Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I use my blog as a way to reflect, share, organize, and re-conceptualize my views as an educator. Enjoy and feel free to comment, post, disagree, and share your opinion. The more perspectives, the better!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2 days!

There are 2 days until break! 2 glorious days!

It is Sunday night and I have to admit it was an enjoyable weekend. I relaxed Friday night, spent Saturday doing homework and celebrating Thanksgiving with some CMs, and today cleaning, working, and reading (I am half way through book 2 of HP...). Now, I am in bed and it is well-before my bedtime. I am finishing my night off playing online and reading. This is positive thought #1.

Last week was another really difficult week. I went to school sick on Monday, called in sick on Tuesday, and had to give a standardized test most of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. My students were out of control and I was losing my mind. By Friday I was physically and emotionally drained. How is this positive? Its not, but even in all of the chaos I found a few positive things....

#2: One of my students who started the year as a non-reader read our morning message almost perfectly. He didn't even stumble on tricky words like "literacy rotation" or "mixed up." I cannot even begin to describe how proud I am of him. I am tempted to re-test his reading level now, just to have some quantifiable measure of the progress I have observed.

#3: In one of the several rules and procedures talks of the week I told my students, "You have to help me. I want to teach you what you need to get to 2nd grade, but you have to help me. You can help me by listening, keeping your hands to your own body, and always doing your best work." Unfortunately, this talk is less effective each time it is given. This time, however, one of my boys who aspires to be a class-clown raised his hand and says, "Miss Prinzo, I will help you" and gives me the cheesiest grin possible. I couldn't help but smile.

#4: Help is on the way! I asked our school's literacy coach for help with management. After explaining to her the frustration and stress I have been feeling, she told me that she is going to do what she can to help--whether it be team teaching for a few days, modeling management, practicing behavior strategies, etc. she will be there! She is an amazing teacher and I am excited to be able to work with her. I also will have my own teacher's assistant for a week post-Thanksgiving! My mom is coming from cold, snowy NE Ohio to help keep me sane for an entire week. She doesn't know it, but I have quite the "to-do" list for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If you met me 1 year ago

If you met me 1 year ago, I would talk your ear off about teaching.

If you met me 1 year ago, I would smile when I talked about our students.

If you met me 1 year ago, I could tell you about how I wanted to implement a reading workshop and a writing workshop.

If you met me 1 year ago, you meet a well-rounded person.

If you met me 1 year ago, you would meet someone who was tired, but not exhausted.

If you met me 1 year ago, you would be meeting a person who believed in herself.

If you met me today, I would want to hear about something, ANYTHING, other than teaching.

If you met me today, I would sigh when I talked about my students

If you met me today, I would tell you that I don't understand balanced math, balanced literacy, or Reggie Routman Writing.

If you met me today, you would meet someone who does nothing but work.

If you met me today, you would meet someone who is no longer sure of herself.

If you met me today, you would meet someone who is working tirelessly to get better.

If you met me today, you would meet someone who is frustrated by a lack of progress.

If you met me today, you would meet a perfectionist who is no where close to perfect.

If you knew me 1 year ago and met me again today, you would not recognize me.

Sorry to be depressing. It has been a long couple of weeks. I have been putting off posting on here (and sending out my monthly, well let's be honest bi/tri monthly, update to family and friends) until I could be a little bit more positive. I'm trying to be more positive. I am really trying to be more positive, but let's face it--optimism has never been one of my strengths. I can say optimistic things, but in my head (and most likely out loud) they are sarcastic. I am a realist, and the reality is that I am not happy. I just don't know what to do about it. It seems like the harder I try, the more frustrated I become. I wake up every morning and think about how many hours it will be before I get to go back to bed. I cuss my students out under my breath at least five times a day and I am currently at the top of the school's gossip list for crying during an evaluation meeting and half of the day on Friday. Things have to get better. That is not optimism. That is reality.

I have been challenged by my MTLD to write down at least 2 positive things that happen each day. So I am going to try it.  My new label, "life on the sunny side" should have a daily update about good things happening in my classroom. So here it goes...

(1) Today we made it through everything we had planned. I even had time for a pencil raid, recess, AND a word game!

(2) Based on my suggestion, our literacy coach helped us truly integrate science and language arts in our plans next week. This means that I will actually get to teach some science. We have millipedes, pill bugs, and terrariums to build!