Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ramblings of Anna

Anna...I really don't know what I'll do without her next year.
First off, our counselor comes into the classroom to talk about feelings. The counselor is Nigerian, so English is not her first language. When she asks the class about different feelings they might have, Anna answers, "stoked." This thoroughly confuses the counselor who, after several requests to repeat the word, finally just asks for a definition. " means very, very excited." What kindergartener doesn't have this in their repetoire?
Secondly, she bonks heads with a classmate and produces the fakest tears I have ever seen. I start to dismiss her with a, "well, at least you have a hard head!" She responds with her typical textbook vocabulary: "It's because my skull is in there....that keeps my brain from getting smushed." It's more than I learned in college anatomy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu

I'm fairly convinced I've carried Swine Flu to Washington and infected my entire class. I've had a fever over 100 for three days now and my class was down to 50% on Monday. Tuesday resulted in a child coughing so hard that vomit came shooting out of his mouth. I am not a mother, I don't handle this kind of stuff well. This coming after Chloe, for the third time this month, had an accident in class...and I'm not referring to wetting her pants.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Class Picture Day

I was working with a student the other day when I noticed the first gray hair...on him! Am I stressing out 6 year olds so bad that they are going gray already??
My favorite excitement lately has been the crazy Anna. She has developed a fascination with various body parts of mine. There was a week of kissing my behind ("Anna! That is NOT appropriate!"), then a week of loudly announcing "I'm staring at your boobies!", and now this week she has moved onto her own. It is class picture day and I notice the photographer struggling to give directions as Anna is taking off her shirt.
Me- "Anna! Put your shirt down!"
Anna- "But I have a mole on my tummy! I mean, my chest!"
Me thinking- Her nipple?
Me- "Anna, do you want to be in this picture? Then you need to follow directions."
Anna- (grudgingly) "Fine."
Then the photographer instructs everyone to keep their hands at their sides. Anna's hands promptly shoot straight up in the air.
Anna- "What about the tallest one? I think her hands should go like this!"
It's going to be a great photo.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Green eggs and DaVinci

So, today was a day only a kindergartener can truly appreciate. Dr. Seuss's birthday. A national holiday that is usually skipped over by most working professionals. Not an educator. I came dressed to school in slippers and my pajamas and an extremely tall cat in the hat hat. At least three of my girls came with hair done up like Cindy Lou from "The Grinch." My class has never been cuter. I somehow survived an afternoon cooking green eggs and ham alone...that actually resulted in edible food. All in all, today was a hit, despite the smell of bacon that permeated my wing...and my hair and body. I smelled like I lived in a IHOP kitchen. I especially enjoyed the little boy who announced he was "a half vegetarian!" and then proceeded to eat his eggs and ham. Not sure what half that is.
I might also mention that we introduced the letter "L" today and each new letter involves a brainstorming lesson of thinking up words that begin with that letter. I was particularly impressed with a 5 year old who came up with, "the Louvre!" Come again? "You know, where the Mona Lisa is." She chose this to be her "L" drawing as well and I had to find a photo of the Louvre on my computer while she sat at my desk and sketched the museum. I hate to brag...but I have a particularly brillant class. Can't wait for Wednesday's Monet paintings!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kindergarten Fashion

So, kindergarteners sure take notice of earrings, boots, etc. It reminds me of last year when I had a student comment on my trendy rainboots. "I just LOOOVE your boots," she gushed. "Why thank you," I responded, "Don't you have some that are similar?" This girl's affectations were exact replicas of her surburban soccer mom, as she she placed one hand on her hip threw the other in the air. "Oh, yes. I just LOOVE to accessorize, don't you?"
In a middle class school, many of my students arrive in some outfits I envy and many arrive odd assortment of flown together pieces. One student in particular comes up with the most bizarre outfits resembling Madonna cirque 1983. I understand the importance of allowing a child the freedom to dress herself, but where did she even get these pieces to work with?
Still, I was caught off guard today when a student, "Marlin," randomly stated, "I like you way more than my mom."
In my mind: Huh? Aren't you being punished right now because you didn't do your work? Shouldn't you NOT like me?
Marlin: "I like you because you are more prettier than her."
My head: Oh please don't tell her that.
Marlin: "She has goosebumps."
Obviously the fatal flaw.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday morning

Monday mornings always bring entertainment. Somehow a weekend allows students to forget that they need to act civilized and follow rules. My ADHD student had a parent that forgot to give her her meds and she burst into uncontrollable less than 6 times during the day.
Anna approached me this morning and we had this conversation:
Anna: "Hey Ms. Bowman! Know what?"
Me: "Hey Anna! What?"
Anna: "I am a REAL BEAST."
What!? Then she proceeded to roar to further prove her point. Yes, you are a beast Anna.
For those who know me, you understand I have extremely sensitive gag reflexes. So, when Chloe today approached me and told me, "Umm...Ms. Bowman? I don't know, but I think I just threw up," I was concerned....and confused. You think? I went over to the sink, and sure enough, she threw up. This immediately made my eyes water and begin to gag. I stepped away and Chloe redirected her attention to me, as she seemed quite concerned at my state. Luckily, I pulled it together and sent her home...after someone rinsed out the sink. That is not in my job description.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The student who began as my most challenging has become one of my favorites. "Anna", started off the first day by making loud rumbling noises as I attempted to read "The Bernstein Bears." I quickly realized she could not quite control these sounds despite her classmates (and my) shocked faces. I don't have a large experience with autism, but know enough to recognize that this girl is textbook. However, no family member seems to have this same revelation. So, I struggled my first two months with this child who reads and writes at a 2nd grade level, but punches and kicks like the neighborhood bully.
After numerous meetings including the principal, school facilitators, and mom, some sort of revelation took place. Since she ended up in the principal's office every other day, I was beginning to worry I was either a bother to the office staff or that she would just be sent home. I implemented a "star" system on her desk, where she had a visual of each day. If she followed directions and did her assignments, she would recieve a star. Five stars equalled a popsicle (BIG reward). This has been harder than expected...but is working.
Since this, Anna's problems with her classmates have evolved. Now everyone seems to complain that Anna keeps whispering in random ears, "I love you" and attempts to kiss....anyone. I have a hard time not acknowledging, "Well, at least she didn't punch you!" despite the boundaries she is infringing on. We talked about appropriate touch and she responded with the acute phrase, "I'll ask before I kiss." Good deal. The other day, she stood up and kissed my cheek infront of the class, then turned around and giggled in her hand, "I just kissed THE TEACHER." Oh, Anna.
There are many more to come with this character.