So, once again, I didn't update for 2 weeks. Sorry!
First of all, THE OTHER TEACHER HAS RETURNED! I now have another 4th grade teacher next door to me who knows what he's doing! Hooray! What a wonderful feeling it is to know that if I am not sure about something, I can simply walk a few steps, open the door, and ask my question. If I don't have any great ideas or activities for something, I have someone to ask! It's wonderful.
I had my first formal observation from my university supervisor last Wednesday (the day before Fall Break . . . what was I thinking?). I was nervous--not because she is critical or harsh (she's awesome, actually! I couldn't have asked for a better supervisor) but it was nerve-wracking to think about someone sitting in my classroom for the sole purpose of watching how I teach. Yikes! I was really nervous when she first arrived but felt better after awhile and kind of got back into the usual flow. She had nothing but positive comments and a few suggestions for some of my more difficult kids. It was encouraging and so nice just to catch up with her. It's sort of like seeing a familiar face when you're out of town. I am blessed to have her!
Then, Fall Break arrived, and it was magnificent.
I now know that all of these vacation days and holiday breaks were not created for students, but for teachers, without a doubt.
Our friendly "wecome back to school" after the break was parent-teacher conferences . . . which I was not excited about! I wish they had been right before the break instead of after, because I spent my break worrying and working to try to get ready for them. We had 3 hours of conferences on Tuesday and have another 3 hours tomorrow. I was SO nervous for the first one and feel like I rushed and talked really fast. I kept wondering what I must have looked like as I fumbled through my stack of papers (which I had spent the entire evening before putting in a certain order so I wouldn't have to fumble through them!) and perspired and tried to explain why their child needed to be put on a child study for reading. Luckily, she agreed that he needed help and was very positive about the whole thing. As were the other parents! I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly and quickly all of them went. The most awkward of the conferences was with the absolutely perfect, quiet, genius student that I have, in which I just showed Mom the papers and assessments and had no concerns to bring up with her! It was hard to wrap that conference up because I felt like she kept waiting for me to say something else.
Highlight of my conferences so far:
"It has been such a relief to have my daughter in your class this year. I spent every morning last year from week 2 of school to the end, in an argument to get her out of bed and to school. But I haven't had to argue with her once! She willingly gets up to come to school."
Can you see my glowing smile? I'm not going to lie, that felt good. Either I'm too easy or I'm doing okay... and if she is enjoying school, that is alright either way, I think.
Today, we took our 2nd Reading benchmark test, which I have a feeling my students did poorly on because they rushed through it. I talked to them before we started about taking their time, and when they raised their hand to finish, I made them read over it again, but I don't think it helped much. Any suggestions?
Also, I am shocked at some of the things my 4th graders know/have seen. To be polite, I took a note that was being passed between 2 girls and it was talking about males' body parts and what they look like since one of them had supposedly seen something. WHAT? This is 4th grade. Ridiculous. I guess I'll be making some parent phone calls tomorrow before conferences!
Thanks for following along!
From the scattered desk of,