Category Archives: teacher

Harmonicas and Fidget Spinners

Beauty in the day: there were two of them, standing in front of my desk this morning before school started. One has been there many, many times, his daily mission to talk to me before line-up. The other is a new student, sweet and quiet; it’s unexpected that she wants to visit – but she does.
He started it out. “Ms. Nordstrom, I would like a fidget spinner. ” This is in reference (as my story will show) to a well-used fidget spinner that is on display in my window. It’s not there to torture the students – much.
“I don’t have fidget spinners here!”
He begged to differ, as he inclined his head with a tilt toward the one on display.
“Oh, that’s MY fidget spinner. But I don’t have any for students here.”
No matter – he was nonplussed. “I would like a USB.”
A USB? He wants a USB? I looked confused. He inclined his head again and tilted it toward my window, where there were 2 USB flash drives. One belonged to a parent who had left it behind the day before, and one was mine.
“That’s MY USB. I don’t have USB’s for students here.”
While he thought of his next request, shy girl pipes in. “I want that Griffin!” She pointed to the Eagle statue in my window.
“Well, that’s actually an Eagle. And it belongs to the school, so I can’t give it to you.”
As equally prepared to continue as the boy, she asked if I had any extra harmonicas. 🙄
There are no harmonicas in my window display.
I sent them to line up. 🤷🏻‍♀️

#givingthesagearunforhismoney

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Proper Verbage

Beauty in the day: he came to the office from recess with a “broken arm”. He didn’t tell my assistant why he was there – just that he was waiting for me.
When I came, he informed me (with worried eyes) that he had broken his arm at recess. Desiring to reassure him, I looked boldly at his tattooed forearm, and pronounced that he had no need to worry; the arm wasn’t broken.

This was met with crocodile tears and a low whine – I had clearly said the wrong thing. I encouraged him to come into the clinic so we could examine him, which he did. The clinic aide was on-hand, and when she heard the news that his arm had been broken, she gave him a much-needed “awwwwwwww!”
This did much to bring healing to this younger brother of Aussie Boy.

#justsayawwwwwwww

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