBVIOUSLY NOT. YOU'RE HERE TEACHING US THIS LAME ASS SCIENCE CRAP. My jaw dropped. I was floored.

So yes, that HIGHLY inappropriate question came from someone in MY class. Not yours. Mine. And no, I don't teach them manners. I teach them to belittle people. In public. In front of large crowds of people.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's a compliment... I think.

"Mrs. Russo-- are you a teenager?" asks one of my students.

"Sweetheart, think about it. Do you think that the school would let me teach you if I were just a teenager?"

"Uhhhh. I guess not. But you know something-- you sure do act like one."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The woes of 5th grade

Actually, teaching fifth grade hasn't been that bad. It's been pretty exciting trying to piece together the parts of a partially written lesson plan. It's been fun to watch the kids humor you as you improv your way through said lesson. It's been nice to see all 30 students smiling at you as they're thinking, "This lady needs to get her s*#@ straight before she tries to teach us." My response? Don't worry kids, next week will be different.

So what are the "woes" you ask? The woes came when a little girl said, "The new boy is cursing under his breath. He says that he hates white people." I thought that I was going to vomit. My studies at the university did not prepare me to handle race issues. It taught me how to write a lesson plan and how to teach multi-cultural classrooms. Nothing in the text about bigotry and hatred.

Woe is me.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Good-bye 3rd grade, hello monsters

So it's been a while since I've had time to blog. Joe and I went to Florida for the holidays and both caught a horrible flu strain. We were immobile for what seemed like forever. Fortunately I had my mother to take care of me and poor Joe had to fly back to San Diego in the midst of his illness to pick the puppies up from the kennel. I came back a week later and started student teaching.

I had a portfolio that I needed to finish in order to graduate so I've been busy with that and planning curriculum for my little third graders. Teaching is very time-consuming.

Anyways, I finally finished my student teaching yesterday. Hooray! That means I have finished all the classes that I need to take to get my teaching credential. I can get paid now!! Woo hoo. Now the only thing that I must do is "clear" my credential with an advisor. That part should be painless. I think that I just have to meet with someone about something soon.

I start my long-term sub job this Monday for 5th grade. Their teacher is on maternity leave until June. She came in to an observation of me before Christmas break and she deemed me good enough to take over her class.

Her 5th grade kids are significantly larger than those of the 1st or 3rd kind. The 5th grade has developed senses. They can smell fear. I guess I just have to put on my tough guy attitude and hope that they don't see past my facade... beause that would suck.