Saturday, December 12, 2009

Have You Ever...

Just because I felt like doing something pointless...I filled this out! The items I’ve done are in bold!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater (OK, so sitting on someone's lawn while watching movies on a giant screen probably doesn't count, but it's close!)
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (I wasn't actually inside...but it counts, right?)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (Does it count if they weren't famous yet?)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Two Kindergarten anecdotes, to give me a break from these report cards!

During prayer request time:
"I" requested that "the world will start spinning faster and faster so that we will start to puke and get to go home!"

During a math assessment:
"A" said, upon being asked to use purple to colour the balloon with a number 7, "PURPLE!? That disturbs me."

How does a teacher stay grumpy?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What happened to my good intentions?

They went out the window, to allow for planning, instructing, and enjoying my three-grade classroom experience! Yes, this year has been very busy. Last year I felt like I was getting into a groove with my two grades...grades one and two...despite all of the behaviour problems that were going on. The kids were learning, some were excelling, and I was hitting all of the necessary learning outcomes. Woohoo!

Then came this year. Welcome to the classroom, Kindergarteners! The groove is still forming. Sure, I am very blessed to have only grades one and two in the morning, for our serious academic time. This is a very small class (isolated community, small private school)...and the potential for learning is great. Most days, the actual learning is great too! I love my students dearly, and the day just gets more exciting when the kindergarteners arrive at lunch time.

What does Miss G. do? I boot the older kids to the lunch room, have approximately 20 minutes to eat, use the washroom (on a good day!), clean up the class room, photocopy, set up for kindergarten, and BOOM! There they are! I have 25 minutes with just kindergarten. On a good day we can accomplish calendar time, worship, and some sort of math lesson. On a bad day we can barely check the weather before the grade one and two students return.

I whole-heartedly advocate for a multi-grade classroom. The benefits for socialization are huge. The opportunities for learning are incredible. It's awesome! Most weeks I am sufficiently planned to have all three grades working and learning the correct material for their class, and I have (if I can toot my own horn for a moment) become pretty darn good at creating group activities which are differentiated enough for all of the students.

But every once in a while I would love to teach one grade. Just one. It really doesn't matter WHICH one. One set of Ministry of Education requirements. One set of learning outcomes. One set of lesson plans. One set of everything!

Why am I feeling this way today? Could it be the fact that I have 6 distinct reading groups (out of 10 students)? Could it be that I am in desperate need of a holiday?

Could it be that it is report card time and I have three distinct report cards to create, with a reporting requirement which nearly doubles my workload?

...I think that I have found my answer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School!

Enter Kindergarten student who turns five next month (end of October), literally bouncing into the room today.
"Teacher! Teacher! Teacher! It's my first day of school!"
"Yes, A, it is! I'm glad you are here!"
"And, TEACHER! Tomorrow will be my SECOND day of school!"
"That's right, what a smart boy!"
"Then, after THAT, is my THIRD day of school!"
(By now I am trying desperately to keep from laughing, which means not making eye contact with any of the adults who are within earshot!)
"You are right, A. The next day will be your third day."
"TEACHER! Then comes my school day four! FOUR! Like ME! I'm FOUR!"

What a great way to start the year!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ode to Comsifter

To my dear friend, Comsifter,


You might be useful, you might make sense.
Protecting students, a virtual fence.

You block out the bad stuff, so children can't see,
and once in a blue moon you do protect me.


You screw up the sites that I need every day,
the info for work, and Facebook for play!

Your classification of what is outlawed
makes so little sense, it's intrinsically flawed.


While students may know just how to bypass,
I can never remember what I've heard in the past.


If you want to be useful, just let me have fun.
Block out the evil, for all and for one.

If you can't manage to decipher my meaning,
then I will write something which might not get past screening.

You. Suck.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Trip to Albuquerque and Florida...Part One

Well, it has been too long since I posted, and I hope to make up for it with some pictures!
My Mom and I are currently travelling in the southern part of the United States, on holiday before our teachers' convention cruise (yes, that's right...they're sending us on a cruise!).
We started with a couple of days in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we visited with my grandparents, shopped at a teacher supply store (my own personal mecca, perhaps?),

and just enjoyed some time off.

Then, we traveled to Miami, stayed overnight in Ft. Lauderdale, and toured for a bit before continuing on. Wouldn't you know, we found another teacher supply store in the Ft. Lauderdale area! No pictures of that one, as we were too busy drinking
coffee and driving to get a picture.

In Ft. Lauderdale we spent some time at Flamingo Gardens, a wildlife refuge (for permanently injured creatures) and botanical garden. The following friend greeted us as we arrived!

Our next two friends were hanging out in the water...and I was glad that there was a fence between us.

Here are a couple more friends...and the only "Florida Panther" we saw in the refuge. The two real cats were hiding, and we didn't see the skating Panthers either!

As we drove further north, we approached this storm...

...which turned into this...

...and then this! I was glad that Mom was driving.

We subsequently saw this sign, which made me laugh. Torrential rain, and
less watering.

Our trip today also included quick trips to the United Kingdom and Australia. Just in case you wanted to feel jealous! :)

To cap it off for today, this is for Caitlin! We were listening to "Welcome to the Future" as we drove past this sign. It made us laugh. History, the Future, it's all there!

Oh, and this is for Auntie Karen! I was devastated to miss the opportunity to take a picture of the "Modern Mushroom Farms" truck. I know that this will be tragic for you too!

Coming of St. Augustine, Florida. Watch for the Fountain of Youth, the Oldest School in the US, and the Showboat Carwash.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good Grief!

Could it really be that in 5 weeks I will be counting down the hours until school begins? Where has the summer gone?

I begin to scare myself when I realize that I have the following to accomplish/complete before September 8 (which seems incredibly late for a first day, but that's when Labour Day is!):

1. Course outlines for Math, Science, Socials, Bible, PE, Music, and Art...for K, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Only a few of those can overlap!
2. Thematic units for the whole school year.
3. Teacher's convention (leave next Monday, spend a few days with my grandparents in Albuquerque, a couple of fun days in Florida, then attend meetings until Friday August 21).
4. Buy school supplies for all of my students.
5. Travel back to Port Hardy on Monday and Tuesday (August 24-25). With summer ferry traffic.
6. Report to school on Wednesday August 26.
7. Finish setting up my classroom.
8. Registration night on August 27.
9. Photocopy and prepare workbooks.
10. Actually make lesson plans.
11........and so it goes.


Sunday, August 2, 2009


Well, I haven't posted in a little over two weeks...but I have a good reason!
Part One Of The Excuse: My computer was dead, so my time was more limited (though Mom and Caitlin were very willing to let me borrow their computers whenever I needed to do so).
Part Two of The Excuse: I was busy! Camping (in a tent), taking online courses, and leading a group of 3&4 year olds for 8 days causes exhaustion (and the setting up for 4 days prior to that doesn't help).

Now, however, I have my computer back and am in the process of trying to replace all that was lost. I am finished my courses, and only have 18 course outlines to create. I'll post more often!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Frustrations Abound...

So here I am, already breaking a resolution. I don't know if I'll be able to find enough positives to discuss in order to sandwich each negative today! So, this will be a Dagwood sandwich.

Positive: I got to spend some time at the beach today! Warm weather, a bit of a was lovely.

Oh man! This is just not my evening!
First, I'm taking two online courses this summer. Woo-freaking-hoo. Neither course is one that I particularly want to take, but I am because I have to do so! Now, the one course requires a book of which I cannot get a copy (and was informed of the need for said book two days before the course start date). The other course was to have ended today (with assignment submission permitted for another week), and the last three assignments haven't even been posted!

Second: Curriculum overviews for next year. OK, I see the need. Yes, I even see value. However, the BC curriculum guidelines are NOT designed for classrooms with three grades. It's tough enough to get through every required learning outcome for one grade in a single grade classroom. To get through the curriculum for three grades at once? Very difficult. There are no considerations for multi-grade classrooms, no suggestions for which things to skip/combine/over-lap/etc, and a whole lot of nothing for ideas to combine the curricula. Therefore, I have to start pretty much entirely working from scratch. That's fine, but it also means that I have to be able to justify the reason for not using more than about 20% of the recommended resources for the grades...and this year is a government audit year.


I'll get over the aggravation. I'll make it work. It will be a fabulous year. But right now? In July? I could just throw it all out the window.

Third: I am missing the funeral for a friend's father, because it would have required nearly 14 hours of travel each way. That sucks.

Fourth: That computer of mine is on it's way to Vancouver for repairs. Just perfect.

Positive: I have plenty of computers to borrow and use in order to express my frustrations.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What to say?

Positive: I finally got my Staples Teacher Card stuff sorted out! Yay for discounts and rewards!
Negative: My computer is being shipped to Vancouver for repairs, and will not return to me for at least 2 weeks.
Positive: I have other computers at my disposal, and all of my most important documents backed up!

Sdaly, I must also report that the new EXPO retractable dry-erase markers are not available at the Kelowna Staples location. This is most unfortunate, as I was very excited to try them!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A New Resolution

...It is entirely shameful that I have been so out of touch with this blog. Sure, I spend what seems like hours every evening either with email or Facebook, but so rarely update this!
I have a goal! My goal is to post something (almost anything!) on this blog at least once a week. That shouldn't be too difficult! I may post far more frequently, sometimes...
I have a second goal. This involves having at least two positive things to say for every negative item on the blogging agenda (the sandwich effect). Can I do it? Yes. Will I? That remains to be seen!

So, positive number one. I can't seem to stop searching for classroom deals! I found a class set of pillows for only $3.49 each! I saved $12 on each one! The kids will love being able to sit on something comfy for stories or videos, and I might be able to get rid of some chairs from the room.

Negative. I have to take two classes this summer. One is "in progress" and the other starts next week. I really haven't felt yet like either class will be of any use or has anything to say of interest to me. That's frustrating! I'd love to take classes in something exciting or useful! Having hours each day devoted to things which are simply annoying is like working on report cards during the summer. EVIL!

Positive number two. The sun is shining! Warm weather! Tim Hortons exists! Starbucks is here! I've been to Chapters twice! Traffic lights! Summer in the city!
I love Port Hardy, but there is nothing quite like being able to meander through a bookstore with a mocha in one hand and a pile of new reading material in the other!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Student Awards

In the spirit of the end of the year (yay!), and the writing of report cards (boooo!), I have some proposed awards to be given out this year. This is my way of writing the snarky comments I could never get away with!

Shannon’s Proposed Class Awards

1.Fastest Runner (outdoors)
2.Fastest Runner (indoors)
3.Most Laps Run Around the School (for fun)
4.Most Laps Run Around the School (by force)
5.The Houdini Award (physical escape)
6.The Houdini Award (verbal avoidance)
7.Fewest Tattles in One Day
8.Most Tattles in One Day
9.Best Attendance Record
10.Frequent Absence Award
11.Fewest Band-Aids in One Year
12.Most Band-Aids in One Year
13.The Patience of Job Award
14.The Temper of Jezebel Award
15.Most “Problem Sheets” Sent Home
16.Most Office Visits
17.Most Hallway Chats
18.Quietest Worker
19.Loudest Screamer
20.Quickest Worker
21.Neatest Worker
22.Most Accurate Worker
24.Mess Maker
25.Rock Throwing (best aim)
26.Rock Throwing (worst aim)
27.Best “Neeah!” Face
28.Top Speller
29.Most Imaginative (positive)
30.Most Imaginative (negative)
31.Virtue of Sharing (verbal, positive)
32.Virtue of Sharing (verbal, negative)
33.Virtue of Sharing (material, positive)
34.Virtue of Sharing (material, negative)
35.Best Leader (positive)
36.Best Leader (negative)
37.Best Follower (positive)
38.Best Follower (negative)
39.Best Impersonation of the Teacher (teacher in room)
40.Best Impersonation of the Teacher (teacher out of the room)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Continuation of "You know..."

You know you're a primary school teacher if... actually use the line "I'll pull this van over!" while on a field trip. manage not to laugh/scream/cry/pull your hair out when a troublesome little girl says "those boys are giving me a headache!".

Saturday, February 7, 2009

You Know You're A Primary School Teacher If...

Good grief! Has it really been this long since I posted to this blog? What have I been doing with my time? Oh, that's right...I've been doing such things as will be found in the following sections of this post! I've been having such fun creating new status updates for my Facebook page, using the sentence starter "You know you're a primary school teacher if...", that I decided to actually compile a list! Enjoy. :)

You Know You're a Primary School Teacher If...

1) are convinced that there are never enough scissors, glue sticks, or sharp pencils.

the words "I'll count to three..." form a significant portion of your daily vocabulary.

you have become an expert at walking down hallways backwards in order to referee your students.

you spend your evenings sorting safety pins and beads into tiny ziploc baggies.

you will be spending many hours of the weekend preparing activities for the 100th day of school.

you buy skeins of yarn with the idea that they "might be useful for something".

7) are drawn to yarn which is called "crayon".

8) spend more of your own money on school supplies than on clothes/shoes...

9) fret over the fact that the traveling penguin stuffy belonging to your class does not have a scarf, and knit one out of the previously mentioned crayon yarn.

10)...the word "stuffy" is actually a part of your vocabulary.

11) have purchased, or plan to purchase, two-way baby monitors for the occasional times when you actually have to leave your classroom.

.....more to come as situations arise!