Monday, December 6, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Sometimes I think about the things people use to describe me. And I think of how many different groups of friends (online and off) that only know little bits about me. And some things that hardly anybody knows. So what are some things that I believe define me? Here are some of the things that go into the whole crazy package you see as me:
- I am curious. About everything. There are lots of things I want to know the answer to, and will go forth and research (thank you, internet!). And as much as I love to learn, I love to teach others. But complex issues confuse and mystify me. Which is why politics anymore complex than general knowledge will remain a complete and utter mystery to me.
- I am lazy. There are so many times, and so many situations, when I simply just cannot be bothered. I also love sleep.
- I am shy. Lots of people don't know this. I'm more shy over the phone than face-to-face, and more shy IRL than online. I stay away from lots of parties and clubs where I won't know anyone, or only know very few. It's just far too intimidating for me. At work, in a professional light, I'm much more confident, but I still hate calling people I don't know.
- I am a furry. That's right. I love to roleplay anthropomorphic characters, and I often wish I was an anthro jaguar (hence my twitter name, cammyjag). I love other roleplays as well, but anthro is my first love.
- I am obsessed with other cultures. Asian, Irish, Native American and historical American are my favourite cultures to explore.
- Food. I love food and will try almost anything once.
- I am passionate about equality and social respect. I despise things that cause people to have superior attitudes towards other people. This involves fashion, gossip, willful ignorance, and Disney Princesses.
- The thought of Barbie and Disney Princesses makes me gag involuntarily. I never liked any of these as a child, and seeing my students completely obsessed with them turns me off even more.
- I want to live somewhere else. Nowhere exotic. Just somewhere else. Like the UK. Or Philly.
- I would rather work for nothing than to work somewhere that I hate.
- I could never give up meat. Never ever. *gnaws on steak*
- I love to laugh and make others laugh. Whether it's teasing, harmless pranks, or just sharing a funny story, I love when people are happy.
- I love pretty much any music genre from the 1920s to the 1980s. Except for modern jazz. Swing Jazz and Blues Jazz are fine, though. Modern jazz makes my ears bleed.
- I love to dance. Not all dance, though. Liturgical dance. I'm in my church's dance ministry and I absolutely love it.
- I am socially awkward. I don't know if this is part of my shyness, or exactly how they affect each other, but I've always been on the edge of a group, even if I'm fully involved with it, I've never felt completely emotionally accepted. I hated high school. This also frustrates me in that I'm a very generous person and love to help others, but often receive very little in reciprocation. It's to the point that this is normal for me. I don't give expecting something back, but sometimes it's nice to feel that I'm not ignored or taken advantage of. Lots of times I really don't feel the love and support I give, especially when I need it most. But I'm too shy to say anything really about it.
- I love casual gaming. I suck at video games. Always have, always will. But give me a hidden object game or a puzzle game, a solitaire game or a social game, and you have my attention for several hours.
- I am FORGETFUL. OMG, I'm forgetful. I have a sanguine temperament (HIGHLY sanguine!) and one of the features of the temperament is forgetfulness, or being 'scatter-brained'. That is so me! I even forget to write things down, as often as I've tried, or if I do actually remember to write things down, I forget to go back and read what I've written.
That being said, I can't think of anything else, even though there's probably more. Hope you enjoyed this look into me. Ask me questions! I love to answer them.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Besides the children. That's just a given. This is bonus.
I love to mess with my boss. She is absolutely hilarious to tease. She's a middle-aged lady, even though she calls herself old, and has such a wonderful sense of humour. Being the owner/head teacher/assistant in a preschool is really stressful, so I help by spending little moments of my day making her laugh.
One of my favourite ways is to stand outside her office window (which is directly across from the door of my classroom) and make faces at her until she looks. The other is to stand directly behind her when she's talking to another teacher. Once she was talking to the teacher for over a minute, even hit me in the boob, and still didn't realise I was there until the teacher she was talking to couldn't keep from laughing.
I don't know what it is that makes me want to tease her like that. Maybe it's because I know she'll laugh, and maybe because it's just so dang easy! She reminds me of my mom, the way I can take what she says or does and use it to tease her, and all she can do is laugh and try to hit me. I have good reflexes :D. And because I know she'd never really hit me. Hard, anyway.
This is key, because I love to take advantage of the backup camera she has in her new Kia Sportage and dance or do something crazy when she starts backing up. She always cracks up laughing!
I work with some awesome ladies, I tell you. It's not just the children I go to work for. If it wasn't for an equally wonderful staff of teachers that I work with, there's no way that I could enjoy my job so very much! I would never work somewhere to make more money if it meant working in a hostile, gossiping, spiteful atmosphere. Having fun with my coworkers and especially my boss is definitely the highlight to every working day!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
10. You have 1 child here. Sometimes 2. We have 8-12. Every day.
9. We cannot remember everything you say, and we can't stand around and talk to you all day. You are not the only person we have to deal with today, and not even the most important. We are here for the children. If you really need to talk to us, call us at the proper time (ie, when you know they're resting!) or email us. Or even write a note! It's not hard! Don't be selfish with our attention to you.
8. Don't dress your child in white and look at us funny when they come home brown. They are children, they will play. Please dress your child appropriately. They can't tie their shoelaces, and you know they take their shoes off when they come inside. Why are you going to do that to us? And on the other end of the spectrum, don't send them in flip-flops either. They're not proper support for the running/jumping they do all day.
7. PLEASE check your child's communication box/folder daily! There's important information there, and we aren't always there/available to talk to you when you pick your child.
6. Please please PLEASE be on time! This counts for drop-off as well as pick-up. You distrupt the class when you waltz in late and go through your unnecessarily long, drawn-out separation process as if nobody is there. And we don't get paid overtime to sit around and wait for you to come and pick up your child at the end of the day. The child also begins to worry and become distressed. If you have to pick up your child by 5:30, don't LEAVE at 5:30! And don't complain when we charge you the late fee, either!
5. LABEL EVERYTHING. Again, we have multiple children we are taking care of. Many items look similar to us, and most children cannot identify their own belongings. If it looks nice to them, they will claim it whether it belongs to them or not. If it's not labelled, don't blame us if it goes missing. We don't have the time to play the elimination game to guess whose it is. Anything that can detach from them physically should be labelled. This includes socks and underwear! Don't assume that your child will always keep these on. They don't even do it at home, why would they do it at school?
4. We are not a party venue! We are a school. If you would like to have an elaborate birthday party for your child, do it on the weekend. Keep the birthday celebrations at school simple and quick, and work with our schedule, not yours.
3. DISNEY IS THE ENEMY!! Not literally, but it really doesn't belong at a school. We do not promote images and some of the messages they give to children. They often distract from learning when children are more focused on what they're wearing or what they have on their lunchbox/bottle/hat, etc. Keep such images at school at a minimum, and downplay their importance as much as possible. There are more important things to focus on.
2. Let the children be children. Let them develop on their own. They grow up too fast anyway, so why speed up the process by flooding them with images and messages that are not age appropriate? Little girls should not be obsessed with make-up, fashion and gossip. Boys should not be obsessed with guns, fighting and monsters. They can be aware of it, but when they're fed a steady diet of it so that's what is most important to them and that's all they focus on, something is very wrong.
1. RESPECT. Please respect the teachers and the classroom. This is our workplace and our profession, so please treat it as such. We take our jobs very seriously, and our first and most important goal is the safety and wellbeing of your child. We are not your servants, we are not second-class workers. We are professionals, just like you. We work hard, and we work long. We go home tired and drained at the end of the day, but we never stop thinking about your children. They become like our own and we are devoted to them and to you. When we say something, or suggest something, it's because we care. Work with us, not against us. At the end of the day, it's not the paycheck we're looking for, it's knowing that we're doing the best for a child. Let us know that you appreciate us, you have no idea how it helps us when we're tired and stressed.
Teaching is not an easy profession. Teachers don't get paid a lot of money, it's long hours and it's mentally and physically draining. But we teach because it's our passion as well as our profession. Just because we teach preschool, don't think we are less than a grade school or high school teacher. Let's bring back the respect that the teaching profession deserves.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Apple, or Old Navy.
But, other than that (and 4 new parents in one class deciding not to send their children to the school after all, and the toilets not working yesterday due to the power outage on Thurs), it has been an amazing first week of school. All the classrooms had a big makeover in terms of layout, we have brand new carpets and new paint, and we seriously purged all our storage sheds, getting back to a nice, minimalist feel, as a Montessori school should feel. It's so strange, the way things have changed so much between the end of the old school year and the start of the new one. It feels really, really good.
Things are still a bit hectic in the office, getting files re-organized, and both the head teacher and I have to squeeze in office time outside of teaching to get everything rolling. Thanks to the head-teacher's mother-in-law who works part-time for us in the office, there's a lot of stress gone out of it, though, since we can rely on her to do a lot of the organizing.
So, school is now back in session, I'm getting my students in shape and in order, and it's looking to be a good year. The real work starts on Monday.
Funny story about my class: my students told their old teacher they wanted to go back to her class, because they have too many 'chores' in my class. XD
It's true, I do have them do chores after lunch. They eat off of plates and drink out of cups to learn good table manners, so after lunch there are dishes to be washed, tables and floors to be wiped, and sweeping to be done. Once they really start working on the shelves, there will also be dusting and organizing of shelves as well. I do this for two main reasons: to give them a sense of pride & responsibility, and to fill the time during their shortened rest time. They'll be heading to primary school next year, which means no more rest time, no more naps. We prepare them for this by shortening their rest time down to one hour of quiet rest during the school year, then quiet activity during summer camp. Chores after lunch and before rest time help to fill that gap. Also, when their work time in the morning gets longer. Also, I told my class that it's their space, and they are responsible for keeping it clean. I have already seen the smiles on their faces after sweeping up the floor, or washing the dishes. They're more than eager to do a good job. They almost fight over whose turn it is, which makes me thankful for my job chart. They can see their names on the chart, and know whose turn it is to work.
Hopefully this week I'll remember to charge my camera and take pics of my classroom. Maybe I'll start my own Wordless Wednesday posts!