Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why I Teach

Tonight was Open House.  It was lots of fun for the kids to be able to show off their room and where they sit and where they store their materials and where they sit for story time and where .... and where .... and where ....  It's amusing to watch the parents --- their heads are just spinning.  The kids' eyes are alive with excitement and the parents' eyes are glazed over just wishing the fool thing was over already.
Our room is especially tough because we have such cool stuff and all of the animals.
We even had older kids coming in to see their "old room".  They wander around and point out every thing that has changed.  It's even more amusing when they drag their parents in to see what was changed since they were in that room!
The last thing I wanted to do today was attend Open House.  I still feel lousy and I knew it was going to be a very long day.  One of our first grade girls put it all into perspective for me this morning when she gave this to Vicki and me:
Check out the spelling on my name!  Trootey --- very good for a first grader!
Do you think she could have gotten another I Love U on there?
It just warmed my heart.
It seems that this same little girl got into trouble at home after school and she told her mom just to take her back to school where they love her.  Made my night.
Throughout the course of a year teachers receive a great deal of artwork, notes and letters.  I love it because the kids pour so much of themselves into their efforts and they genuinely mean whatever it is they have written.
Last year we had daily journal topics.  On April 19th our topic was to write about a person that you admire.
Here was a third grader's entry:

That is why I teach.  The relationships that you build with kids are phenomenal!  
What an impact we can have on kids --- often without knowing it.
Sister Three's comments on a previous post prove that.  Unfortunately, it is often negative.  I don't imagine Mrs. Grothen ever got a note like this from her.  Come to think of it, Mr. Miller never got one like this from me either.  I think I drew him up as an experiment for The Mad Scientist's Club (which had exactly two members) and gave him three heads and warts.  But that's neither here nor there --- back to my kids.
Their humor also shows through.  One young man wrote a book about us.  It was bound with 419 staples.  I have scanned it for your reading pleasure.  I didn't ask him, but I'm sure he won't mind.  He'd just grin.

Catchy title, don't you think?

He gets right to the point .... I know it's hard to read but the mean Trudy is going "Rah! Rah"  (I think that's supposed to be scary) and the student is cowering and saying, "Ooh, chills."  The nice Trudy announces that the class gets a movie party and the student cheers.  
Next we learn about Mrs. Klein:

The student is asking the horrible Klein if he should get his box and she replies, "Shoulda lisined (listened, for those of you not versed in kidese)"  The good Klein praises the child with a simple "good work" as he beams.

 He writes "But Trudy and Mrs. Klein get in fights some times."  This is a case of you have to be there to understand. We have an on-going, good-natured argument about whether or not commas are vital before the and in a series.  Harry, Barney, Tom, and Shirley went to the movie.   OR can you simply write: Harry, Barney, Tom and Shirley went to the movie.
We asked several people to help us settle the argument last year.  One would agree with her and then one would agree with me.  It was split pretty even.
Let's just suffice to say that she is older than I am and we learned it differently.  Besides, I'll never admit that she might be right!  Every time we are in a bookstore together, we look through style manuals trying to prove our point.  So yes, we do sometimes argue good-naturedly in the classroom, but that's all.  Really.  I do think it's funny though that I am once again making the Rah, Rah scary noises and Mrs. Klein is making the Wah, wah crying noises.

Yes, we realize we need to do more work with there, their, and they're.  It's in the lesson plans.  Really.  I'm sure someone has them in their plans somewhere.

This little guy is kind of a shyster as you'll see in the next pages.
He probably missed the boat here.  Our principal would have paid for a copy.

For those of you who don't know, we use a classroom economy in which students are "paid" in scholar dollars, or scoller dollors, as he put it.  Twice a year we have auctions and they can purchase fun items like Flarp and Whoopee Cushions.  Parents love us.
I especially loved his last picture of me:

Too funny.  Stuff like this keeps me going and keeps me smiling.
Of course, they are also very artistic and creative:
"Trudy in a dress" seems to be one of their favorite topics.  My former teaching partner wrote a song to this effect that still haunts me from time to time.  Kind of like a certain awful, pink dress that appeared at my 40th birthday party and then earlier on this blog.
This is a VERY LARGE (I had to reduce it and splice it as you can tell) portrait of me in a pink polka dotted dress and you can't tell it, but I have a wedding ring on as well because I've met the man of my dreams.
Sister Two --- you can quit laughing now.
Here is what was written on the back:
I keep some of the best things I receive in a file by my computer.  When I wonder if it is all worthwhile, all I have to do is open that up and I know that it is.


SisterTwo said...

Wow, what a tribute to you!
Wait until Dani reads this. She thinks Aunt Trudy rocks and won't like other kids moving in on her territory. In fact she wants to hang out with you this weekend in your classroom. When I'm helping at the Sale Barn getting ready for the cow sale over the weekend.

SisterTwo said...

I forgot to mention that I love the way your lipstick matches your crown and dress. So Trudy. Have you ever worn lipstick????

Sue said...

The Gregg Reference Manual
Tenth Edition
William A. Sabin
ISBN 0-07-293653-3

In a Series
162a. When three or more items are listed in a series and the last item is preceded by and, or, or nor, place a comma before the conjunction as well as between the other items.

Note: An alternative style — often used by newspapers and magazines — omits the comma before and, or, or nor in a series, but this practice can sometimes lead to confusion.

The customary practice in business is to retain the comma before the conjunction.

sisterthree said...

I am definately pro-comma. I hate when stupid, annoying, and/or dumb people leave it out.

Sister One said...

Sister Three --- Did you just refer to me as stupid, annoying and dumb? Eunice and Bernard taught us that the comma was superlative in these situations. With names like those, they should know.

Sue said...

Okay Sister One and Sister Three - I stated the rule above.

sisterthree said...

They told me in my English comp class that using the comma there was archaic. But I like it and I like to be archaic.