Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This is what I look like this week....

...not really. But isn't this picture awesome? This is the Krampus. And that thing in his hand is a bunch of switches to beat kids with. Or with which to beat kids, if you're that kind of proper person. My friend Heather told me about him. Apparently, the whole story of Santa didn't make it over the big pond. In Europe, they tell the kids the Krampus rides with Santa in his sleigh and he (the Krampus, that is) snatches up the bad kids and throws them in the pit of hell. Nice, huh? I'm one more "SIT DOWN AND GET QUIET!" away from showing my kids this picture....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Open Letter to My Laptop

Dear School Laptop,

We are no longer friends. When you first came to me, I did not judge you--even though you were worn out from having beer and Ramen noodles spilled on you by some Wake Forest kid. I took you in. Now, I admit that I left you in the box for awhile, but when I discovered your wireless capabilities, I delighted in using you, despite the fact that you had no tabbed browsing and I had to save all my home documents in old Microsoft Office formats. Then you lured me in with the promise of a NEW browser, and I was excited once again....then I plugged you in, and lo and behold, NO TABS. Now you have stopped saving my settings and refuse to log on to that ridiculously STUPID, albeit necessary, pong game called Simple Sign On. Therefore, I am ENDING our relationship...I may have to use you, but I don't have to like you.

Disappointed Hopes in Winston Salem

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And visions of sugar plums did NOT dance in their heads...

I am a firm believer in the kindergarten nap. I know what you're thinking--"Of course she is, it gets those kids out of her hair for 30 minutes...." But that's not why. First of all, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 5 yr. olds get ten to twelve hours of sleep a night. Most of my parents work second and third shift jobs and don't always get to put their kids to bed early enough, so their kids don't come close to getting enough sleep at night. Also, I believe American children in general are over-stimulated. Nap time gives them a chance to relax quietly for a short time. Finally, the Department of Public Instruction says rest time is developmentally appropriate for kindergarten. Yes, I'm a firm believer in nap time. Or was. Until this year. And here are the reasons why:

The Singer
Actually, I have more than one of these. These kids lay on their mats and sing every song we've ever sung in kindergarten. "What is the weather, the weather, the weather, what is the weather, the weather today?" "Apple, apple, a, a, a, baby, baby, b,b,b...." It doesn't matter how many times you tell them to STOP... they keep singing. They are impervious to any kind of correction, short of hurling them out the door.

The Fish
Seriously, I don't think this kid is a land animal. He lays on his mat and flips around like a dying goldfish. His favorite way to begin rest time is by backing up and diving onto his mat like he's landing in a deep pool instead of on a one-inch thick mat on a concrete floor. How he doesn't have some sort of head injury is beyond me.

The Reporter
This kid has a future as either a news man or a town crier. There isn't a thing that goes on that's beyond his notice. And he feels the need to share all of it with me. "K is off her mat." "B has a piece of paper." "A is touching B's book bag." I usually try to ignore it since I don't think it would be appropriate to yell, "I DON'T FRICKIN' CARE!!!"

The Prairie Dog
Now this in an odd phenomenon. This kid is quiet and generally very compliant. This all changes at nap time. No matter how many times I say, "Get back on your mat," when I look up, he's up on his knees, staring at me over a book shelf. I've even tried moving him, and he still manages to find a way to stare at me. I'm thinking of trying bungee cords.

The Acrobat
Seriously, this kid has a future with Cirque du Soleil. The other day I looked over and she was doing a full-on back bend on her mat. And when I say, "WHAT are you doing?!?" she looks at me like I'M crazy. I've actually started ignoring the gymnastics because it's quieter than her other favorite past time, which is rattling the trash bag.

All I can tell you is, I'm glad I don't have to put them to bed at night....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm sure the pilgrims wore these....

You know what's great about being a kindergarten teacher?
You can make your kids wear funny hats...
and they think it's the greatest thing ever.
Nothing says "Thanksgiving" like a giant, construction paper turkey hat.
Happy Turkey Day, y'all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good thing these kids can't read minds....

It's Monday. And it happens to be an especially Mondayish kind of Monday. As my assistant would say, these kids are wilder than 15 bucks. I love my job. I really do. But there are times where I am feeling less than patient with these children. These sweet, innocent, adorable children. Shocking, I know. However, I try to keep a calm exterior and only say what I'm REALLY thinking to myself. So here's a post I'll call WHAT I SAY/WHAT I THINK....

Remember, raise your hand when you need something.

If you say my name one more time, I'm changing it and not telling you what it is.

Eyes on me when I'm talking...

Oh my LANTA, can you focus for 15 consecutive seconds?!?!?!?

Cover your mouth when you cough.

AGGGGHHHHHHHH! I spend half my pay check on antibiotics, now quit getting your germs on me!!!

Let's get quiet.

Oh my LORD, do you ever shut up?!?!?!?

and finally,

Please go sit down.

Poke me one more time and see what happens...

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 6, 2009

How to Eat A Peanut Butter Sandwich

Have you ever seen a kindergartner eat a peanut butter sandwich?
They don't eat from one side to the other.
They eat straight into it. And the peanut butter makes big swirls on their cheeks.
This is what it looks like when they're done.And this is what they look like.
They'll stay like this until you say, "You need to wash your face."
This supports my theory that their nerve endings don't go to the surface of their skin...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One of these things is not like the others...

We made skeletons this week.

I counted out all the Q-tips and gave each kid some in a little cup.

I showed them how to arrange the Q-tips. Didn't they do a good job?

Wait a minute....that first one looks a little different...

Looks like someone got an extra Q-tip.
Oh well. Happy Halloween(er).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Strange Phenomena

As a long-(way too long)-time kindergarten teacher, I have seen many strange things that seem to occur all the time. In fact, if I had a nickel for every time they happened, well, I'd have a lot of nickels. What's even stranger is that I have learned to observe these odd events without laughing. Not always easy, my friends. Anyway, here's a random sampling:

  • If you ask a bunch of kindergartners a question with the words "should" or "rules" in it (as in, what should we do about this? or what is the sorting rule here?) invariably, someone will say, "Don't hit nobody and don't push nobody."
  • Relatedly, if you ask kindergartners if they have any questions, they will say, "My mom say we goin' to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow" or "One time my brother got a whoopin' cause he be gettin' in my mom's room" and no, it doesn't matter what you're talking about.
  • Sometimes when the children are working quietly at their tables, one of them will inexplicably fall out of his or her chair, scramble back into it, and no one will bat an eye.
  • If you show a kindergartner a picture of any member of the big cat family (lion, leopard, cougar, etc.), he or she will tell you it's a tiger. Even if you've just shown them what a tiger looks like. I don't know why.
  • Even if it's the 121st day of school, and you've gone to lunch every single one of the previous 120 days, someone will ask, "Is we goin' to lunch today?"
  • After you have explained what an author does and what an illustrator does numerous times, if you ask "What does the author do?" someone will say, "Writes the pictures."

Now aren't you even more impressed that I can witness this without laughing?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I bet you think this is hand sanitizer. Wrong. In my room, we call this.....

  • hand sanitires
  • hand sizer
  • hanitizer
  • hand-zer

Seriously. Every kid. All the time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Out of The Mouths of Babes...

Here are some random things that my kids have said:

  • When I asked one of my students why he ran on all a GORILLA...he said, "My mom say, 'If you love lions, act like one.'"
  • On a cloudy Friday, one of my students said (by the way, you have to picture this with a lisp)"uh, Miss Qualls, is it gonna rain today?...I didn't watch the news. I haven't watched the news in a hundred years, and I've only been alive for five..."
  • One day when I dismissed the kids to go write in their journals, this same student said, "Well, you know, professional baseball players CAN be eaten by bears, too." We hadn't been talking about bears. Or baseball players.
  • We've been writing about each person in our class during journal time. We write, I see ____. He/she is my friend. One of my kids had only written the first sentence. When asked why, he said, "Weellll, when we're on the playground, she never plays with me, so she's not really my friend..."
  • On the way in from the playground--"Hey, I been to the mountains. I played with my grandpa when I was there. I beat him 80 buhcent." (That's 80 percent.)
  • We've been learning about nursery rhymes. So here's the question I got this week--"Is we gonna do Honky Donky again?" Yes, that's Humpty Dumpty.

And no, I can't always keep a straight face.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Say What?

As a kindergarten teacher, I find myself saying things I never imagined I'd have to say. Here's a sample of things I've said just this year--and, mind you, we've only been in school 23 days:

  • Please don't walk down the hall with your eyes closed.
  • We shouldn't call our friends "major losers".
  • Let's not spit on each other.
  • If you yell "BORING!" one more time, I'll send you back to your seat.
  • We DO NOT crawl into other people's bathroom stalls!
  • And my personal favorite--We do not pretend to smell our friends' butts when they're hanging upside down on the monkey bars.

You just can't make this stuff up.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons...or Dinosaurs

Kindergarten children are hilarious. What is most funny about them is that they don't know how funny they are. We practiced clapping syllables in words today. We must have clapped forty seven words...LE-MONS! WA-GON! DI-NO-SAUR! JEEP! It was beautiful--they were getting every single one...and then, they went to their seats. Suddenly, I'm walking around the room and I hear, "Be-e-ed! Three!" (That's bed, by the way.) Everything we had just practiced had absolutely NO application to what they were currently doing. And they were so sure they were RIGHT. When I went around and pointed out that bed, in fact, has ONE syllable, not three, they stared at me blankly and then demonstrated the three claps in the word. Clearly, we needed more practice. So, with some major assistance, everyone managed to get all their words sorted correctly and ended up with stickers on their papers. And yet, tomorrow, when we go over this again, I'll hear, "LE-MONS! THREE!" Oh well...when life gives you lemons, pretend it has three syllables, like lemonade.