Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where Are They Now?

If you're curious as to where Miss Señorita Black has been this school year, the answer is working. Working on her Masters in Hoop Jumping I mean EdS degree and her new job as a high school Spanish teacher.
It was a rough summer. I had lost my job teaching Spanish at the elementary school level and found myself applying for everything under the sun. I was one day short of tenure in the district I taught in (and since my lack of tenure was only a technicality I was determined to get it). I had some interviews, but for awhile it was nothing but rejection. I was also pretty depressed about not being with my little kids I'd come to love.
In July, I was leaving an interview at a high school in my district when I checked 2 voicemails from a neighboring district. I'd interviewed for 2 middle school positions there, the first message was calling to let me know that I hadn't gotten the middle school jobs but that my name had been passed along to one of the 2 high schools. The second message was from the high school, wanting to set up an interview.
"I'm already in my interview attire," I thought, "and I don't want to put all this crap on again! Maybe they can see me today." I called them back and said I'd be there in 30-40 minutes. And then Google Maps, who has never steered me wrong, did just that. Google refused to take me to the front of the school, and only wanted to take me to the back entrance of the football field. After a fair amount of crying, cursing, and aimless driving, I arrived at the school. I was a solid 40 minutes late. But I rocked the interview and got the job.
Ever since then I've flipped into preparation mode, wrapping my brain around going for elementary to high school. I'm not joking when I say that I've been going nonstop. Plus I had a classroom to prepare! After 2 years on a cart, I have a home again!
The final exciting teachery note I have is that I opened a store on Teachers Pay Teachers and have been making some money selling the various worksheets, PPTs, etc. that I make for class. It's pretty fun and I think I'm a little addicted.
In closing, I have some quotes for this year so I'll try to start back up again soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

T Minus 1 Week

We're into the final countdown for the school year. It's been a crazy busy time for me. Since my last post I've helped with the big end of the year art project: tie dying t-shirts. That was a really fun (but busy) week! I've also been applying to tons of jobs, updating my resume (and all that fun stuff!) since being pink slipped 2 months ago. Yesterday I actually started telling students that I won't be back next year which has been extremely difficult!

1st Grade Boy: Look Miss Black, I scraped my leg.
Me: Oh no. What happened?
Boy: I feel off my scooter. And the concrete was 100% hurt.
Me: Ouch. 100% hurt? That sounds bad.

Me: This is our last Spanish class together before summer. And then you guys will be first graders!
Kids: First grade means bigger words! And bigger Spanish words! *And then they spontaneously broke into a song from their end of the year concert/performance*
Kindergarten Girl: The next time you see us, we'll be first graders! Unless you're retiring.
Me: Actually that's what I want to talk to you about. I wanted to tell you that I won't be here next year.
Kindergarten Boy: But we can't learn Spanish without you!

1st Grade Boy: Remember that day you told me you won't be here anymore?
Me: Yes (It was yesterday)
Boy: I'll still remember you.
Me: Aww, thank you, sweetie! (tearing up)

Kindergarten Girl: My sister isn't here today.
Me: Is she sick.
Girl: Yea. Her 'tomach hurts. And she pooped 4 times!
Me: Oh, wow. That's...something.

I'm not really sure what this conversation was about, but this is the part I walked in on...

5th Grade Boy A: It's not a synonym or an antonym or...what do you kids say these days?
5th Grade Boy B: Hyperbole?
(That's when I turned around and raised my eyebrow; they both just smiled)

Today, after I told my fourth grade class that I wouldn't be back next year I explained that I had taught at a high school before I came to an elementary school and that having to leave that job led me to discover that elementary school is where I prefer to be. The kids asked why I like elementary better than high school and one suggested that it was because high school kids text too much and I said they do text a lot. Here are the fourth grade solutions to texting students:

  • Bring in a wooden spoon and smack the desks
  • Scratch my nails on a chalkboard and say, "STOP TEXTING!" *Also I should be wearing earplugs
    • Another student said I shouldn't do this because while I was scratching my nails on the chalkboard the kids would cover an ear with 1 hand and use their other hand to update their statuses to say, "A psychotic Spanish teacher is scratching her nails on the chalkboard!!" 
  • Get a box/safe and make students put the cell phones in it before class starts
  • Hack their phones and install a Spanish App that has a picture of my face that pops up and says, "Stop texting! You cannot defeat me!" (My response was, "I'm flattered that you think I'm smart enough to do this.")
  • Bring in a belt and beat them
  • Give them detention
  • Take their phones

Here's some interesting information I just found out...a former high school student of mine has made the news, but not in a good way.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014

A new nickname from W, my wedding planner as I walked into her first grade classroom...

W: Hey everybody, it's the marriage girl!

Another first grade girl, M, shares her upbringing...

M: Up where I used to live, we would just walk around 'cuz we was all just cowgirls and we'd say, "Howdy folks!"

Important questions from a first grade boy...

Boy: Miss Black, how do you say piggy bank in Spanish?
Me: Well, I don't know. Bank is banco, but I'm not certain how to say piggy bank. Let's look it up! I'm curious now.
Boy: How about we just say...piggy bank?
Me: I looked it up. The word I found was hucha.

An overshare while learning some clothing words...

First grade boy: I have blue underwear at home.
Me: Well, this is a picture of shorts. And I didn't need to know that.

Listening in on a reading group lesson as students were working on compound letter sounds...

Teacher: What sound do the letters B-R make?
Boy: Brr. Like brr that you drink.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

First Grade Boy: This is a golden bull. If you kill him, you get gold.
Me: Wow, I didn't even know that was a real animal.
Boy: Do you know where the golden bull lives?
Me: No, where?
Boy: Behind a volcano.
Me: That makes sense.

First Grade Girl: Can I make you a card for Teachers' Week?
Me: Well, sure.

First Grade Boy: My name is Craig.
First Grade Girl: Oh, Quake. Like earthquake.
Me: Nope.

Second grade girl: Did you know that when you turn 40 you become death?
Me: OK, wait what?
Girl: You become death.
Me: Do you mean deaf? As in you can't hear?
Girl: Yea.
Me: That's totally not a thing.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

We've really entered the home stretch in terms of the school year. The only day off we have between now and the end of the year is for Primary Elections at the end of May. And we've got an extra 15 minutes added on to the school day in order to keep us from having a bazillion makeup snow days. The 15 minutes doesn't change my schedule, but somehow it just makes things seem weird.

The big Spanish Art & Culture Night was a huge success! All the kids' art looked great hanging up in the halls and they could all talk about what they had learned. I think we had between 40-50 families, which is a pretty good turnout considering the fact that kids have all sorts of practices and clubs and parents have work, etc.

On to the quotes!

What's love got to do with it? Why don't you tell me, first grade boy?

1st Grade Boy: When she broke up with me, I felt terrible.
Me: What? Who's breaking up with you? You're in the first grade.

Learning about pets in third grade...

Me: Are there any pets that y'all have that aren't on the list?
Girl: I have 2 dogs and I don't know what language they speak.
Me: Well, we already have dog on the list. And also, they're dogs. They don't speak a language...they speak dog.

Speaking of all the art hanging up in the hallways, one of the pieces fell down this morning while I was on morning duty and here's what happened...

1st Grade Boy (T): Miss Black, this fell down.
Me: Thanks, T. I'll come get it. (Meanwhile, his brother--let's call him C, fixed it)
T: C put it back up. He didn't want to ruin your job. Because then who would be our Spanish teacher?
(So I guess in his mind, I get fired when things fall off the walls)

Speaking of losing jobs...

4th Grade Girl: Why was you crying the other day?
Me: Oh, I just got some bad news about something.
Girl: They ain't trying to kick you out, are they? I'll write a complaint letter to that office right now. Gimme some paper. (I just stared at her, I think my jaw was on the floor) Fine, I'll write it on this (Spanish worksheet). No, I can't do that. They'd probably expel me for that.
Me: I don't think they'd expel you for that, sweetie.

Our conversation quickly switched to the actual assignment at hand once she realized I wasn't going to divulge anything about my crying. She was working on an assignment where animals were described in Spanish and the kids had to figure out what animal was being described. So she's readings the phrases, figuring out what they mean in English and then figuring out the answer...

Girl: "Yo soy cafe y me gusta comer bellotas." So it's brown and it likes to eat acorns. Squirrel! You shouldn't have put acorns, Miss Black. That gave it away.
Me: I suppose it did.
Girl: "Yo vivo en la granja y hajo huevos." OK, the farm...and eggs. CHICKEN! Eggs made it too easy. Miss Black, see you shouldn't have put these words like acorns, eggs, and milk. It gives it away.
Me: You know what? I think you're right. That does make the answer pretty obvious, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Where Did Spring Break Go?

You'd think I would've had tons of time to catch up on my blogging over spring break, wouldn't you? Normally you'd be right, but this year I've been working round the clock to prepare my Spanish Art & Culture Night this week. I'm inviting parents to come and see what we've been doing in Spanish class and it's required a lot of preparation and work. I'm not joking when I say it's taken my entire break.

One day I was fairly certain I heard a kindergarten boy saying something about pina coladas...

Me: Did you say pina colada to me?
Boy: No, I was asking him about pina coladas.

On our last day of learning about flags of Spanish-speaking countries one of the first grade girls asked a very important question...

Girl: Do any of the flags have pink in them?
Me: No. I'm sorry.
Girl: What about purple?
Me: I don't think so. You'll find that pink and purple are really under-represented when it comes to flags.

A first grade boy shows his gratitude...

L: Miss Black, I'm real glad you teach me Spanish. (He then grabbed my hand and gave me a very serious handshake and ran away. Then he ran back up to me, very excited.) I play this video game, it's a police game and I catched so many bad guys! (And then he ran away again).

This same boy kept it pretty real when the superintendent came to visit our school...

L: Soo, who are you? Dr. Seuss?

Family "field trips"...

1st Grade Boy: I want to go to China on a field trip with my family.

This whole conversation started because I was telling a few fourth grade boys that I've been able to travel to a lot of different countries around the world...

Boy 1: Have you ever been to the moon?
Me: What?
Boy 1: Have you ever been to the moon?
Me: No, I can't say as I have.
Boy 1: Oh. My friend has.
Me: Really? Well I have heard that at some point they think regular people will be able to travel to the moon for vacations and stuff. I don't think I'd want to go though.
Boy 1: I wouldn't want to live on the moon because what if something happened and it blew up?
Boy 2: I wouldn't want to live on the moon because gravity would probably mess with you. You know they say Neil Armstrong wasn't the first man to walk on the moon. They say it was fake.
Me: Well, either way, I'm making the decision right now to not travel to the moon.

Unfortunately I was not present for these fantastic messages from Planet Unicorn on Saint Patrick's Day (Oh dear Lord, is that how long it's been since I've had the chance to update?!)...

  • When will the leprechauns and gingerbread men get here?
  • If I found a pot of gold I would buy a cool monster truck.

As long as I'm quoting first grade girls, this one is fantastic!

Girl 1: Your pants have polka dots! I love them! Buy me some! Or let me share those. We wear the same size.
Me: We do? I'm pretty sure we don't.
Girl 1: Really? Buy you're so small!
Me: And you're my new favorite person in the world!
Girl 2: What about me?
Me: Well...sorry.

Fourth grade boys discussing their futures...

Boy 1: Being brilliant can get you in trouble.
Boy 2: How?
Boy 1: Like if you hack into a computer system and get arrested.
Boy 2: Well I'm going to be an archaeologist for the Smithsonian Institute so if they have me hack into something and I get caught, I'll just show them the patch the Smithsonian gives me. And you'd better believe they'll give me a patch.

A third grade boy renames me and tells me to leave...

Me: Next time we'll keep working on our Inca Sun God masks and we should get them finished.
Boy: OK, I think it's time for you to go now. Bye Miss Mysterious.

And before I end this post and go to bed, I'm going to leave you with the lovely note a fifth grade boy gave me on my birthday. 
Yep. I was fired. For real. And on my birthday no less. 

Stay tuned for pictures from the Spanish Art & Culture Night!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Another message from Planet Unicorn...

1st Grade Girl: Miss Black, guess what? I'm a princess!
Me: Tell me something I don't know.
Girl: My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-father, was a King.
Me: Do you know what country he was a king of?
Girl: No. I'll ask my mom.
The next day...
Me: Did you find out what country you're a princess of?
Girl: Umm...this town.
Me: Wow, a Princess of Lexington. Who knew? Maybe he was the one who buried that gold in your front yard.
Girl: Maybe. Guess what else? My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-father, he had a wife.

Drawing outfits for Rana (The Weather Frog) in kindergarten...

Boy: In Spanish, his name is Rana. In English, I call him...Ron.

Reading about animal babies in reading recovery...

1st Grade Girl: Hippos can have babies?!?!

A few fifth grade girls are tired of being annoyed by the boy who sits with them...

Girl 1: Miss Black, do you have any duct tape?
Me: Not on me. But I have some zebra print duct tape out at my desk. Why?
Girl 1: So we can tape his mouth shut.
Me: Oh. Well, I'm pretty sure they don't want me taping kids' mouths shut.
Girl 2: Oh you don't have to tape it. You just have to give us the tape and then look away. We'll do the taping for you.
Me: Oh, touche.

Not only is AS cute, he does impressions...

AS: I can talk Luigi.
Me: You can talk Luigi?
AS: [In an Italian accent] It'sa me Luigi, can you give me some candy?
Me: You'll have to show Mrs. Abell that.
The next day...
Me: Are you ready to show Mrs. Abell how you can talk like Luigi?
AS: I tell her in the hall, but she didn't hear.
Me: She didn't hear you?
AS: She have to listen.

Fifth grade boys know how to put money-related things into perspective...

Boy 1: Which would you rather have: a million dollars or a million waffles?
Boy 2: A million dollars, because the million waffles would go bad before you could eat them all.
Boy 3: I'd pick a million waffles. With a million syrups.