Saturday, April 08, 2006

This Day in the Life...part deux

As promised...the second installment of my day on the 6th of April. Part one is here.

Some clarification about the previous day: I'm still a student teacher, doing my practicum in a K/1 classroom. I'll be a full teacher at the end of August, assuming I don't do anything too horrendous while on practicum. "Dragon Says" is when I perch my dragon (his name is Phoenix, for those of you playing at home...and he's purple. I'll post a picture later, 'specially for DM. [This has to be the most awkward sentence EVER. {Whee! Triple nested brackets!}]) on my shoulder and say "Dragon Says" instead of Simon Says. Also, I forgot to mention that I checked on the beans we're least three times before recess. I think I'm more excited about them than some of the kids.

I've been off my cold meisiceine for the last twenty four hours, (despite what the above sentence may indicate) and I'm feeling pretty good. So now, without Further Ado...the at times, excruciatingly day.)

1025 cont. I chat with the special needs aide who helps out with one of the girls in my class, while said girl eats her snack before going out for recess. I frantically get stuff prepped for the lesson I'll be teaching in the period before lunch. Oh well. I'll have some time before my lesson to look over stuff so it won't be too bad.

1045 I go down to get the kids from the door after recess. I field the bean watering question by at least three more students on the way up the stairs.

1050-1130 I begin my lesson. First I read them The Keeping Quilt, then show them a gorgeous quilt that my FA had loaned me as a model. One of the girls asks me if I stole it. (??!?!? Whaaa???) We talk a little bit about how in the old days (and now...but I didn't want to get into it.) people used old clothes and traded pieces of cloth around with each other, so someone's quilt may have pieces from ten different people. I explained that that made it very special because you could have nice memories from lots of different places. Then I told them that we would be making a paper quilt and we would be creating our own pieces of "fabric" by colouring with crayons on white paper. We would cut out the pieces from ours that we used, and then put the pieces into a big sharing pile so that other people could use what we didn't need.

I get the student of the day, a very shy, sweet Vietnamese kindergarten girl, to start colouring a piece of paper as I demonstrate how to use the triangle stencil on the paper in the corner. Kids tend to cut out right in the centre, and that would make it so that there wouldn't be enough paper. I use the two pieces of paper that I coloured earlier to make the first three pieces, then use one of the SotD's pieces for the last piece and tape it to the whiteboard. Ta da!

I ask if there are any questions. BAD IDEA. Note to self and anyone working with young children: don't ask generally if there are any questions! Some of the questions I received..."Where did you get the book? Is it from our library?" "Did you steal the book?" (again...wha??? different student this time, too!) "My cousin has a quilt." (That's not a question!!) and of course... "When are we going to water our beans?" (should've seen that one coming...) "Can we use the little stencils?" (Those are for later.)

I hand out paper and fend off the ones who weren't paying attention and try to grab stencils. They happily colour and scribble for twenty minutes, most of the students getting two pieces done, while some methodical ones still have to do some later.

I stop them at 1130 and the kindergartens get ready for hometime, while the grade ones do a lousy job at cleaning up the classroom. My SA stops them from getting their lunch and they do a better job. Whoops. That should have been my job. Oh well. Despite my best efforts, there is one coloured paper with no name on it. I collect the papers and they go on my desk. HOORAY!!! A SUCCESSFUL LESSON!!!

1130 We start lunch a little early (usually at 1210) for the grade ones because we're going on a field trip to a play at one of the high schools. One of the girls doesn't have her lunch because her mom is bringing it at 1210 like normal. Whoops. I guess there wasn't a memo about early lunch. I hope it gets there soon because we're leaving the school at 1230. My teacher reads the K's a story and I let the ones water their beans. FINALLY!!

1200 The grade ones get to go out and play. Before the K's go home, I let them water their beans. FINALLY!! I head to the staff room to gulp my lunch. Lunch is delivered to the student who didn't have any yet.

1220 Students come back in and we get ready to leave.

1230 We start walking to the high school. Ye gods, it's like herding cats! Except cats don't sing "Bingo" eight times in twenty minutes. (B-I-N-G-O...and Bingo was his name-o...yes, I counted. Just wanted you to have it stuck in your head too. It's been in mine since Thursday.) I beg them to sing a different song and they do, but it's one that's as "stick in my head" as the previous one. This time however, it's my fault since it's a song/dance thing that I taught them. I stop three of them from dancing into the street.

1254 We arrive at the high school and take our seats. There is much oohing and ahhing about the fact that our theatre seats have little folding tables, like lecture halls.

105 The play starts. It's a fractured fairy tale and it's totally unsuitable for primary students. It would have been awesome if it hadn't been for elementary kids. The wicked stepmother slaps Cinderella around after making her kneel in front of her in a very Story of O kind of way...the fairy godmother is drunk (and a drag queen, but that part's fine. I thought it was awesome.) Some of the characters laugh hysterically at the fact that the parents of another character are dead...etc. It made me pretty uncomfortable for most of it.

215 The play is over and we head back to school. I spend most of the time trying to get kids to walk in front of me while I bring up the rear for safety. Bingo gets sung another six times. (Had you had it out of your head yet? Sorry...)

234 One of my students was dawdling across the road and is barely halfway across when the light changes to green. I'm 3/4 across and run back to get him and drag him across the road. Heart attack is barely averted.

240 We're back in the classroom and the students work in their writing books until home time.

305 The kids are out the door.

315 I go to the gym to help set up for our Multicultural Potluck. Families will bring in a dish of food from their culture and everyone will share. I'm looking forward to the samosas especially.

430 Setup is finished. I go to my desk and collapse with the third cup of herbal tea of the day and my third cold pill. I write up my lesson plan for the next day so I don't have to do it at home later.

530 To the gym! People are arriving and I help label food for allergies and vegetarian-ness. There's so much food! And samosas!! And moose stew! And...and...!!!

630 Everyone is fed, and now the teachers get to eat. There's still a lot left, but no samosas. Much sadness. I do get some moose stew was really good. I manage to avoid the dessert table and sit down to eat with one of my K's, his mom and grandma. Have a nice chat with them and see a bunch of my students.

700 Start cleaning up with everyone else.

715 Finish cleaning up. I had been prepared to stay until nine, so I'm shocked and amazed. Get the hell out of there with one of my fellow student teachers. I had spent the last 11 hours in the school. Ugh. I'm crashing and feeling like utter crap, cold pill notwithstanding.

800 Get home. Drink Neo-Citran, check my email, read some blogs.

920 Play my guitar for "just one song".

1035 (According to my journal) I start writing in my journal. Stupid. I should've not touched the guitar. :P It's a sickness, I tell you...

Asleep before eleven.

And that was my day. You deserve a prize for getting this far. Write YIMITF (Yes I Made It This Far) in the comments if you actually read the whole thing!!!

Thanks Sheryl for setting this up! It was fun!

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