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First Year, Eighth Week: Teaching Edition

Tabitha Helms

My big excitement for this week was our first field trip to the pumpkin patch. It had oodles of craziness for me as a teacher. A nice and not so nice thing about this trip was there is another kindergarten teacher who has done this for years. So she made the phone calls and wrote up the permission slips and organized someone to pick up the packet for us. It was nice to have less work to do, but it was not so nice because I still don't feel like I know how to organize a field trip. It was not so nice not having things done in advance. (The other teacher is more of a last minute type...) It was also not so nice because I didn't know what I needed to be doing on my end to inform the parents and the office, etc. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing at all today when the parents arrived and we split up groups and headed out. Because I had never done it before, I didn't know the most organized way of going about things. Here's what I have learned to do differently next time to make my life easier: 1) Make a ziploc bag packet for each chaperone, labeled with their name that includes contact info, their group, a schedule, directions, and any pamphlets/activity papers the kids need. (So I can keep track of which parent has taken what they need and which parent hasn't, as well as make sure each chaperone has the correct number of supplies for everyone in their group. 2) Send out plan of action the Monday before the trip. (So I don't have parents asking me, "What's going on with the field trip tomorrow?") 3) Send out a confirmation page to chaperones, ensuring I have correct information. (So I'm not running back and forth to the office updating copies of things for chaperones and the office last minute.)

After the initial craziness, everyone arrived just fine, we took a group picture, went to a presentation, and then parted ways. I sat in the shade and reserved lunch tables for meeting back together for lunch. After lunch, I got to mosy around the farm, stop and chat with parents, take pictures of my kids, and get a pumpkin. It was very nice. The parents kept asking if I was enjoying myself, I proclaimed absolutely! It was like having a day off! :) Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and everyone was present and accounted for at the end of the day. Overall, a success! Next time will be even better. :) I got a free pumpkin and will be using it to review measurement words while we measure its height, to teach estimation as we estimate how many seeds are inside, and to teach scientific observation as we record our findings and observations. Who needs a jack-o-lantern when you can use your pumpkin to teach!

Onto other news, I've been working on getting assessments of my kids to help speed up the process of grading for report cards. There's over 45 areas I have to grade them on. Some, I have to make an average by hand of all their grades in a specific category and input the report card grade. Others, I am covering in this assessment--things like knowing uppercase and lowercase alphabet letter names, listening to letter sounds and naming the letter, counting groups of objects, understanding more than and less than, correct letter writing, ability to write their name, hear rhyming words, and can read their own writing. I hope I can get them done by next week. There's so many things and it's hard sometimes when I am the teacher and need to be teaching and helping students while they're working.

I have been ridiculously tired lately. My whole body feels heavy and sick by 8pm every night. I get nauseous from being up any later because my eyes are tired from taking in the movement I see before my eyes at that time. Nothing makes me feel better except sleep. And I sleep soooooo deeply; it is soooooo hard to get out of bed in the morning and start my day. I just want a whole day to sleep sleep sleep! I hope I'm not getting sick again. I've been taking echinacea just in case. I'm so tired of being sick!

Tomorrow we're having a gas leak drill. I'm just hoping none of my kids cry again from the loud fire alarm. Next week is Health Awareness Week. We're having spirit week for it. Should be fun!

Seeing Grandma and leading worship this weekend at church in our 8am service. Pretty chill. It'll be nice and low key. And then I'm going to Melody's BABY SHOWER! Yay! She's my first friend to be having a baby, so I've been kind of been going overboard on the gifts. Lol. Oh well, I'm excited for her and Michael. :)