I am a
WARNING: Do not attempt to read these while drinking coffee…or anything else.
Things you never think you’ll say:
“Quit licking the bottom of your shoe!”
“Don’t stand on the urinal. You know someone will come and tell me! ”
“Take your mouth off his ear.”
“Stop eating rocks.”
“Quit sprinkling orange juice on him.”
“Please don’t put mashed potatoes on each of your fingers. Just use a spoon.”
“Quit sitting on his hand.”
“Your mom is going to be very upset when she sees that you cut a hole in the front of your shirt!’
“No, you don’t need to make a tattoo with your markers.”
“Stop making a mask with your tortilla.”
“Don’t wash your hands in the drinking fountain.”
“If you tie your shoes together again you won’t be able to walk OR play!”
“Sitting on your neighbor’s paper is not respectful.”
“Oh, no, this piece of hair is going home in your folder not the trash. YOU can explain it to your mother!”
“No, you can’t save all your work and do it with your sister.”
“I don’t care if you mix your mashed potatoes and applesauce together as long as you eat it that way.”
“Stop drinking your glue!”
“If you sing that Frozen song one more time during phonics you’re going to move your card to time-out.”
“Are you chewing gum or Playdoh?”
“Quit pouring chocolate milk in your beans.”
“I don’t care if you do love him, let him go! He wants to go play.”
“Sit right here until you can explain to me why you were throwing soap bubbles in the bathroom.”
“Why did you color your shoes with your marker?”
“Quit licking that off your arm and get a tissue!”
I could go on all day folks…
We didn’t have the best of days yesterday. There were some moments that “worked” and some that didn’t. Ditto for my students. Some worked, some are still on vacation. But we’ll try it again today, and tomorrow, and again next week.
Kindergarten is all a matter of wash, rinse, repeat. Present the concept, demonstrate it, let the students try it. Present the concept in a slightly different way, demonstrate it again, let the students practice it. Over and over and over…verbally, visually, physically until it becomes the foundation for another concept or skill. Of course there are many concepts and skills that must be taught or reviewed each day because we have to eventually master about 300 of them before the year is over. And with different student skill levels and learning styles to consider I have my hands full keeping everyone on task. This is why chocolate was created!
Some children respond quite well to the idea that they have time to try and practice and try again. Others are of the opinion that mastery is either immediate or simply unattainable. Their life experience has apparently not included a lot of “do-overs”.
These children soon learn there are two things you don’t want to tell Mrs. Maurer: “I don’t want to.” or “I can’t.”
My reply to the first is usually “I don’t remember giving you a choice.”
My reply to the second is usually “Of course you can’t. If you could already do this you’d be in first grade!” or “Of course you can’t. If you could already do this I wouldn’t have a job!”
Those statements…and let’s face facts…MOST of what I say, elicits the “deer in the headlights” look from my students. But with a little coxing and encouragement most begin to understand that kindergarten is about practice, not perfection.
So…a less than wonderful day doesn’t bother me. And it doesn’t bother most of my students. We’ll just meet on the mat again today and see what happens!
I was amused this weekend when the mere thought of fall found me reaching for corn bread mix and pasta to add to my grocery cart. LOL I guess my brain is already thinking of colder evenings.
A sure sign that I’m old: I no longer recognize half of the little starlets who are hawking products on television.
Watched “The Impossible”. Difficult to think about someone actually going through that experience and living to tell about it.
Disturbing to think of the implications of our current global problems. I suppose at this point there will never be an end to the wars, conflicts, and threats of violence.
We had an “intruder” drill at school last week and some comments were made about strangers and self-defense, etc. If we pay attention to the past we should know that a dangerous intruder on campus will most likely be someone we know…a student.
Each day there is information on my homepage about what stars and athletes and other personalities are doing. For the most part I really don’t care, but I often find myself wondering who does.
While I’m sympathetic to the idea that everyone has a right to privacy, shouldn’t we be asking why all these movie people HAVE nude photos of themselves that can be “hacked”?
I’ll bet you don’t know anyone else who was sitting here at 4:30 this morning trying to locate Mud Creek on a map of Oklahoma. LOL And yes, I found it. No, I’m not telling…look for it yourself. It’s good for your brain.
Random thoughts from a scrambled brain…hey, I’m going to go scramble some eggs for breakfast.
I finally drove by my father’s house yesterday. Yes, it was the first time I had done so since he died. I took advantage of the fact that I have several brothers and I let them remove his things from the house, take what they wanted, sell what they didn’t, and get the house ready for another family to live there.
I have to admit that I drove by rather quickly yesterday and I’ll have to repeat the process a couple of times before I really “see” the house. I know that my brother has worked very hard to clean the lot and repair the house, but I can’t absorb all of that while it’s still painful to know that Dad isn’t there.
There is more pain when I drive into the next block where my grandmother and great-grandmother once lived. You see, Russell Street used to be our family’s street. My Granny Simmons lived in a house on the lot where Dad’s old house now stands, and in the next block was Big Mama’s house, and on the next corner across the street was my grandmother’s house where my parent’s got married. Dad tore Granny’s house down when he built his. Both of the other houses have been totally “trashed” over the years and no longer bear any resemblance to the homes I remember from my childhood. It’s like part of our history has been removed from the books. I can only hope that the same fate does not befall Mom and Dad’s house.
I know that time and people move on. I know that houses get old and fall apart just as people do. But watching it happen still makes me sad and I hope that someone with children moves into Dad’s old house and loves it for a little longer.
It’s ironic that on a day set aside to celebrate the “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country”, many workers will not be at home celebrating. They’ll be at work! Instead of a day of parades and picnics we’ve turned the day into the second biggest shopping frenzy of the year. As someone who once worked every holiday and nearly every weekend in retail, I can tell you that most cashiers and sales clerks won’t be on duty Monday just because they have nothing else to do. They’re more likely working because they have no choice or they’re getting a little extra money. If you are out shopping Monday please be patient and kind. My husband will be one of those laboring.
Of course Labor Day is a reminder that I have to start shopping for Christmas. Please don’t tell me how few weekends there are between now and then. Ignorance is sometimes best.
Labor Day was once the day that marked the end of summer fashion. I remember reading in the Sunday paper that people weren’t supposed to wear white after Labor Day, and women were certainly not supposed to walk around in white shoes. I was lucky to wear any color I had! When I was a kid I usually owned two pairs of shoes: one for school and one for Sunday. The rest of the time I was bare-footed.
Labor Day is also a frantic freeway day! Please, please be careful out there as you head back home after whatever you do. Stay safe!
(The photo was taken during my Macy’s days.)
It amazes me to look at my class this year and realize that once again the grandchild of one of my first cousins is sitting in front of me. Last year it seemed like just a pleasant coincidence that someone from our family ended up in the town where I teach. I was happy to get acquainted with the offspring of one of my childhood playmates and I look forward to following the progress of my little cousin. But this year it seems even more profound to find a young relative looking back at me. His grandfather and I spent many hours together playing and arguing. Like most boys he was annoying and his sister and I tried to get away from him and from my own brothers! But somehow we usually ended up playing together as a group…and often got into some sort of trouble. The stories of our antics could fill a book! I can still remember how angry my mom was when she found out he talked me into swinging from a rope tied to a tree and jumping into the pond. lol And I swear he was the one that opened the window and let the squirrel come inside!
I suppose teaching relatives doesn’t sound unusual to people who grew up in this small corner of the world. When I explained the relationship to the rest of my students one of them commented, “I have LOTS of cousins!” Yes, I do too, but the idea that after fifty-one moves I would end up living here, where my parents began their lives and where I once played with my cousins, that I could teach in a different town several miles away and STILL end up having relatives in my own classroom, is high on my list of things that are meant to be.
I attended an emergency meeting of the Town Restoration Association of Caddo (TRAC) last night. Our little group has been together since 2005 when nearly forty people gathered to exchange ideas for creating a better future for our community. Since that time most of those people have disappeared and only a dedicated core group of a dozen people have remained to complete projects around town. Now our efforts and current projects are at a standstill because of government bureaucracy. We have been told that the way we have done things for nearly ten years is no longer legal and proper and we must now comply with a whole new set of regulations. While we are quite willing to do so, and we are in the middle of the LONG and EXPENSIVE process, this makes me wonder about the future of volunteer organizations. It has been difficult enough to recruit people for service, but when this old group is gone will new and even more tedious regulations prevent others from following in our footsteps? Sad to even consider…
I know it seems a bit premature to say goodbye to a month when we still have a week to endure, but it’s the “endure” that makes me count the days until I can flip the calendar to a new page. Though it started out politely with cooler temperatures and pleasant breezes, August is ending with its usual steamy ugliness. It has never been my favorite month.
My mother loathed August. She suffered terrible headaches from the heat and August was a demanding month of school shopping and preparation. My mother worked diligently to make our clothes and shop for the best bargains for shoes and other necessities. Money problems often meant some tough decisions had to be made and we were sometimes unhappy with her choices.
August also meant the beginning of the grape harvest and working longer hours. We usually arrived at the fields just before sunrise so we could work as long as possible before the heat became oppressive. If school started before the harvest was finished then we knew we had to work the weekends until the end of the season. I even recall some years when school was delayed until most of the grape harvest was completed. BTW, I first learned to cut grapes when I was four.
September was the month of my mother’s birth and that’s just one of the many reasons I look forward to seeing it on the calendar. It’s also the beginning of fall, brightly colored leaves, and cooler temperatures.
So…last Monday of August. Counting the days…
I have been working on some projects and apologize for not posting much lately. I finally took a walk outside, but it was almost too hot to even breathe.
There is very little blooming in the garden so it makes me more grateful for the little bits of color here and there.
I must admit that the vultures made me a bit nervous! Lol