Tag 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.

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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.

Field Trips are FUN

Beauty in the day: he had so many curiosities and wonderings today. He was “very uncertain” about the Family Fun Nights that get switched out for things like Family Stem Design Night. Clearly there was an opportunity, at least in his mind, for a Night to end up as something less than Fun, even if your Family is there. He agreed that it COULD be fun, but since it isn’t CALLED Family FUN Night, then surely things could go awry. It would be nice, he mused if someone like me could give him some sort of reassurance on this. Naturally, I told him that I was reasonably certain that such odd-named nights such as Family Stem Design Night, and Multi-Cultural Night would be sure to be quite enjoyable evenings with lots of FUN. He left after the 4th inquiry of the day with a seeming grasp of the possibilities of pleasure that the upcoming mis-named nights would offer.
When he turned up for a 5th time, I steeled myself, partly because I wasn’t sure what else I could come up with to convince him, and partly because his approach to asking questions of me is to frame them in the manner of the DMV sloth in the upcoming Pixar film, Zootopia. I waited…… as…. he…….made his……..inquiry. “The thing I’m wondering……… is……. well……. I don’t quite know……… why is it…..actually…….that 1st graders haven’t yet gone…….on a field trip.” (It should also be noted that these questions are also often framed with the suggestion that the query is also coming from his mother).
Come on 1st grade teachers – get this kid on a field trip. Please.

Crabapple for the Teacher

Beauty in the day: first grade teacher came into the office with the express intent to give some help with challenges to the friend she had by the hand. She smiled and spoke to him in encouraging and uplifting tones. It made me smile too. I re-checked my morning email. Wait – there it was – she DID, in fact, send me an email this morning claiming to be in a very grouchy mood. I’m never believing her emails again.
‪#‎oscarthegrouchindeed‬

Changing Channels

Beauty in the day: there were many moments today, and that’s saying a lot, based on the kind of day it was. But I think that my most favorite moment of beauty was at the end of the day. First-grade teacher who had experienced a very challenging day (one of many-in-a-row) was leading her class to the front of the school for dismissal. I had a message for her, and as I saw her approaching, I went to wait, and she caught my eye, and looked like she hadn’t a care in the world. In fact, she looked – – – tranquil. I gave her the message, and she smiled. “You know how (previous-1st-grade-teacher-team-member-now-out-on-leave) Genevieve​ always looks so serene, even on a bad day? Yeah, well I’m channeling Genevieve.”
Those of us who know Genevieve knows what this looks like. Christina​ nailed it – and I’m planning to practice tonight in front of the mirror.

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Beauty in the day: want to find a great way to properly celebrate and honor our nation’s armed services veterans? Next year, find out when your local elementary school is planning their Veteran’s Day Assembly. Or better yet, ask me and come out to Ardmore. Those littles sang like they believed it! The Student Leadership kids gave speeches and delivered readings with such heart! 400 kiddos singing the Star-Spangled Banner is good enough, but that didn’t stop them from putting it over-the-top with some more selections, and they were DE-LIVERING!! Super proud and inspired by all our students, their Music Teacher, and our AP, who kept everyone on track. – – Oh, and also, I got the laminator reloaded without trauma.

No Sticker Shock Here

Beauty in the day: it would be a crime if I was too embarrassed to choose this moment. The teacher sent her very shy young kindergarten boy to the office so he could show me how great he did on his math work. We cheered and congratulated him. We high-fived him. We made those faces that you make when you can’t even believe what you are seeing and hearing. He was appropriately impressed. As I sent him off, I gave him a “You’re Awesome” sticker to put on his hand.
After a while, I got an email from his teacher, who informed me that he had shown her his sticker. “Wow, that Ms. Nordstrom sure is nice,” she told him.
“Yes,” he replied, “and she’s really quite beautiful.”
~ ~ We have the smartest kids at Ardmore. 😉