Thursday, October 11, 2012

Five days left but...who's counting?

ME!! That's who!!!!

I can hardly wait to be in the new space and be able to get into a proper routine again with the class. I miss our morning calendar, all of our books and knowing where to find the extra pencils. I miss having more choices for centres than Lego and art, having furniture instead of boxes and being able to find notebooks when I need them. If there is anything that grade 1 students need to be successful in class it is routine, routine, routine!

I have been doing the best I can to maintain routines as we go through this seemingly never ending moving process but it is really hard to keep doing things like quiet, independent reading when there are three guys pulling furniture across the room. Distraction much? And that is just ONE of many, many similar events!!!!

Today we started working on the math glyphs we are making for the Final Walkabout this Saturday. We are creating pictures of the school that provide information about our feelings through the pictures. I will try to post a few of them this weekend for you to see. They are really wonderful and unique.

For example, one of the questions asked the kids if they were feeling tired, excited or scared about this whole moving thing. Kids who were tired drew 1 tree, ones who were excited drew 2 trees and the ones that are scared drew 3 trees. I found out that most of the class is excited but a couple of the kids were tired of it all and a couple others are scared about it. We will be looking at everyone's pictures and compiling the data to see how we are feeling about different aspects of the move. Glyphs are a great way to teach data collection (I love glyphs!!! Expect to see many more over the course of the year!) This is really important information for me to have so that I can do everything possible to make the move smooth and anxiety free for the class (and me!)

As the move comes closer and closer, stress is popping out in all sorts of interesting ways around here (from both staff and students!) We all show stress in different ways. Me? I feel a bit like I am perpetually revving my engine and about to zoom off to the red zone. The actual move doesn't stress me out but fatigue does it to me every time (plus, it makes it really hard to maintain a good level of patience. Another thing that is vital when teaching grade 1's is patience, patience, patience!) Regardless of how excited I am for the move, I am starting to feel like I am burning the candle at both ends.

In addition to packing and preparing our classroom to move, I have personally packed the entire primary bookroom (about 40 boxes) and organized the archival photos for our walkabout on Saturday. (Did you know that we have photos going back all the way to the 1920's? Cool, huh?) What it all boils down to is extreme fatigue. Tired doesn't even cut it anymore. In fact, I am not sure fatigue cuts it either. Is there another word that means more fatigued than fatigue?

As a result, I am becoming the Queen of S.T.A.R. breathing. Today I simply stood at the front of the class, breathing in, breathing out while I waited for them to stop talking (which, by the by, took almost 5 minutes!!!) If you happen to walk into the classroom in the next week and see me flopping like a balloon, twisted up like a pretzel or doing S.T.A.R. breaths, you will know that I am trying to get back into the green zone before becoming the star of my very first movie "Fast Ride Into the Red Zone - A Teacher's Horror Story." 

I want to say thank you to all the parents who have offered to help with the move. I am kind of particular about my packing having done it so many times in my life (up to a point where I just throw everything in boxes and figure I'll deal with it later! Must say that I hit that point a couple of days ago!!!) However, we could use some help on the last Thursday in the classroom to help pack up the last of our centres and our book boxes. So, if you have some time around 2pm, come on by!!!

Ms. Hughes

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