Neutralizing Mom From Hell (MFH)!, Part 1

Dear Readers,

As you know, I’ve had a pretty terrible beginning of the year. I mean, it started off with a funky vibe that just didn’t feel right. From there, it just escalated to me dealing with the mom from Hell. I really want her out of life, but I know that’s not going to happen. That would be too easy. My life just doesn’t work like that.

Right now I am holding back tears because I am just so tired of going through H.E.L.L. It seems like I take one step forward and 15 back. But, I digress. I’ll talk about that at a later date. Right now, I’m just going to talk about attempting to neutralize the MFH. Let me begin at the beginning. Her daughter has only been in my class since last Monday. Are you counting? That’s only 1 week and 2 days. In this time, she has gone to the Principal and asked her to “watch me” because she doesn’t think I’m teaching her daughter right. Really?

What prompted this, you may ask? She asked how her daughter was doing and I told her. So, of course it can’t be her daughter’s problem. It has to be mine, right? STRIKE #1.

So, the next morning the Principal tells me about he little visit. I go to her and tell her I’d like to talk to her after school.Read More »

Bubble Blowing Contest in Class Today!

Well, I had to use the bubble blowing thing in class today. One of my little girls, who I’ll call Binaca Blast, was accused of stealing a pencil from one of the other girls. So, this started a “friend tug-of-war”. If you have little girls in your class or have little girls of your own, then you know what I mean by “friend tug-of-war”. One girl tells the other girl’s friends not to play with the her (If you can understand that).

I asked all three of them if they played the “friend tug-of-war” game  and of course they all said no. It was at this point that I called them up individually and told them that I knew they did it. That’s when Binaca Blast started crying. It went on for a good 15 minutes. Once she stopped, I had the class go up to her and do a group hug to fill her bucket. (More on that in another post). After we filled her bucket, I gave her the bubbles.

“I don’t want to blow bubbles,” she said. “I want my brother!”

“Well, school is in session and you’re brother is not in this class, so that will have to wait,” I said.

“Now,” I said gently, “go ahead and blow the bubbles.”

Since there was no way for the other students not to be distracted, I stopped the class and had a bubble blowing contest. After we finished, I asked her if she wanted to keep blowing bubbles or have a seat. Which one do you think she chose? So, I let her blow bubbles for another 4 minutes, then requested her presence in the group.

After school, she came up to me and told me that she wanted to buy the bubbles in the classroom store next Friday.

“Ok,” I said, “but, you have to keep your money by following directions and no stealing. She insisted that she didn’t steal anything. So, if I see her mother in the morning, I will ask her about the pencil. Until then, bye for now.

Bubble Blowing & Coloring for Classroom Management!!!

Bubble Blowing & coloring for classroom management!!! What a crazy idea, right? Well, it works. That’s the brilliant idea I came up with for my students, when they are upset, mad, or just generally in a bad mood. I came up with the idea because I was blowing bubbles in the summer for my daughter. She kept bugging me & I really didn’t want to blow them. But, I blew them anyway. What I discovered is that, during the process of blowing bubbles, that my anger & lackadaisical attitude disappeared. I figured if it works on me, then it would definitely work on children. So, this year, third week into the school year, I am 2/2.

So, why don’t you try it and see if it works for your students. Bye for now.

Me & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

Today was the day from H.E.L.L!!! It was the worst day of my teaching career. Let me begin at the beginning. I just wasn’t feeling “it” today. I was feeling a bit off all day. I get in and see the parent from H.E.L.L. waiting on me. I politely passed her and her trouble-making self up.

Next, my student, Coaster, who I’ve been having tremendous success with (up until today) decided that he didn’t want to do any work today. Then, a student came to me with some disturbing news that made me fear for her safety, so I had to call Child Protective Services. Lastly, the mother from H.E.L.L. showed up after school with a petty, bitchy complaint. Normally, I would have been happy to entertain her, but today was the 4th time, in a week, that she’d come to me in a foul manner. The other reason was that I was on the phone with Child Protective Services when she & her daughter were at my classroom door pounding relentlessly for about 5 minutes.

After I called Child Protective Services I cried. This story is much longer but, I will share it at another time because I still have tears in my eyes. Bye for now!

The Time Had Come…

Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! is one of my favorite books. The kid, Marvin, reminds me of some students I’ve had over the years. One student, in particular (who I’ll call Coaster), is this year’s Marvin K. Mooney. He used to raise all kinds of hell last year with the the 2nd/3rd grade teacher, because he didn’t want to do it. He has an excuse though- he’s moderately autistic. Since I knew this ahead of time, I had a plan. I started talking to him last year. Even though he wouldn’t say anything or respond to me, I would walk by & speak to him. Towards the end of the year, he started responding.

“Hi, Coaster.”

“Hi!” he responded.

“Good,” I thought, “he’s coming around”.

So, things were going great until, fast forward to the third day of school when he refuses to eat with the rest of my class. He would not budge from that bench (a la Marvin K. Mooney). At the beginning of the year, I usually walk to the lunch area with my class and eat with them to make sure they bond to ensure they become a family. However, on that day, I didn’t pack my lunch, so I had to go to the little cafe across the street. Well, when I got back, I see Coaster sitting apart from the class with the Librarian. So, I walk over to the Librarian, say hi to her, and begin talking to Coaster.

“Ummm, Coaster,” I said, ” we are a family, so that means eating together.

“No, I’m not going,” he said.

“Yes, you are,” I said. “You can get up quietly and come over or we can have a conference with your mom. Do you want to disappoint your mom?

“No,” he said.

“Shall we go?” I said.

“Ok!” he said.

Was it really that easy??? He would have given the 2nd/3rd grade teacher H.E.L.L. for about 15 minutes. Just Because!!! I guess my behavior management techniques are pretty effective.

…so Marvin went!

My Class This Year…

It’s funny how every class is different. Last year my students were talkers.This year, my students are what some of you might call headstrong. I call it hardheaded.  They are having trouble following directions & listening. There are two little girls who, pretty much, rule their mothers. So, they think they should rule the classroom. (Can’t you just hear the needle scratching the record.) If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that is simply not going to happen. Being the person that I am, I simply can NOT & will not allow that to happen. Returning to school so early is really wearing on me more than I thought I would. I’m really tired, so I will post more about them tomorrow. I have to make up names for the new cast of characters. So, bye for now!

The First Day Back!

*** WARNING- This post is a little disjointed. I jump all over the place. That’s how I felt today.***

So, Teachermum,  you were right. My class did not look as bad as I thought it would. I’m still hyper-critical of the crooked posters, but all-in-all, it’s really neat. I left my camera at home today so I couldn’t take pics, but I will post them on the weekend.

Today, I was a bit tired because I was so afraid of oversleeping that I got up @ 3:30, went back to sleep at 5:45, and finally got up for the last time @ 6:30. Although that was the time I wanted to leave, I still made it to school in time to make copies, say hi to my old students and settle in.

The only thing I did today was introduce them to the rules & procedures, read two books (The Listening Walk by Aliki & How Full Is Your Bucket for kids by Tom Rath & Mary Reckmeyer), took a verb walk (will explain this in another post), showed them around the class, explained the book borrowing policy, & talked about our summer vacation.

I am writing a book review on How Full Is Your Bucket for kids. Trust me, you’ll love it. I have a couple things I need to do, so bye for now!

Frustrated Me!

I am so frustrated. I, with the help of my husband, Phillip, just finished decorating my room @ 6:00 p.m. Phillise missed cheer practice. I didn’t get a chance to go grocery shopping, and am just so irritable and frustrated. I wish I had at least one more day. Next year I will go in a couple of days early because I do NOT like rushing. As a result of rushing, some of my posters aren’t straight. I just wanna’ tear them off the wall. No one else may notice it, but I do. I am going to sleep now. I’ll wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to go. I’ll post about my first day back. So bye for now!

Lakeshore is the Devil!%$#

Danika & I used to say that the .99¢ store, Dollar Tree & the dollar section in Target was the devil. However, now I’ve reassessed the situation and think that Lakeshore has taken their places. Of course, I’m just kidding. But, I am tired of giving my money to them. I went there last Wednesday & spent $22. 35 on borders. However, the 5 packs that I got were nowhere near enough to cover the whole classroom. It was just enough to cover the bottom bulletin boards.

Today, I had to go back and get twice as many as before because my classroom is so big. I have 14 bulletin boards. I know! I spent $54.85 for borders for the top bulletin boards, rules poster, yellow & orange construction paper (for color coding class work), sparkly letters (so I don’t have to die-cut any), & some erasers for the prize box. All in all, it’s not too bad to decorate the class. It’s only once a year. I’ve done much worse in years past. Gotta’ go, but I’ll definitely post pics tomorrow when I’m finished decorating. Really I will.

Bye for now!

Not Yet! Part 1

Well, Dear Readers,

I’ve been in my classroom all week  & have yet to finish. I did have two 1/2 days of Professional Development. It’s no excuse though. I b.s.’ed  and did a whole bunch-of-nothing for two days. I could have had that room finished by now. I’m kinda’ mad at myself, but will get over it. I’m thinking about going in on Sunday to finish up the top bulletin boards, shelve the books, and cover the computer table and the back table I use for group work. Once that’s done, I’ll be finished. After that, I just need to make copies on Monday for the first week of school and I’ll be fine.

The Laz-E boy chair that I bought looks fantastic in the room. I’ll take pictures (I will, I promise) and post them on Monday. I don’t think I’ll be doing any posting on Tuesday since it’s the first week of school. So, look out for the pics. Bye for now!

Happy Me!

Yay, for me. I’m going to be mentoring a new teacher in my school. I know I’m adding more things to my plate, but he needs help. I’m also stoked & flattered that the Principal chose me to help him. We’ll see how things go! Bye for now.

First Day Back!

Since I work @ a private school, today was my first day back to school. The students come back next Tuesday. I love having a week in the classroom to fix it up & re-familiarize myself with it. I’ve changed the classroom around. I’m not sure if it’s going to work like this, but I’m going to try. I’ll post pics tomorrow. Bye for now!

Boy, Shopping is So Much Fun!

In order to continue to bring my “A” game, in regard to dressing, I went shopping on Thursday with Danika. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend, but wanted a few well made pieces anyway. I had to do a bit of travelling to get to the Citadel Outlet Stores in Commerce, CA, but knew I’d get more bang for my buck there. But, before I went there, I needed to go to Manhattan Village to return two corduroy boyfriend jackets I bought online @ Once I realized I could fit a smaller size, I bought the smaller size. So, I went to Manhattan Village, returned the jackets & passed Talbots Petite. I was so happy. I didn’t even know there was a Talbots Petite. Even though my budget was small, I decided to pop in there and was pleasantly surprised. There was a whale of a sale going on in there. Most clothes were 50% off the original price + an additional 20% off that. I got a black picot stretch sheath dress for $24.50. I know, right? Any dress @ Talbots for $24.50 is soooooooo good. Not only that, I got a pumpkin colored short sleeve cardigan for $12.50. After taxes, I paid a grand total of $43.29.

After that, I went to the Citadel Outlets and bought some black suede booties (2 3/4″) from Aerosoles for $39.99 ($43.49 with tax). I tried to get the gray ones to match with the gray corduroy boyfriend jacket I got from J. Jill, but they sold out in size 6 1/2. I’m not worried though, because I called and the sales person said to check periodically, that they might get some back in. So, you had better believe that I’m calling bright & early tomorrow morning to see because I looked for them on the internet. I found them, but the retail price is $99.99. No thanks! I think I’ll stick to the outlet price of $39.99.

Lastly, I went to the Ann Taylor Outlet. They were also having an out of this world sale- 40% off the lowest ticketed price + an additional 15% off that. The prices were amazing, but since I was basically out of money, I only had enough cash for a cute little magenta cardigan & a purply pink tee for a grand total, after taxes, of $24.01.

So, for $43.29 (Talbots) + $43.49 (Aerosoles) + $24.01 (Ann Taylor) a grand total of $110.79, I bought a dress, two cardigans, & a bar of booties from high end stores. Not a bad day of shopping.

Bringing My “A” Game!

I’ve been doing a bit of shopping. I’m getting ready to go back to work. Normally I wouldn’t be shopping so early, but since I work at a Catholic school, I return August 9th for a bit of professional development with the students returning August 16th. I’ve been shopping because last year I was such a slacker. Last school year I was such a slacker. I actually wore flip-flops to school on several occasions. They weren’t my relief shoes either. I purposely wore them. I was still pretty put together, but I did have my moments of “don’t give a damn days”.
When I thought back, I was so embarrassed that I dressed like that. I called Danika and she told me not to worry about it; that if everyone else was dressing pretty casually, then I had every right to also. “I think not,” I said. “Even if everyone else is dressing like a bum, that does NOT excuse me. I need to bring my “A” game no matter what. What I’ve been being reminded of a lot lately, it’s all in how YOU respond. That’s it. That’s all I wanted to say. Bye for now!

Summer Reading

I only have a couple more books to read before I’m finished with my summer reading list. I’ve been particularly enamored of the Septimus Heap series. It’s really well written & so much fun. I read through the first five books (all 3,000+ pages) in 3 weeks. In between books, I The Homework Machine & The Homework Machine Returns. I also read Maniac Magee which I absolutely loved, loved, loved. This has to be one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Right now I’m reading Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko & Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. I’m going to give myself a week to read these two while I also work on my curriculum mapping.

Hopefully I will finish Extra Credit by Andrew Clements & The Schwa Was Here by Neal Schusterman. I don’t think I’ll finish Inkspell & Inkdeath by September, but I’ll let you know. So, bye for now!