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First Year, Twenty Ninth Week: Teaching Edition

Tabitha Helms

I'm a week behind! I've had a good reason though; now that things have slowed down at work, I've been able to get back into having a love life! ;) Week 29 was a busy one. I felt like I was constantly behind all week. It didn't help that it was the first week back after Spring Break, and the kids were NUTS! I have given up all hope of having a calm classroom at this point. They're just so ready to be done and onto their summer vacation. I don't blame them--I'm feeling the same way! This was a shortened week because we didn't have school on Monday. All week it seemed like I was planning lessons, prepping materials, putting up new things for spring in my classroom, and trying to get ready for next week. There seems to be so much to do! Next week, we're covering Earth Day and it's also Speech Meet, so I've been in over my head getting everything ready.

Highlights from this week:

I got my teaching contract for next year! I don't know what grade I'll be teaching, but I have a job! :) My dad brought me tulips after I told him and wrote a card of congratulations, saying how proud he is of me. :) Isn't he great??

Everyone came back from vacation with a cold. Sneezes, coughs, stomach upsets. I'm amazed I didn't have a cold by the end of the week! Maybe I've finally built up some immunity!

My kids are picking up quickly on their subtraction facts! It's very exciting to see the ones who struggle figure it out and get a majority of them correct on their worksheets. They've even been excited to work on them!

I got my caterpillars for my butterfly kit! They started out pretty skinny, and this week they got really fat. They spin silk and shed part of their bodies before forming chrysalises. I think when we get back to school after the weekend, there will be chrysalises! My kids love watching them and talking about them. They're constantly exclaiming, "There's one on the top and he's not moving!" (I told them this would happen when they were ready for their chrysalis stage.) I've been doing butterfly crafts with them this week. We made one from Pinterest that used different shaped noodles for each life stage. The kids loved doing it. That was another thing that I was rushing around to get done though; I realized that I hadn't collected twigs or leaves for it, so I was out in the bushes on my lunch break collecting things for them. Lol. We also made a butterfly out of hand prints that we decorated with sequins to work on symmetry.

It was a sugary week for my kinders this week. They've been having a competition with the other kindergarten class for the straightest, quietest line. We won, so they got popsicles on Wednesday. We also won the school competition for the most Box Tops collected. So they got cupcakes for that on Friday. We also started Table Teamwork this week, which is incentive for getting each table to work together as a team and earn points for working together, encouraging each other, and getting their work done--staying focused. The winning team gets lollipops.

We had an awards chapel. It was really long because we also had Speech Meet kids present their speeches before we each got up to give awards. The kids were getting very restless by the end. It was about 30 minutes past their snack time! I had to cut out a ton of stuff that day because our schedule got so far behind. One of the junior high boys did the poem, "Build me a Son" by General Douglas A. MacArthur. I loved it!

Build Me a Son General Douglas A. MacArthur

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face him self when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee- and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here, let him learn to stand up in the storm; here, let him team compassion for those who fall.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goals will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously.

Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."