Friday, May 25, 2007

2nd Grade Perspectives

I had my students write a journal about what they would miss from 2nd grade and what they were looking forward to about 3rd grade. They flatter me so much, and I left the spelling as they put it because I get such a kick out of it. Enjoy!

"I will miss my teacher Ms. J next year and all the great great things she teached us and trix that she teached and allso games that she teached us."

"I will miss my beyst techer Ms. J. I miss her in 3rd grade."

"But when I go away to my new classroom I am gana miss my Teacher and you do not go to the YMCA."

"I well mes my teter and my clas. I well mes her rum. She was fon and she was nic to us. She wus fune."

"I will mis evry thing in Ms. J's clas, espeshely Ms. J. Also I am nerves abowt 3rd grayd.

"I am going to work hard and I going to be smart like Ms. J and trikey. The part I am going to miss is Ms. J and other thing like her new room, how she changes it."

"My new teacher won't be able to teach us all her trickiest tricks and jokes and I'm going to miss the partys Ms. J has.

"I will miss about second grade is my trickiest teacher Ms. J. I will miss her from 2th grade when we did fun with her at senters with her. My couson is going to be in 2th grade next year, so I hope she will be with my trickest teacher in second grad on 2008. I lov Ms. J."

"I will miss my teacher and my freands. I'll miss the class room."

"I don't miss nothing adout secit grade."

(And just in case you are wondering, no, spelling is not part of our curriculum, and yes, most of these kids speak English as their second language.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I went to Lowes to get some cleaning supplies for my classroom. Tomorrow we're having a cleaning party. While there I decided that Lowes is my new favorite store. So, without further ado, I present:

The Top Ten Reasons Lowes Is My New Favorite Store

10. I am not tempted to buy anything I don't need.

9. It reminds me of my dad.

8. They sell tin-foil duct-tape. (I kind of wanted to buy some, but it was $14 a roll)

7. The people there are friendly.

6. They have self checkouts so when I am not friendly, I don't have to talk to anyone.

5. It's the closest store to my home, besides Hobby Lobby. (Obviously not as cool)

4. It smells like Fleet Farm, but not quite as good.

3. It's kind of like Jesus, you can come as you are, you don't have to dress up or look fancy. Paint splattered pants and grease stained shirts are actually encouraged amongst the patrons.

2. They sell weird things I had no idea that existed, but someday may need, thus I now know where to buy them...such as KAPOW magical cleaner.

1. The boys that work there are much better looking than the boys at Wal-Mart. (And probably more intelligent too)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I have 7 days of school left. Not counting the day I'll be spending observing other classes, and our field trip to the zoo; counting them I only have 5 days of teaching left. Where has the time gone?

I am not trying to be all melancholy, although I really am going to miss these guys. I was watching my class yesterday, doing their math centers, all calmly working with their partners, knowing exactly what to do and I was amazed. Amazed at them and how far they've come, amazed that I've made it through my first year, and amazed that in a week I'll be giving them the last "hug or high five because I care about you".

The group I will be sending on to 3rd grade is not the group I had on August 15th. Well, kind of. Most of the boys still come to school with bedhead hair, and most of the talkers still don't raise their hand, but when I look at what they can do now compared to what they could do at the beginning of the year, it's like I am seeing a whole new group.

They've learned a lot, well, we've learned a lot. I have my share of "bad teacher" moments, and they've really had plenty of "bad student" moments. Oh the stories I could share. I've had to apologize to students more than once, and I've had many students apologize to me. Academically they amaze me too, and I amaze myself a bit in that I had a role in teaching them some of what they know. Pretty crazy to see the impact I've had on others.

I told them today that they'd never have another second grade teacher, that I was the only one they got, and that I'd never have another first class, that they were the only one I got, and I couldn't have asked for a better first year.

There will be tears I'm sure that last day, and I'll make them promise to come back and visit me, and above all I hope that they remember at least one thing that I've done this year that has helped them, and I will carry them with my in my heart.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I saw a double rainbow today. It's always good to be reminded of Gods enduring promise. I had to keep a promise to a student this week, here's how it played out.

Ring ring.

I answer my phone in my classroom.


"Ms.J?" I can hear the hesitancy in his voice.


"I need a ride to school."

"Okay, I'll get someone to come pick you up. You did the right thing to call."

About a week and a half ago one of my students was absent because he and his sister didn't have a ride to school. The next day he came and I wrote my work phone number on his folder in huge Sharpie marker. I told him if he ever needed a ride again to call, and that someone would come get him.

He followed through, and even though he ended up being tardy on the day he called, he made it to school, which is most important.

Smart kid, fabulous teacher.

If I do say so myself.

Monday, May 07, 2007

All This and More

We've had some interesting weather here in Kansas lately. I was able to experience my first tornado warning yesterday during church, and I saw how crazy the sky looked, even after the warning was dropped.

Greensburg was not so lucky. I don't think I need to go into detail here, but if you haven't heard on Friday night there was an F-5 (200+ miles per hour) tornado that completely wiped out Greensburg Kansas. There are some mind blowing aerial shots here. Dad, I think they need some rhinos.

On to school...

Last week I had a difficult conversation with a parent, I suggested retaining their son. It was incredibly hard to tell someone that their child is not ready to go on to the next grade. Despite my concerns, I don't think they will do it. It is so frustrating to send him on knowing that he'll probably always be low academically for his grade.

Also, please pray for my friend Martina. Her family's home burned last night and so they are obviously shaken. Thankfully her family is all safe, but what an incredibly hard thing to face.

13 days and counting....