Monday, June 19, 2017

A fall and a fail

Week six of term was not marked by much; a fairly typical crazy-busy week, except for my falling in a ditch and Ruthie and I taking the 7-9th graders out again on Friday night. It was the week that mid-terms were due, so I was doing a lot of marking trying to get everything I wanted on the report. I didn’t quite get it all done, but there sure is a lot of my work represented by those reports!

The Ditch: On Tuesday night I was heading over to the staff meeting, and as usual I was walking without a flashlight. As I crossed the playground, I saw a line of dirt that indicated they had been digging to lay either a pipe or some cable. Without remembering that that much dirt had to come from somewhere, I took a bit step over it with my left foot…and then my right slid into the concealed ditch and down I went. Luckily I didn’t twist anything and just scraped both legs pretty well, and there may have been some tea flung and a knit kit which had to be returned to me the next morning. I guess if I enjoy walking around at night without a flashlight, I have to be willing to accept those kinds of consequences from time to time!

Friday Night: When we took the seniors out, I made kettle corn for the first time (super easy and very satisfying!), and we had planned an evening of stargazing. I was going to set up the telescope, Ruthie was making hot chocolate, and it was all supposed to be nice and relaxing. Except, we managed to choose the one cloudy evening in dry season, and the kids were WIRED. So, there were lots of games that involved running around in the dark, and I found, surprisingly, that I am not 18 anymore. Let’s just say it’s taken a few days for the soreness to work it’s way out… That being said, the kids had a good time, and we'll just have to try for stargazing another time.

In station news, here is a picture of the workshop remodel; it will be interesting to see what it looks like when it's all done!

Parting shot: The new view on the way down to the river; the underbrush was cleared out to try to give a better view for those on supervision.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Week 5 of term was busy...

There isn’t a whole lot of interest to write about last week; I was busy, busy, busy! Several tests fell during that time, and my kids were pretty ‘hung over’ from half-term, so I had a pretty frustrating few days trying to get them back up to speed. This week I am working towards half-term marks being due, and I continue to fight the battle of fractions and percents.

On Friday, Ruthie and I took the grade 7-9 students ‘out’ for the evening and we watched Pixar’s Inside Out. I was very impressed when I finally got to watch it, and it has already sparked some good conversations with various kids at the table. I hope that it helped someone, and that it will open other doors with the older kids. I made cake mix fudge and Ruthie made popcorn; it was a nice treat to have a relaxed time with the older kids.

On Saturday, I put together a Powerpoint of the pictures we took of the girls on the photo scavenger hunt, and I had the 3-6th grade girls into my classroom to watch it at the start of craft time. They got a kick out of seeing what the different groups did to fulfill the prompts! We are already starting to think about what the next half-term’s activity will be; we want to keep building on and working with this group of girls.

This weekend I filled and fired up my new kerosene heater for the first time; it worked quite well! My cat was intrigued by it, convinced by turn that it was a scary beast when the kerosene gurgled down, and that it was the best invention for cat luxury because of the heat. So, I guess if it’s cat approved, then it is a good thing indeed!

Parting shot: The bougainvillea outside my classroom window is about due for a trim again, and I thought I’d capture the beauty while it’s still there!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Exhausted after a 'break'

Friday and Saturday of last week was our first half-term, and I am exhausted after the ‘break.’ I don’t usually end up being quite so busy, and while it as challenging, I feel like I connected with some kids in important ways over the weekend. So, what was I up to?

On Friday I started the day with early morning swim for the senior seniors at the dam; all 16 who were here came! I had forgotten to ask for a fire, but there was enough ‘hot air’ and I had made a bunch of hot chocolate, so no one got pneumonia (despite the claims!).

I then had a bit of time to work in my classroom before tea, and then I spent most of the time between tea and lunch planning a photo scavenger hunt for the grade 3-6 girls. After lunch I had some time to work on the marking that had piled up alarmingly, and then it was bag supper outside. The board was here having a meeting over Thursday and Friday, so they joined us for meals and got to visit a bit.

After supper I went up to the dorm to watch the second instalment of That Darn Cat with the kids, and then we had a fellowship time with the all the visitors, staff, and board members.

Saturday morning I put the finishing touches on the scavenger hunt, and then from 8:30 till 10 I had these lovely ladies in my company as we found the clues and took pictures together. Due to circumstances just now, it is rare to have such a small group of kids, and I feel that it was not only a lot of fun for the girls, but also a profitable time for them to enjoy some higher quality adult company.

During tea I had a few chores to do, and then it was down to the pool. I supervised silver-candy seal, and laughed a lot as I watched the spirited water fight among the senior students.

I had a brief break after lunch, then it was back down for river time where I surprised this 5th grader enjoying a book in the nook of a tree.

Sunday I had afternoon Sunday school and river duty again, so it was another long afternoon finishing with dishes and evening fellowship. This week was the Sunday when the grade 7-9’s join us, and we got to hear a moving testimony from one of our visitors.

So, it was a very busy weekend for me, but I feel like I made some good connections with different kids. This last week was a bad one for my shoulder, so I’m hoping that being a little less busy and a little less stressed will help that sort itself out again.

Parting shot: I was explaining to a second grader why I wouldn’t have time to do something on a Tuesday because I teach 5 classes, 3 piano lessons, have clean up and prep duty, and had a meeting to go to. To which he burst out, “Why can’t I do that much in a day?” That has had me laughing for the whole last week!