(40 hours down, 80 to go)
So all day Saturday I spent at ENVoY training (required for my tenure process) which was VERY good except for the fact that it was all day Saturday and I had to pay $225 for it (yes I had to pay for a required class). It focuses on non-verbal communication as a way to manage the classroom, and I got much more out of it than any other classroom management courses I've been to, mainly because it is applicable in all areas of teaching (and out of teaching*) whereas other management classes I've been through really only work when you see students all day, not in 55 minutes/week.
*I was trying ENVoY skills out on my 4 year old son this weekend, genuinely trying, and he finally said to me "Mama, why are you talking to me like that? Stop it!" So maybe I need to be more subtle.
Anyway, at one point the presenter (who was very good at presenting, no doubt due to all those subtle non-verbal skills) said something about how training yourself to act a certain way might seem awkward at first, as if you're not being true to yourself, but then your body can go into autopilot on those days that you really don't feel like yourself.
Like when your 20 month old daughter decides that 3 am is a GREAT time to wake up shrieking and continue for an hour. And when you also decide you need to kick the caffeine habit resulting in a blinding headache.
Despite that, I had a very good vibe going into the day. A lot of it had to do with the fact that one of my friendly coworkers was back today after being out for a week and a half. I hardly got a chance to say hi to her, but it is really important to know that there is someone within the same building who is a genuine friend. It's just good for morale.
(I do have more than one friend, in case you were wondering)
And a good day it was!
I only had 3 classes today. My 2nd graders got into the meat-and-potatoes of their research project, using online encyclopedias and Comic Life. I had my observation during this time and I think it went really well, despite the fact that we barely got started on the actual project. Oh well, it will last us the next several class periods.
Kindergarten was just fine. All I wanted to do was hide in my dark office (tired w/ headache, remember) but I drew upon my newly discovered ENVoY skills and practiced bits and pieces of what I learned and that helped quite a lot.
I had several hours of administration time today, that passed very quickly. I went on a book search for a book one of my 2nd graders swears she turned in, but I swear it has vanished, and tracked down a pile of The Three LIttle Pig variations. Oh, and got my PDP (Professional Development Plan) completed. We have to do that three times a year as a part of our contract (and tenure again).
Fourth grade was fun. Our school actually hosted about 60 nursing students from Faribault (I think) who lead all the classes in lessons on germs and good hand washing skills. I have a jazzy "Stop, Protect Yourself, Wash Your Hands!" rap running through my less-achy head. It was a nice break, but weird to let go a bit and let the guests run the show.
At bus duty a dad who walks to pick up his son got into a discussion with me about some websites that might help his son, who is very bright, supplement what he is learning in school, as he is about 2 grade levels above his classmates. I'm thinking I'll call the kid in during my prep tomorrow and train him in on Study Island and maybe that will give him a boost for awhile.