It is only late October so I'm sure I'll have many more memorable moments with my Kindergarteners but I'd like to take this opportunity to write down a few. These aren't necessarily the fun, happy moments that come along with teaching five year olds but they were definitely moments I want to remember.
I'll start out by saying that I love my class. I love them because they are my students and I spend all day every day with them and we do lots of fun things together. However, they are a challenge. They are the biggest challenge I've ever had when working in a classroom setting.
5. When one of my five year olds told another to "Shut the f* up!" after a disagreement over a crayon and a miniature cat fight ensued. Our little girls are so tough. Honestly, I think I could use a lesson or two from them sometimes. Pink crayons in our classroom are in high demand for some reason and two little girls were arguing over using the pink crayon at their table. This escalated to one of the girls making a comment about the others' hair, which caused the other girl to stand up, break the pink crayon in half, and yell, "Who cares? You just shut the f* up!"
3. When a student drew a red line down the seat of my pants. In Sharpie. Honestly, this isn't that big of a deal. Clothes get ruined when you work with small children. But I will definitely remember this day. The little boy is generally up out of his seat doing something he's not supposed to. On this day, he was sitting in his seat because the children were doing a math activity where they could use the dry erase boards and they love those! This little boy didn't want to complete the activity so he drew with his marker on the table, on the person sitting next to him's forehead, on the computer screen. Finally, my co-teacher took away his dry erase marker. She literally pried it from his hands. This really upset him so he went over to the desk, found a red sharpie, and waited until I was squatting down talking with another group and until my co-teacher was out of the classroom trying to find one of our runners. Then, he came up behind me and quickly drew a red mark right down the center of my pants. On my butt! By the way, to my knowledge Sharpie does not come out of the khaki editor pant by Express. If you know a remedy, please leave it in a comment. Lessons learned: be more aware of what's going on behind me (I seriously need six sets of eyes so that I can provide individualized instruction to the kids who need it but also monitor the classroom for potential Sharpie marker attacks.
While things are getting a little more stable in the classroom and we're starting to learn strategies that help specific students, we still don't have the management down. I've never worked in a classroom that was so difficult to manage. Luckily my co-teacher is phenomenal and she has all kinds of strategies from urban school workshops and seminars that vary slightly from what I learned in school and what has worked for my previous classes. Its a journey and we're still working everything out but it is a struggle at times. Teachers - what are your best classroom management strategies?
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Hi there! I am Elizabeth and I am a Kindergarten teacher working in an urban school in New Jersey. You may know me from here: Life with Elizabeth.
I am originally from South Carolina and relocated to New Jersey just a few months ago. I attended college in a beautiful part of South Carolina and student taught in a fabulous school district. While working on my master's degree, I taught first grade at a Title 1 school. It was a great experience and I definitely have some fun stories from my time teaching first grade. I also had some heart breaking moments and sleepless nights worrying about whether several of my students were getting anything to eat over the weekend. I learned a lot about classroom management and there were moments when I wanted to pull my hair out (like when one of my seven year olds made a bomb threat!). Being on my own in a classroom for the first time since graduation was fabulous and I was able to put into practice so many of the strategies I'd learned during college. It was an opportunity for me to grow as a teacher and a great learning experience. My first class will always hold a very special place in my heart.
I faced a number of classroom management challenges while teaching first grade (more than I ever expected with such a young group of students) and faced many surprises in my classroom however nothing prepared me for my next job as a Kindergarten teacher in an extremely urban charter school in New Jersey. Every day when I come home from work, I have at least one (usually more) exciting stories to share with my friends and fiance. Some of them make me laugh because they're so ridiculous and others make me cry. Regardless, I want to remember this year, document the challenges, capture the funny moments, and have a record of how far I've come with my class by the end of the year. I also love reading blogs by other teachers and finding fun ideas or routines to try with my class. I hope this blog will help me reach out to other teachers.
Lipstick, Lattes, and Lesson Plans is my attempt to document the adventures I'm having while teaching Kindergarten. Teaching doesn't have much to do with lipstick and lattes (except that I couldn't get through the day without my coffee!) but those are two things I love! I'm looking forward to sharing some of the lessons I'm teaching in my classroom but also the lessons the kids are teaching me!
Labels: Meet the teacher