Thursday, September 17, 2015

Typical Thursday

My desire to go to bed at five o'clock this evening should be a pretty good indication of how things are going at work.  

(I know I've shared this image before...but it's still true.  It's also tomorrow's morning meme.)

I got a new student this week.  She's number thirty four (one already moved back to Mexico, so she replaces the empty desk).  She's from a neighboring school and it appears her family moved, so luckily for me, she's already familiar with our school's Reading Rangers program.

I'm juggling planning social studies units with reading plans.  I'm making some major tweaks to last year's region works, but I will happily share (on TpT) once they're done!  I'm almost done with my beginning of the year tasks (setting up Class Dojo, getting everyone benchmarked, establishing procedures, setting up progress monitoring schedules, and so on and so forth).  I'm hoping this weekend, when I'm not doing exciting wedding planning things, will provide a lot of time to catch up and get a little bit ahead (crazy concept, I know!).  B is on call (extra money for the wedding), so I'll do my part in finishing up products.

I'm all caught up on my grading (for now), sent some positive emails to parents to try to build up that community, and tried to catch my breath.  

Our year is off to a rocky start.  One of my students had her iPhone stolen from her desk.  Granted, it wasn't supposed to be in her desk and she was showing it off to her peers.  It's unclear when the phone went missing because she claims to have noticed it gone right after lunch, but didn't tell me until the end of the day...on a Friday.  I took witness statements and handed those over to administration (who in turn handed them over to school police), we advised them to file additional reports.  Not the best way to start the school year.  I feel so frustrated and violated because it happened in my classroom.  It also brings back unpleasant memories of some of the issues we dealt with last year.  

We also had another bombshell dropped on us today.  It's not a secret the district is having money woes.  The funds are there, they are just being extremely mismanaged.  (Yes, still irritated that I got a pay cut, but new teachers got a $4,000 hiring bonus because the school district's focus is on "recruiting new talent" apparently with no regard to retaining the talent they already have.)  Apparently, sometime before mid December, I have to attend an evening or Saturday clinic put on by the Teacher's Health Trust in order to keep my insurance for next year.  The insurance that's included in my contract as part of my benefits plan.  I don't know how they can mandate that we give up additional time outside of contract hours for what will clearly be a less than helpful training, but we shall see.

For the past few days, we've been in a school wide reading competition.  Our students have been reading up a frenzy and the teachers were evenly split between the red reading team and the blue rangers team.

I take spirit days very, very seriously.  Scarves, a red Gryffindor shirt, hair bows, a belt, and an Arizona Cardinals snuggie were all part of my attire at some point today.  Twenty four of my students participated in today's red challenge.

After reading all morning (and practicing our grade level chant), we headed outside for the kick off.  We had a dozen or so cheerleaders from UNLV, district employees, an author, and all of first through fifth grade outside.  

Naturally, we seized the opportunity to snap some selfies!  Kyla is one of my bridesmaids and I'm so glad she left our previous school and joined me at school two.  We took a big leap of faith together!

They announced winners of the reading competitions and all the teachers were strongly encouraged to do the Nae Nae.  Yup, I danced the nae nae in front of about a thousand people today.  You know, just your typical Thursday as an elementary school teacher. 

Luckily, tomorrow is Friday. I don't intend for there to be any dancing...but you never know with fifth grade.

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