I Bid Adieu

Cheerio to the loud talkers 

Adios to the soccer fanatics

So long to the video game enthusiasts 

Farewell to the chitchatters

Bye-Bye the the determined gymnasts

Sayonara to the big smilers

See you to the ones that aspire to be a teacher

So long to the ones that takes it all in

Adios to the hard workers

Ciao to the good friends to everyone

Tootles girlfriend 

So long to the ones who march to their own drum

Later to the helpers

Cheers to the thinkers 

Au revoir to the book worms

Adios to the nonfiction experts

Sayonara to the paperplane makers

Goodbye to the 2nd grade class of 2022!

And the shout out goes to…

When I got the invite to my college friend’s bachelorette I was excited. When was the last time we had all been together? As I kept reading though, I realized it was a 6 hour drive!

No one going to the bachelorette party was from CT like me. I’d have to drive by myself or fly. It quickly became clear though that flying just wouldn’t work. There were no flights from the closest airports which means I’d have to drive at least 2 (but I know it’d be more with traffic) hours for the hour flight and then another hour on the other end. Not worth it.

Driving it was. Now to decide after work or very early in the morning the next day to make it in time for the 1pm festivities. I hemmed and hawed over what to do. Neither option was ideal, but I had to choose…the morning it would be.

Then over dinner 2 weeks ago my dad says, “why don’t mom and I take a vacation that weekend? We can all drive up together. We’ve never been to the Finger Lakes.”

I could not be more grateful for that suggestion. Thank you just isn’t enough!

What to do…

I turn to the boisterous sound coming from the doorway. Standing there is Anna, “what am I supposed to do with this?”

As I look and move closer I see Anna holding a paper towel. Inside the paper towel she is holding up a pair of underwear for all to see. Stunned I stare and Anna repeats herself. She says, “where should I put this?”

I just stare some more. No words are coming to me. “They were on the bathroom floor and I thought I should be nice to Mr. Bill (our custodian) and pick them up,” Anna continues.

Lucky for me though my coworker is in the room and takes the lead, “I think you should go to the nurses office to give to her. And then wash your hands well.” As soon as she leaves we crack up. Never have we ever.

Anna returns right away. “All good,” I ask. “ You can tell you have a younger brother and sister…not many people would have done that. Job well son!!!

Is it cool or not?

It’s Friday. It’s the day after Field Day. It’s the day author Grace Lin has come to visit our students.

Im checking to make sure the students are in the correct bus line and listening to their excitement.

“The water slide was so fast.”

“The one where you had to poop out an egg like a chicken was hillllarious!”

“Why were you raising your hand to ask a question of Grace Lin today? So lame,” I hear a 2nd grader ask a 3rd grader rudely. I pause. Will I have to intervene? Should I intervene?

I walk closer and hear a 5th grader intervene instead, “Um asking questions is cool. It’s when you’re hand is up and you are going ‘ooooo. Pick me. I have a question. Ooooo pick me,” that’s not cool. Raise your hand quietly.”

The 5th grader saw me watching and smiled triumphantly. Nice work kid. Nice work.

17

I have 17 students in my class this year. Not 15. Not 12. Not 18. 17 students!

Last week though my class couldn’t catch a break. We started the week down 2… one recovering from getting tonsils taken out. The other with a fever.

Then a grandmother passed away and a student traveled to Chicago for services. So at a maximum by Tuesday afternoon I had 14 students. Between doctors appointments and pullouts by other school personnel and bathroom and nurse visits, I was often at 12 students.

Today shocked me though. So much so that when we had a fire drill I had to count several times. Phew! 17 is much more than 12, especially when they don’t stand still. 17 students were accounted… for all day long (and hopefully all week too).

Fridays are for…

Fridays are for happy hour! All week last week it was was gorgeous… a sign of our first outdoor happy hour in the warm sun at a favorite Mexican restaurant in town. We could not wait for their veggie nachos. They are THE BEST! Each day we talked about them.

As Friday drew near though it changed. Only 2 of us could make it. It was cloudy but warmish. Should we postpone our outing? But as the final bell rang… the sun came out. Off to Vivas we went! And the nachos were just as good (if not better) then we remembered!




Ingredients for Mothers

As a 2nd grade teacher I have to be on top of a lot of things. The lunch count and attendance, morning work that is meaningful but not meaningful as kids arrive anywhere between 8:45 and 9:15 these days, specials, academic plans, holidays and much more.

Last week we had to prepare for a special holiday, Mother’s Day. My team and I decided on making a bookmark out of thumb and fingerprints to go along with a book that the children wrote about their moms. Each page was a different slice about their mom… a portrait page, all about my mom page, and acrostic poem page, a simile page and a recipe for a perfect mom page.

The first 4 pages of the book were easy for the kids. They had experience with writing these during our poetry unit. But the recipe was a but more difficult and needed some more teaching. We brainstormed measurements (cups, tablespoons, etc), before moving on to the ingredients. “What ingredients would a perfect mom have,” I asked the class before giving them time to think, talk to their peers and write some ideas down on whiteboards.

“Kisses,” Hannah yelled.

“Hugs,” Terry added.

“Um…smiles,” Angelina said shyly.

I continued to call on student after student. Our list of ideas was getting big. JT could not contain his excitement so I finally called on the outstretched, waving hand. JT often responds off topics. “What would be an ingredient for a perfect mom, JT,” I asked to remind him of the question.

Loud and proud he says in a singsong voice, “makin love!”

I was baffled for a moment. Did I hear that ingredient correctly? I glanced at the other 3 adults in the room. They were all trying hard to contain their laughter. Nope I heard it correctly.

“I mean a makin love cake,” he continued in his singsong voice oblivious to my lack of response.

Needless to say I moved the class to their seats to work independently after that. Kids say the darnedest things!

The Challenge is Over

On Friday at 8:45 the students flocked to the library for one last morning of slicing together. Some were there for their 5th slice of month, others 15th, and still others were there to finish their 30th slice.

We gave them time to write but then we couldn’t help but celebrate the amazing work they had done in April. We called them each up one by one to receive their certificate and a journal to keep their writing going. They applauded each other, turned to have their picture taken and said thank you for this experience.

When the time was up we had to force some students to leave. They didn’t want to. They enjoyed this time together. Meeting new faces, learning about each other through writing and being inspired.

Each of the 60+ students achieved their goal: they wrote more than they had to… they wrote more than what their teacher assigned me.

And to me, that’s AMAZING!

What’s Cookin’

Did you ever play “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” when you were little? I honestly can’t remember much about the game but attribute it to me saying things to my students like “what’s up, paper cup” or “where to gumshoe?” Hopefully I’m correct with even saying I got these ideas from the game.

Today, our first day back from spring break, I ran into a bunch of kids and of course asked “how was break?” Or “where did you go for break?”

Late in the day I ran into Henry who I had for only a few months last year and don’t see often this year, and without thinking said “What’s cookin'” (thankfully stopping myself from the rest of that one… “good lookin'”).

Henry looked at me from behind his mask, tired from the long day back at work. I could see he was thinking how to answer. After a long pause he replied, “I don’t know what I’m having for dinner…(long pause)… if that’s what you mean.”

I smirked and told him what I meant and he immediately launched into his trip to Boston.

Oh how I love kids… especially this one for not making fun of my quirkiness!