October 5, 2009

just another manic monday

Last night I set my alarm for 5am. After staying up a good two hours later than usual scrambling to get some last minute grading done, my lesson plans finished, and writing post-it notes in my leveled readers for my aide to use when he met with a guided reading group (if I don't write out word for word EXACTLY what I want him to say, it's a disaster. This being said, it is sometimes a disaster anyways...), I didn't exactly wake up on time. Let me rephrase that. I woke up at 6:23. I left my house at 6:35. I know, I'm awesome. I didn't exactly shower and putting on makeup really just involved me smearing (literally) on some foundation and brushing on a little mascara, but somehow I got in my car with my coffee and mug of oatmeal to eat on the way. Phew!

Anyways, after that FRANTIC start to the day, I assumed that the whole day would be a nightmare. However, it actually went just fine. The kids were only marginally chatty today (with the exception of two who are making me CRAZY with their attitudes...when I tell you to stop talking, just stop. Don't say 'what did i do???' and groan), which for a Monday, is a small miracle.

Some of my favorite things today/recently:
1. Starting element 2 of the Daily 5: We started Work on Writing today, which is going well so far. Just like Read to Self, it is a miracle that the kids can actually sit and work quietly. I LOVE IT. I know that they're going to love being able to choose what to write about, and they love the opportunity to sit all over the room and quietly work. And I love the quiet too. :)

2. One of my girls brought in her "fashion notebook" to share with me in which she has all her clothing designs, divided into sections of dresses, pants, skirts, vests, sweaters, church dresses (i know.), bathing suits, and pajamas. There might have been a few more sections, I can't remember. Each section had a page of drawings of the clothing, and then pictures of the outfits on models. It was AMAZING. She showed me the entire thing page by page and pointed out her favorites. Not only was it adorable, but it was a wonderful reminder that I really have built a relationship with these kids.

3. My student who is incredibly bright but has done little to no quality work this year had a very serious parent-teacher conference. When I shared with her and her parents last week the samples of her "work" (by which I mean lack there of), she was visibly upset and her parents took it very seriously. Today, when she wrote her reading response letter for the week in her journal, she showed it to me when she was finished, and was so proud that she'd written an entire page. This was HUGE for her, and it meant so much just to see that not only had she put forth the effort, but that she actually was proud of herself.

4. I added some new books to some of the kids' book boxes this morning, and some of them were really excited to see my picks for them. That will never get old. I don't care that it's more work for me to choose the books, I love it and they do too. Which I guess I understand--I know I would feel pretty special even now if someone brought me a book and said, "I chose this JUST for YOU." :)

So, once again, it's the little joys that pull me through the manic mondays. Things still really suck from time to time (especially when the copier breaks for the millionth time...seriously, aren't we a Title 1 school? Can't we use some funds for a freakin copier???), but sometimes there are things I just love. I'm reminding myself to focus on the little things. There are rarely perfect days, but there can be perfect moments. They are what are getting me through this.

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