Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Day in My Shoes Linky Party!!!!!

Tonight is my first LINKY PARTY!!! I have decided to share a day in my shoes with you all! So get ready for the whirlwind that was Wednesday, Jan. 18th, 2012! 'Cause here we go!!!! Thanks to Miss Klohn for hosting a linky party! Great idea for your first one! Visit Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher to read other teacher's daily experiences! 

5 am Alarm goes off and I head to begin my day. I begin by doing general bathroom stuff - hair, make-up, brushing my teeth, etc. all while listening to NPR with my iPad propped up next to me. I often am trying to wake my husband by shouting to him from the bathroom and that was definitely the case yesterday! 

5:35 Yes it takes me 35 minutes to get myself all put together. I do have to straighten my hair, and just as a side  note, I wash my hair on Tuesday nights so, straightening my hair on Wednesday morning takes a little longer! Anyway, at this point I head to the bedroom, change, pick out clothes by standing in the closet for approx 5 minutes. I usually lay out my clothes on my sleeping husband and then get dressed. (His side of the bed happens to be near the closet.) Yesterday though, my husband is up with me which makes it so much more pleasant! I enjoy having someone else to get ready with.  

5:47 I head to the kitchen and pack my prepared lunch into my min-cooler, make a couple bottles of tea, and then make sure i have a snack, fork and extra tea packets all packed away. Also, I wrap up my breakfast sandwich in a paper towel and thank my husband for making it for me! I also thank him for making me a chai latte! Yum! 

6:00 I check the outside temperature on our wall thermometer and see 40 degrees! Yuck! I grab a coat and figure out all the layers that will be suitable for the morning chill! I then sit down for a minute to wait for my husband and put on my shoes! Here they are below! 

6:15 My husband and I walk down to our garage from our apartment with our lunches in tow. When we leave at the same time i drive him over to his truck that he has to park a short distance away. I give him a big smooch and say good bye. I then wait for him to start his work truck and we both head off to work. Can you believe he works approx 45-50 miles away, but the drive takes him about hte same amount of time as my 15-20 mile away commute? Darn all those stop lights. 

6:26 I turn up the country music and eat my breakfast sandwich with my chai tea near by in the cup holder! 

6:49 I arrive at work and head to my classroom unlocking one gate and my classroom door. I thn set everything down and turn on the heater! Brr it was a chilly morning! I then spend the next hour in my classroom prepping and planning. I set work out, make a quick run to the copier and then set out warm up packets that the kids will work on independently while we wait for everyone to arrive! 

7:57 My neighbor and I grab our warm drinks and walkie talkies (our campus uses these to communicate because we have no phone system!) and walk to our morning meeting where we hear about what student are absent, new intakes, IEPs scheduled for the day and any other necessary info! 

8:05 I check my box really quick while another teacher watches my one student who has arrived. He eats breakfast while I rush to the office and back. 

8:15 A few more kids have arrived at our assigned classroom table and a few students are eating breakfast. It happens to be one of my students birthdays and he arrives with chocolaty Spider-man cupcakes ready for his celebration. He quickly asks if he can have one for breakfast!!!! My answer was most definitely NO! 

8:25 Students are told to finish up and I begin having student line up to head to PE. The PE teacher was out so my AWESOME aides run PE while I get a few more minutes of prep time! 

8:35 I am back in my classroom alone and I try to get my desk cleared so that i can at least see my lesson plan book! I then set out a math game for a group of my students and then straighten up a little around the room! 

9:10 Some students arrive and begin their warm up while others are using the restroom. I sit down with one of my students who has a one-to-one aide and try to work with him with minimal interruptions (I usually am interupted quite a bit, so this is tough!)

9:20 Math begins late this morning but oh well! Gotta roll with the punches sometimes! I played a winter math game with 4 students and they loved it! I am trying to get them to remember basic math facts with sums to 10 and boy is this taking some time!!!

9:45 Math is over and snack and recess begin. Today is a student's birthday so, we sing to him and he eats his cupcake while he hears all the wonderful compliments his teachers and fellow classmates share with him. (They cannot get a cupcake unless they share a compliment as a "gift" to the friend.) A quick bathroom trip for some of the kiddos and the birthday boy then decides to throw a whining fit just because he has to use the restroom. Ugh! 

10:15 Reading time begins and I have one of the student lead us in the pledge of allegiance. Every one sits down and i send the kids to their various tables to work with either me or one of my aides. This week and next week i get to work with the little ones who are working on letter recognition and phonemic awareness. This is a tough group to work with. They have low attention spans and it can just get maddening. It really is like trying to  contain a set of ants. Just when you get one where you want it, the other 2 have walked away! 

11 am Time for lunch! Yesterday the kids struggled with walking in line. I really feel like a drill sergeant because I am constantly telling students to walk nicely, stop kicking rocks, and or be careful of any hazard we may come across. I am also constantly saying "don't run" and "walk to catch up" while my aides echo the same things! We stop at the restroom to wash hands and offer a bathroom break to those who need it and then head to the tables to eat. I eat my salad while i walk around the table and try to chew with my mouth closed! 

11:25 We line up and have a quick recess time on the playground outside our classroom. 

11:35 WE head back into class and we begin to take our spelling practice tests for the week. Usually we do this on Monday, but this week it happened on a Wednesday. We would have done it Tuesday but we had group with our AWESOME therapist! 

12:05 Time for a sentence patterning chart. Yesterday we filled in our noun and listed out adjectives. I spent a bunch of time repeating what each one was and this is all while some students are struggling to even remain in their seats. You must understand that my special ed kiddos get the MAJOR wiggles towards the end of the day. Their behaviors also seem to explode or begin to explode by this time of the day. So I begin to brace myself and try to be as animated as possible to hold their attention! 

12:30 We line up for computers. I have one student who needs to stay back so he can line up without touching other people or their belongings. Lining up and transitions can take a bit of time. My new kiddo gets out of line and ties his shoe, I ask him to stay at the end of the line and before i know it he is upset and trying to close the gate with students in the way. My aide and I immediately direct him to take a time out and he then latches onto the fence post! Here we go - off to the timeout room. This is one of the toughest parts of my job! 

12:37 My aide and I arrive at computers and the computer teacher excuses us all to have our weekly team meeting to discuss classroom issues. We talk about how everything is working. The whole group is there - the behavior specialist, therapist and my two aides. We sit and tell stories and concerns about our little ones. Our heads are spinning already because it has been a rough day. This can be a relaxing and informative time for us all. 

12: 50 The computer teacher informs us that one of our little ones has to use the restroom. I take him really quick and then send him back to the class. I rejoin the meeting! 

1 pm I stop and talk to my academic program supervisor and tell her some stuff... and then rush, literally run, back to my classroom. 

1:02 We continue with the sentence patterning chart by filling in verbs and prepositional phrases. The kids enjoy the prepositional phrases! They also laugh as i show them what verbs are. I hop, leap, and pretend to swim to SHOW the verbs! (Did i mention that I try to be really entertaining at this time of day?)

1:40 All done! Time for free time! The kids can now play if they have earned it. We have tons of toys that they all love to pull out and play with! I begin to complete make up work with some of the students who have missed periods due to their behaviors. 

2:05 Time for chores. The kids are usually pretty motivated to do this. My aides finish up calculating their daily scores and then I share announcements. Yea, that's right announcements are at the end of my day. I feel it is more effective in getting it through to them in a quick way. I remind them of their homework and that all can go rollerskating this Friday. Then we begin lining up. Ugh! I dread the walk at the end of the day to our dismissal spot! 

2;20 We walk over and say good bye to my aides (they drive routes in the mornings and afternoons - a GREAT benefit to our kids!) I then try to remind the kids that they could earn a sticker for good line behavior. I miraculously manage to get all 10 students to the table without anyone getting hurt!! Whew! 

2:25 We arrive at our table and birthday boy is complaining that he didn't get to take his cupcakes home. (This is all because he whined and whined and whined instead of following our directions to get ready to go home!) I know I seem a bit mean here, but he is 8 and sounded MUCH MUCH younger - a consequence was MORE than needed! For the record, I did not eat even one! I pass out point sheets and stickers for good line behavior and off to their vans they go! 

2:40 Three students wait for their van with me. We sit and look through my sticker book. This was a fun time. My littlest one is excited to see all the car stickers. 

2:45 All kids are gone and I head to the front office to check my box and write up and incident report on the student who went to the time out room earlier in the day. This takes what seems like forever! The reports have to be super detailed. 

3:10 I head back to my classroom and begin to plan my next Social Studies unit. I do a little research on the computer, download some GLAD Units to use and then take a page or two of notes. 

4:15 My neighbor comes in for a visit and we chat for approx. 25 minutes about several different topics. This is time for us to discuss kids in our classes and different strategies to use. WE usually check in with each other and talk about when the other one is leaving. I tell her i need to leave at 5 and she realizes just how quick the day passes. We both are trying to get lesson plans done and it never seems like there is enough time in the day! (As I type this I realize this as well)  

5 pm I leave my room and shout good-bye to my neighbor who is packing up. I think i got all my stuff but i get to my car and realize I left my lunch box! Ugh! Back I go! Then back to the car and off I go! 

5:34 I arrive at home, set my stuff down and then get a call from my supervisor, we talk while i straighten the living room and attempt to do the dishes. My husband turns on the vacuum during this and it makes it tough to talk. We say good-bye and I finish up the dishes. 

5:55 I begin to bake a batch of cookies for the snack for our life group! Oatmeal is what I have in the closet and I didn't even get creative with it - no raisins or chocolate even! 

6:20 Dinner is served. This week it's Three Bean Turkey Chili Ala Simone! Yum! My hubby and I eat on the couch after a quick prayer to bless the food! Once I am done I quickly get up and rinse the dinner dishes 

6:45 Sit down to the computer and write a quick blog post. Then play around on the computer. 

7:25 Our life group co-leaders arrive! Woo hoo! So excited to have them join us! Other members arrive and we proceed to hang out and chat just so our co-leaders can get to know everyone! 

9:45 Life group members leave and our co-leaders stick around for some planning details to be ironed out. We finish up and by 10 pm the apartment is quiet. 

10:05 I hug my husband and then head to the shower. The warm water felt so good! 

10:35 All dried off and in jammies! I grab vitamins and an allergy pill and plop myself on the couch! I read a couple blogs and then my husband turns on Modern Family. I love that show! The episode is the one where Lily cusses! Too hilarious! 

11:15 Modern Family ends and hubby and I head to bed. We pray together and I fall asleep by 11:25.

That is one crazy day. I am sure there are many things I have left out, but that is an example of a day in my shoes! I hope you enjoyed! I know my school is not extremely common, but it is a good program and I will be sharing more about it in future posts! 

PS. I know I complained about birthday boy a lot. He has just been a handful since Wednesday and we think it is only because of his birthday! That has to be irritating! I do enjoy having him around though. He has such a child-like spirit when he's not whining! He also has a great sense of humor!