Friday, October 23, 2009

Learning Lessons

*Whew* I’ve been busy! Monday, the kids didn’t have school. Tuesday, I babysat and had dentist appointments for all 3 kids. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I subbed for a Kindergarten class. I survived! I really think that is a feat in and of itself.

I don’t know. You hear people say, “oh but Kindergarteners are so cute!” Really, I like what I do (in terms of subbing), I like this teacher and some how, they have found me capable and I think I do alright, but Kindergarten is not my age of choice. I mean, yeah, they might be cute if you could get them to be quiet for 15 minutes straight and do their work. :)

I’m exaggerating, but I will admit that even my own children were not my favorite at the Kindergarten age. They are a tough crowd!

I learned a lot this week too. These poor, poor children go to school for an entire day, just like the big kids. They don’t get naps, they sometimes get afternoon snacks, but only sometimes. They get ONE 20 minute recess after lunch. They work, work, work all day long. There is not song time or play in the classroom time (really, why is there a play kitchen and entire play center pushed into the back corner that they don’t get to play with). It’s really no wonder to me that they have a hard time focusing on an hour of math from 3 to 4pm! Are you serious? They are so burned out. Shoot, I was burned out!

I also got to see the importance of every moment and every word you say making an impact. I had a student that I struggled with on Wednesday. Shoot, my previous times in the classroom where a big struggle with her. The Kindergarten classes have “grandparents” assigned to them that help out for the majority of the day. I remember when Kristen was in Kindergarten, we had problems with her grandma because she would make comments about Kristen’s weight and just say things that were harsh. Are they trained to do that? My helper was the same way. As soon as this little girl walked through the doorway on Thursday, my helper laid into her. She just said some very harsh things about the day before and what she knew she was going to be like today, etc. Do I need to tell you that that little girl, shriveled into her sister and in spite of my best efforts, she didn’t recoup for the rest of the day! She ended up spending the entire day in the office. Yes, she made poor choices but I felt terrible because I felt like she was set up. Friday morning, I met her at the door, hugged her, told her that I was happy to see her, didn’t mention the day before and directed her onto her work. Can I tell you that I had very, very little problems with that girl for the entire day?! She did every work that was handed to her and she did it entirely. I’ve never seen her do that. I complimented her, winked at her and overall showed my approval of her good behavior. *sigh* I felt like I made a difference in one little girl’s life for today. I’m thankful for that.

I’m also thankful that my assignment for Kindergarten is done. :) At least until she needs me again, but for now, I’m not going back on Monday.

Migc and Kristen got their report cards today. All As and Bs. I’m proud of them. Justin and I both struggle with being happy with Bs because we know they are capable of all As. Someone give me some pointers here! My mom never showed disapproval for Bs and I always strived for As. How do we get to where we’re happy with Bs or should we pressure for As? Kristen was all As, except for writing, Music & PE. Migc was 1/2 As, 1/2 Bs, which I’m pretty sure is better than last year. I remember almost all Bs from him last year. I am proud of them, but I certainly don’t feel like we showed them how proud we are tonight with all the “why do you have a B in _____???”

Well, I’m tired, it’s late. I should hit the sack. I feeling a lot better these days and my energy has returned. I’m still going to sleep earlier, but not always passing out as early as I was. Tomorrow is a full day though – hockey, birthday party and a movie with my Love!


Kim Peri said...

I remember the sensitivity of gradeschool....and kids take the littlest fears home and bring them back. What a great observation and compassion you had on that little girl.

Ashley said...

Awsome about you & the little girl. I don't understand how people don't see the way they affect others. Not like I'm perfect in this area but I'm aware.

I'm not sure about the As & Bs. Our kids still haven't received those grades. Their report cards are on a totally different system. They get like "Developing" and "Fully mastered" and stuff like that.

So it's hard to say, "why are you still DEVELOPING?" because, come on, they're developing?

The only thing I would say is that it really depends on what would earn them an A. Is it that they are turning assignments in late or unfinished? Or messy? If so then that's something to work with at home & require they have done before bedtime. But if it's a comprehension issue or just not trying very hard, I'd want to see what's going on.

So I'd probably talk to them & their teacher to find out what has kept them from an A and then focus on those issues. And not frame it like "we are focusing on this so you can get an A" but "we are focusing on this because this is where you can improve/grow" and EVEN if you don't see an A as a result, if you see improvement in that area, I'd try to be satisfied, and know that you're building character traits or skills that will pay off later.

Mandy said...

That's a good point. They are on a different system to - it's 4,3,2,1,0 & they get 4s & 3s which are As & Bs to us. Ya know?

The hardest one for us is PE. They both get Bs in PE and that is strange!! They did last year too. It's like "what the heck!" Kristen got a B in writing and we have already talked about that. She does not focus on writing well. She writes sloppy and is always trying to write in cursive...she was "taught" cursive over the summer and it isn't write & it's terrible and she hasn't mastered regular writing yet. Her teacher has told her to stop, I've told her to stop, but she keeps "practicing" it everywhere.

Those are good points though about founding out what is holding them back. It isn't homework or assignments. We are all over that, even before dinner!

Thanks for the pointers!