Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School and Blogs

Today I was reading a friend of a friend's blog. That is a friend once removed. The blog actually belongs to an acquaintance, but all I know about her is she has a son Noah's age, and he plays baseball, she has a little girl about 3-years-old, and lives in Moorhead. Anyway, my friend said on her blog to read her friend's blog and give her support. I opened the acquaintance's blog, and a picture of her beautiful little girl is at the top. The blog is titled "Ellie", it starts with "My wonderful baby girl Ellie has been sick, very sick..." It goes on to tell how Ellie hasn't been feeling well, drinks a lot of water and "gets up to pee 2-3 times a night. Last weekend she was sleeping (with the acquaintance) and peed the comforter." She and her husband "decided to take Ellie in, expecting she may have diabetes." They found out "Ellie has diabetes, and they did blood tests that revealed liver cancer." I am crying as I am reading this, thanking God for my children's health, and asking for forgiveness for my sins so He doesn't punish me by making one of my kids sick. Wouldn't you think with the picture of the little girl and the "my wonderful baby girl Ellie" that Ellie is her daughter? NO! It wasn't until the VERY last sentence of the blog entry (which was longer than most of mine) did she mention, "We had to let Ellie spend the night at the vet." What?! The VET? Why would you send your dying daughter to the vet? I had to read that sentence three times to make sure it was correct. Just a guess... Ellie is a dog. I promise I will NEVER tempt fate like that and post a photo of my children and call my dogs my baby and say they have cancer leading you, the reader, to believe that my actual human baby is sick. I was so pissed she made me cry for nothing. Although- I do hope her dog gets better. However, a dying dog doesn't isn't even in the same category as a dying daughter.
OK- I vented about that. Now onto to school. I love my class!! They are really starting to understand the routines and procedures, they respond really well to bribery and I don't have to use my angry voice or consequences very much because the bribery works. Yesterday, during reading I told the class to turn to page 16 in their reading books. On Tuesdays we have Reading at the end of the day, compared to the beginning of the day when they are fresh and ready to learn, because on Tuesdays the art teacher gets them right away when they are fresh and ready to learn. So the whole class is giving me this "I literally can't stand to hear your voice, look at you, or pay attention for one more second" look. So, we got up, played a round of silent ball and went back to reading. I told the class to turn to page 16 AGAIN. Mr. Panda turns to page 98. Meanwhile, when I get hot or frustrated, (which I was both yesterday because, well, summer finally showed up in North Dakota, and the kids and I were done for the day) I take my bangs, and the hair on the crown of my head and make a ponytail. If I have a ponytail holder or clip, I put it in place. A ponytail right on the top of my head including my bangs so it might look a little like a unicorn. Yesterday I didn't have a ponytail holder or clip, so I twisted it and shoved two pencils in it to form a make-shift ponytail with pencils sticking out of it on the top of my head. My students have become so used to it, they no longer look at me like I am going to twist my head around 360 degrees and spew Hebrew at them. Everyone was on page 16. Mr. Panda was on 98. I went to his desk and said, "16" and tapped his book. He goes further in the book. I crouch down and say, "16, you are on 108. Should you go further, or back? Is 16 less than 108?" He looks at me and blinks. "Honey, do you understand what I am saying?" Mr. Panda says, "no." I am thinking 'he is deaf and I am going to be the ultimate hero to crack the case of why Mr. Panda doesn't understand. Ever.' "You don't? Can you hear me?" Which now as I write it, it was a dumb thing to ask because what would he say, "No I can't hear you. I am stone deaf." Mr. Panda answers, "Yes." "Can you understand what I want?" "No." "Why (Mr. Panda)? Why not?" He answers with a totally straight face, "because you are too pretty." So that's it! All this time I have been thinking 98% of the people I have interacted with just tune out the frequency of my voice, but now I know the REAL reason. Keep in mind, I still had the ridiculous pencil/ponytail on top of my head at this time. If this were any other kid, I'd think they are saying it so I will get off their case and walk away, but not him. Mr. Panda isn't clever enough to think that way.
The "Panda" story- in case you don't know is this: I taught him in Kindergarten. We were working on learning our last names, so I would say the kid's first name then they'd tell me their last. We did this up and down the rows of tables they sat at daily. It would be, "Jane" she'd answer, "Doe". "Billy" he'd answer "Olson" or whatever. Mr. Panda was the 10th kid everyday. He thought his last name was Panda because his family called him "(Johnny) Panda".
I'd say, "Johnny"
"No. say (Doe). Your last name is Doe. Ready? Johnny"
"Tell me your last name."
"Oh. Panda."
"No. It's Doe. I say Johnny, you say Doe. Ready? Johnny"
"Huh? Oh ya. umm.... what? Oh! Panda!"
"I say Johnny you say doe. Johnny"
"What's your last name? If you tell me I'll give you a sticker."
OMG. It was impossible to teach him his last name, then finally one day he blurted it out. Just like that! He got it. It only took four months. He also called me Mrs. Mund who was his brother's second grade teacher at the time who was retiring, and had black hair and sang a lot. It wasn't until Christmas he learned my name, then he told everyone the next year that Mr. Fairfield was his Kindergarten teacher when I was their's also being it's a small school and I was the only one. Now, I am his teacher again, but he forgot my name, so I am just "teacher". Anyway, "Mr. Panda" was the kid to interview today during morning meeting. The other kids ask him questions and he answers them. One kid asked, "What's your mom's name?" He said, "Lisa" without skipping a beat. His mom's name is Beth. I envisioned me saying, "Johnny. I say mom you say Beth. Mom..." We'll save that for when we really are on page 98 in reading.


Julie said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear more stories about Johnny Panda this year!

Emily said...

You are too funny when you blog!! It sounds like you have a great class this year. I have 25 now..we'll have to socialize some weekend when I get to town to discuss the joys of teaching :)

ssne said...

Emily- For SURE! I really miss having you as my student teacher. I think you may have wrecked me for having student teachers because the one I have now... Well, let's just say I have a great class!