Category Archives: parents

Teacher Appreciation Day

Normally we don’t get a lot of action on Teacher Appreciation Day, at least not from our parents.  However, the PTA and our school administration always does something to show their gratitude!  This year our P and VP gave us lunch out on our patio on Wednesday, with the food from some taco truck.  It was great!  We also got an hour long lunch, so it was nice to sit out in the sunlight, and have plenty of time to eat and chat.

Our PTA gave us a breakfast on Friday.  We had donuts, bagels, fruit, coffee, and juice.  It was very nice.

Picking up the students that morning, there were a lot of students with flowers and other gifts for their teachers.  It was nice.  I received about 8 flowers, and about 4 gifts, not including the 2 gifts I got Wednesday from students.  Apparently, the Auto-Call called the parents Thursday night and let them know it was Teacher Appreciation Day.  That was nice.

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C and His Dad

Met with C, his dad, and the principal today.  Explained to dad that C was quietly singing (but doing it so his table could hear) “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” with the hand motions.  I looked at him and got his attention, and expected the behavior to stop – which it would have for 99% of students in any grade.  But it didn’t.

So a few seconds later I had him turn a pin, and explained to him in not-a-quiet voice that I when he is obviously behaving poorly, and when I look at him, and he at me, I expect that behavior to stop.

I told his dad that C tends to pout when he gets in trouble, instead of owning up to his bad choice, and moving on with good choices.  So his dad, the principal, and I all tried to explain to him that mistakes happen, poor choices are made.  But when you get caught making them, change your behavior and move on.  Realize it is his fault for the punishment, say your sorry, and change.

That doesn’t seem to be happening.

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A New Kid

First day back, I get a call from my principal.  She wants to tell me about a new kid I’m getting.  Apparently his dad asked the district to be moved to our school because he liked the way our principal handled students.

This kid – I mean student – has evidently been suspended at least 3 times THIS SCHOOL YEAR, for things like throwing his backpack at someone.  And I get him in my class.

Oh good.

But the principal and behavioral specialist, a very well-liked-by-the-students Mr. Farell, have already met with him and his dad, and he’s going to start out on a behavior contract.  And he’s NOT going to have any of these problems here at Westmont.  Well, we’ll see.

Turns out he’s a nice enough kid.  I’ll call him “C.”  Very well spoken, polite, good looking.

We’ll see.

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Gold Rush, 2011

We had a lot to do the morning of, but got the town all set up, thanks to the help of a few parents and students.

The kids did a great job singing, and especially square dancing.  It was a very fun atmosphere.  After we got all the classes seated at the stage, many of the parents came down to take pictures, so we just hung out for a short while.  After the play/singing, the kids quietly went to their dance spots, and did great!  You could tell they were having fun.  And you could tell the parents were enjoying watching their children perform.

After the square dancing, everyone hung out a bit more while parents came over to take more pictures.  Lots of pictures student with teacher.

We said goodbye to the parents and went back up to our classes to let the judges do their thing for the costume contest.  I had Wilbur and Suzy as my winners.  Wilbur had an authentic bandana to go with the rest of his cowboy gear, as well as an authentic lasso.  Suzy had an pink, frilly old fashion dress.

Then we went down to the Boom Town.  The kids loved it.  Jason worked at the saloon playing cards and pouring root bear.  Kids were getting “married,” playing horse shoes, getting a “shave,” dressing up, and going to jail.  Not to mention getting free pie.

The parents really helped in the boom town.  All we teachers had to do was stand around and chat.  It was really nice.

A half hour before lunch the classes went up, while Amy, some parents and I stayed back to help the custodians clean up.  After lunch I went back to finish cleaning up.

After school Amy and I made floats for the 4th grade teachers and custodians.  A great ending to an exhausting, but fun, day.

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Open House, 2011

We only had a week after testing to get ready for Open House.  It felt a bit rushed.  But we got it together.  I’m sure the room didn’t win any awards for most awesomest room in the world, but it looked alright.  And although my room looked like a bomb went off in the morning of the big day, I didn’t have to rush to get everything together.  I actually had some extra time before the night began.

I only had 11 families not show up.  Not too bad.  I really enjoyed talking with some of the parents.  I had a sister of one of my students about 7 years ago.  Her dad is a little Mexican man who speaks very broken English.  But he’s really nice, and the older sister came, too.  It was fun to see all of them.

It’s so nice to get the evening over with.

Now, on to Gold Rush, and the end of school.

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The I.E.P.

We had Jenny’s big IEP on Friday.  I counted 8 people there for our “side,” not including our principal, who had to be in and out of the meeting.  By the way, most IEP’s have the teacher, the RSP teacher, and maybe one more person.  The extra people at our meeting were the lawyer, the district program specialists, the psychologist, and others.

The meeting was scheduled to go from 9 till 12:30, so I needed a full day sub.  It started with going over the year and seeing if she met all her goals, which she did.  Her families lawyer asked me a few questions about Jenny’s abilities, but nothing too difficult.  I don’t think there were any questions about her being difficult in a regular education classroom.

So after going over last year’s goals and Jenny’s accomplishments, we took a break and then went over her new goals for next year.

The meeting went pretty smoothly.  No big arguments or differences of opinion.  They agreed to reduce her time for math in RSP.  The lawyer and mom even signed off on the new IEP, which they have never done without reviewing it and signing it at a later date.

Overall, the psychologist (who ran the meeting) and the principal were very pleased with the way the meeting went.  They both said I handled myself well, but honestly, I only said a couple of things.  We were all glad to get the meeting over.

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Screwed Up, and Not His Fault (for the most part)

Poor Peter.  He is so screwed up.

To put it briefly:

His family was at the park a couple of nights ago.  He sees a girl there from our class (I think she was with her family).  He got into an arguement with her and ended up exposing himself to her and saying, “You wanna suck on this?”

What is going on with him?  I can’t believe a fourth grader would do that!  What has he seen at home?

Then this morning at home, I guess he was sick of seeing his 7th grade brother choosing not to go to school, and instead play Xbox.  So he throws a fit and runs off.  Mom and dad corral him and drag him to school, but even at school he doesn’t want to go in.  When the principal goes out and talks to him his demeanor changes, and he comes in.

The family also found out that the things the the 7th grader accused his dad of were made up.  He faked it.

Yes, I know.  Remember, the boy was being bullied because the kids at his school found out about what the dad had done to him.  But wait, how did they find out unless he told them.  But wait, he made those things up.  They didn’t really happen!

That kid, that family, is screwed up.

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