Category Archives: teacher

Spirit Week

Beauty in the day: you may possibly recall that last night I recounted a happy “Teacher PD” session on FB. A portion of that brilliance centered around teachers suggesting – nay, PROMISING to send students to me with chairs (it’s important to note, that I work with a group of people with a high level of integrity. A promise made, I discovered, WILL be kept).
Now, this week has been Spirit Week at Ardmore. For the “uneducated” on this point, let me explain that Spirit Week is a wonderful, fun, exciting sequence of events that will bring joy to your heart, and drain the energy from your body and mind. Today, Friday, was the proverbial “cherry on top” – you guessed it – Character Day. This is when you get to come in costume, depicting a favorite character. Think Halloween, only in February, and without all the candy (whew!). Suffice it to say, there were a great many distractions all week, and today was the pinnacle. I was working feverishly away – there was much to do on the Friday before Mid-Winter Break.
It was time for Kindergarten Music, and as the teacher (a promise-keeper) led her cuties to the Music Room (which is perpendicular to the office), she made a sudden detour, directing her learners to my desk, each of them carrying a picture of a chair, colored in and labeled with lovely messages. They were delightful, and a few could not contain themselves to follow the (assumed) direction of silence (based on much whispering), but instead burst out in salutations and “I loves you’s”. 🙂
Yet, the day was not over.
I think I have also mentioned before that I work in a “fishbowl” of an office, surrounded by windows. I looked up from an email to discover a small student in front of me, a student chair at her side. “My Teacher told me to bring you this chair,” she said soberly. I thanked her sincerely, and showed her where she should deposit it. Smiling to myself, I went back to my work. But Lo, approximately 6 minutes later, I viewed a little boy coming down the hallway, a chair in tow. Again came the sober pronouncement. This happened two more times, and I halted child number four to wait while I wrote a note to the teacher. “Dear Teacher, Thank you for sending down the chairs! It’s wonderful! Unfortunately, I don’t have a table to put them around.”
It may have only taken 2.5 minutes to look up and see two first-graders lugging a student desk to the Office.
Spirit Week isn’t only for kids.
Oh – and there was a giant Scaredy Squirrel.

Moonlighting

Beauty in the day: Snow Moon, penumbral lunar eclipse, and the New Year’s comet. For some, these things are celestial delights; for some, they are warning signs of possible difficulties. For educators, these things are the events that give allowance for “ah-ha” and “make it work” moments. It’s funny how a tough day can really get stacked up until you discover that there is a full moon. Then it’s, “okay, cool; I’ve got this”, and sleeves are rolled up with a sense of purpose. Full moons bring out all the color and character of the night sky, and it seems to do the same for schools.
It’s a grace-giver.
Who wouldn’t want that?
#bringonthesnowmoon

Glory Days

Beauty in the day: his teacher brought him in to the office. He’d been there before, more than once (more than twice) under less-than-optimal circumstances.
“Ms. Nordstrom, if you have a minute, My Friend has something to show you.” I did have a minute, and I could see the news was good. I took a minute to tease him a bit, telling him not to smile while he told me his news. Naturally, this was a terribly difficult command, but he did try. He was unsuccessful, both at not smiling, and at getting the news out, since it’s hard not to smile when you feel very happy, and it’s hard to get the news out when your teacher is so proud she beats you to it. “My Friend has had a very good day!” She started to show me his chart, all filled up with goodness, and Her Friend was turning every shade of happiness, as his teacher used descriptions like, “he CRUSHED his math!” Letting inspiration take hold (and having whooped and hollered and high-fived, and used other exclamations like, “NO WAY!!!), I got out my phone to take pictures of his proofs to send to the principal, who was out of the office for the day. “OmiGOSH! I can’t wait for him to see this stuff, dude!” I told him. “I’m going to text it to him right away!”
They left the office then, and I sent the pictures. I know my principal, and tomorrow Her Friend is going to get another shower of glory.
THIS is school. And I can tell you’re all jealous.

Just Keep Swimming

Beauty in the day: my office is like a fishbowl; surrounded by a wall of windows. Today at dismissal, I stood at my desk and waved to all the kids as they were walked to the front of the school. Yeah, they liked that, and their little faces broke out in smiles as I received hundreds of waves in return.
Good way to end the school day.

Abracadabra

Beauty in the day: I don’t think she had permission to come in from recess, but there she was.
“I would like some magical powers.”

“Oh, er….I’m sorry?”

“Can you please give me some magical powers?”

Really? Who let her in…..?

“I’m sorry, but you can’t just come in here and ask for magical powers. It doesn’t work that way.”

No response.

“Have you filled out an application? You have to fill out an application form. It takes a bit of time, and after the application is submitted, there is an investigation to see if you qualify.”

Shifty eyes; no response.

“I can’t simply hand out magical powers. You need an application. Or,” – the “or” interested her.

“…you can go back outside and see if you can find some magic on your own.”

She decided to wing it in her own.

#secrecypactwithOllivaders

Sock it to Me, Baby

Beauty in the day: still not sure how this happens….
He came into the office and addressed Miss Kit. “My socks got wet.”
Miss Kit investigated. “Were you jumping in the puddles?”
He confirmed that he was.  This is quite a thought, since we live in the Pacific Northwest, and on normal days we don’t see this one.  Yet now, in the freezing temps,here we are.

I am not very good at the “one eyebrow raised in irony” expression, but since you can’t see me, you can simply assume I’m doing it well.

Just then, another tyke entered to speak with Miss Kit.
“My sock got wet.” My eyebrow is already raised, and remains that way while Miss Kit investigates again, with the same result.

(It should be noted here, that Miss Kit gave the following instructions: “Go to the bathroom, take off your socks, wring them out, and get some paper towels and try to dry them off as well as you can.” – I muffle a silent “lol”, which sort of negates what a “lol” is, but this is what happens, regardless.)
A good length of time goes by, and we are trying to be efficient in the office. Miss Kit has now gone home, and I get a visit from a once-upon-a-time spanish-gaelic singer who, because, why not – claims to have wet socks.

I am officially getting good at the eyebrow thing.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Beauty in the day: my counselor/psychologist/bff was in classrooms having the “safe touch” talk. She started out in the 1st grade class, and by necessity (by design, really), used a few anatomical terms for body parts. One tyke thought to “challenge” her choice of vocabulary, so my friend challenged her right back. “All of our body parts have names,” she explained. She pointed to her nose, and the group was able to properly identify it. She pointed to her knee – again, they were on-target. She pointed to her foot, and the little challenger, who was beginning to enjoy this game, shouted out, “Shoe!” My ever-patient friend, rather than correcting her, agreed with her answer, and then decided to give her another opportunity. She removed her shoe, and pointed again. The little one was now at genius levels, and exclaimed, “Sock!”