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First Year, Eleventh Week: Teaching Edition

Tabitha Helms

Turkeys and Thankfulness: This week during center time we did some fun crafts and projects. I love for helping me discover all these great finds!

Favorite quote of the week:

I brought in some dead branches in a vase tied with ribbon with the intent of making a "thankfulness tree" with the kids for our classroom. I showed them the vase and we talked about what it was and how we were going to write what we were thankful for on little circles of bright paper and tie them on the tree with ribbons. A boy worriedly raised his hand after I said we'd keep it in the classroom all month because November is a time to remember what we're thankful for in celebration of Thanksgiving. I called on him, "But Miss Neal, what if the tree dies?" "'s already dead. So we don't need to worry about that."

On Monday I went to the dentist. It was a little stressful. I haven't been since I got kicked off my dad's insurance back in April. So it was my first time paying for a dental appointment out of pocket. $100 is nothing to sneeze as when they're scraping things off your teeth, telling you that you grind your teeth, your eyeteeth aren't long enough because of constant clenching, and that you're due for x-rays next time which will be an additional $125. Luckily, I had no cavities, but I definitely went home with a cloud over my head and could feel the anxiety stirring in my stomach.

My anxiety has returned. It is no longer the constant that it was before, but it definitely sneaks up every other day or so. It's mostly been in the evenings now. I don't know what time of day has to do with anxiety other than maybe my tiredness.

I've definitely been tired lately. On Wednesday, I left work 30 minutes earlier than normal, went home, and crashed into bed. I only slept for 20 minutes or so, but I felt so much better. I was exhausted!

Wednesday held a first for me: my first principal evaluation. She came in and sat at my desk while I taught my kindergartners math. This week was teaching them how to tell time. I was a little nervous about how well that concept would go over considering they're 5 years old. I don't remember learning time until I was maybe in second grade. Surprisingly, they picked it up very well. Now at random times throughout the day, I have students waving their hands in my face, "Miss Neal, Miss Neal! Look! It's 12 o'clock!" My observation went very well though. She left a note on my desk that said, "Looking good!" If there was nothing else that she needed to say, then I guess I did alright. :)

It was a short week this week because of Veteran's Day. I made a note in my weekly newsletter for parents in the military to contact me if they were interested in coming in to talk with the kids about being a soldier. No one ever contacted me though. So I was flexible like always, I was just going to briefly mention to the kids what the holiday was for and fill the set aside time playing catch up with Fall themed fillers I have sitting on my counter space for days like this. I had everything lined up and was doing calendar with my kids when I got a phone call. It was the office, they said there was a dad there to talk to the kids about the military. What?! two minutes before he came to my door, I tried to give my kids a brief overview of what Veteran's Day is for and how soldiers are very brave and keep us safe and it's important to have a holiday to thank them. The dad got there before I could remind the kids to sit quietly and be good listeners, so I was on them the whole time. They were super squirmy because the dad brought in stuff to pass around...a helmet, flippers, a wet suit, goggles, a flight jacket, etc. The kids were too concerned about being given the objects next to pay attention to what he was telling them about. It's interesting to watch parents in the classroom take the lead position. I have another dad who comes in to read to the kids every week. It's interesting to see which ones have the confidence to do it. God definitely gives everyone giftings. I'm thankful that He gave me a gift to be a teacher. I'm glad I can handle squirmy kids and get them to sit like model students and be good listeners when I'm talking. I was glad he was able to come in. He didn't have a lot to talk about so we still got to do some of my fall fillers.

The short week was a little bit of a bummer in that we had Friday off instead of Monday. It wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't teaching my after school ASL club. I do that on Thursdays. We don't finish until 4pm. And we went a little late this week because everyone was conversing in sign and kept having questions that took a while to get out because we didn't allow them to talk. On Fridays, I usually stay an extra 30 minutes than usual prepping everything for the following week. I had to do all of that prep on Thursday after ASL. I didn't leave until 6:10pm. Whew. I think I was the last one there. Daylight Savings Time threw everything off too. It was pitch black when I stepped outside of my classroom. I got freaked out that the alarm had been set already. But thankfully I saw a light on in the church office. Phew!