Tag Archives: classroom

My Shining Knight

20 Mar

Little man had a St Patrick’s day play on Monday and I was so excited to go watch.

Here’s why…now that he and his twin are in the “big school” there aren’t many opportunities for parents to come to the class.  Also, the kid is an introvert like me and was DREADING the whole thing which made me know it was going to be all that much cuter!

He complained that he was playing the role of the knight, but as far as I’m concerned it was the most awesome role in the entire play.


The play was called The Mystery of the Missing Pot of Gold, but other than the title as a clue, I had NO IDEA what was happening.


I do know that the little man was happy as can be when it was all over and he could tear off that itchy costume and dig into the cookies.


I cherished every moment with my shining star. :)

It’s Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

If you know me you know I’m really not a big fan of this Hallmark produced holiday.

However, the kids really seem to make old V Day extra sweet and today was no exception.
First I got to go to the little one’s class to help out with her Valentine’s craft. She was so excited to see me and I loved being able to spend time with her at her school.

Then when we got home she presented me with her amazing card.


I mean there is seriously NOTHING better than the cards the kids present with family portraits and messages.  They are TO DIE FOR, as also evidenced by my son’s card.

Ironic that the mom who tries to live the healthy life and spread that message continually to her children is loved for candy and soda!
Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day too!

First School Play

18 Nov

For the first time, today I watched one of my children star in a school play.

It was a play about Thanksgiving and my daughter was a “narrator” dressed as a Native American.

I really have no idea what the play was about.

Well it was obviously about Thanksgiving as there were pilgrims, native americans and then some animals.  But I was so busy relishing in the cuteness that I didn’t even follow the story!

Little one, on the other hand, was pretty captivated.

My daughter had been practicing her lines for weeks. It was so cute to see her up there all proud!

My daughter’s wonderful teacher allowed 4 children (who are twin siblings of the children in her class) to be greeters at the school entrance, hand out the playbill and direct guests to the gymnasium.

Little man took his job very seriously!

These moments are precious and I am thankful to be a part of them.:)

Do you ever find yourself contemplating what you are thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches?

Thankful for My Son’s Wonderful Teacher

22 Nov

My son had his Thanksgiving party today at school and parents were invited to see their ‘show’.  I tell you every time I set foot in that school there’s a point at which I become choked up.  His teacher is just so incredible and what I continue to hear from her over and over is that we, the parents, need to stop, appreciate and enjoy these special, incredible moments with our incredible children. This is an excerpt from her most recent weekly letter.

On this Thanksgiving, I would like to share a pointer with you. A couple of years ago, there was a study to determine what caused children to get high scores on the SAT’s (Scholastic Aptitude Tests). “IQ, social circumstances, and economic status all seemed less important that another subtler factor. Youngsters who had the highest SAT scores all regularly had dinner with their parents”. This is from Dr. Lucy Calkins’ book “Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent’s Guide”. I realize that this is impossible for some families but try to do it as often as possible.
Of course this doesn’t mean that we can guarantee shared conversation at the dinner table, but let us make a conscious effort on this Thanksgiving to share our talk with the children. Listening and taking turns will also be learned at the dinner table. Car rides are another place where children can share in adult talk. Shut off the cell phones.
Children cannot read, understand or write what they cannot say.
“Keep up the good work!!” Never stop talking to your children. They love to know exactly what you are doing and why. Please share some stories with your children this Thanksgiving.
Your wonderful children are truly my reason to be thankful this year. I wish you all a conversation filled, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Doesn’t she sound great?

The show was so adorable; my son was an Indian.

That’s him, right there, the only one not looking or standing where he’s supposed to be :)

Boy did I feel sorry for the bedraggled parents I saw from other classes carrying in turkeys. And, my daughter didn’t understand why I was only attending my son’s party; parents weren’t invited to hers.

Are school Thanksgiving parties with parents the norm?

So It’s Back-to-School Night

15 Sep

Just as I was sitting here trying to think of something to write, my big sis once again takes care of me and sends this fabulous and helpful information about an event coming up shortly for all of us with school aged kids…

Back-to-School Night (aka Meet the Teacher Night, Open House, Curriculum Night) is upon us.  As a mom of two boys, I’ve been to well over 20 of these evenings, and more than that in my role as a kindergarten teacher.

If you think that managing 20 kindergarten students is courageous, think, for a moment, about how a teacher feels looking out at anywhere from 20-40 anxious parents waiting to be enlightened, informed, and assured, while deciding if they are going to like you.  When I attend my sons’ Back-to-School Nights, I really, really want to like their teachers.  I want to see a hybrid of all the qualities my best teachers had … knowledge, compassion, enthusiasm… you know.

As a teacher, looking out at the parents, I want them to like me.  It’s the truth.  I know they may not agree with everything I say, but I want them to respect my years of experience, and my knowledge of how young children grow and develop.  Most important, I want them to trust me with their children, to know that I have their child’s best interest at heart.

All parents have hopes and dreams for their children.  They have some expectations of what school will be like and what their child’s teacher should do to make their child excited about school, to feel safe physically and emotionally.

Teachers have hopes, dreams and expectations, as well for their students and for the positive relationships they hope to establish with their students’ families.  Back-to-School Night plays an important role in that process; it can set the stage for the rest of the school year.

Here are some things to keep in mind about your child’s Back to School Night:

1.     Go to it! You may think this sounds crazy.  Of course you plan to go!  Or, you could be thinking…nah… don’t think so… got two older kids… been there, done that.  No you haven’t. Not really.  Every year is different.  While my core values and principles of sound educational practice haven’t changed, procedures, curriculum, and school policies do.  Also, many teachers post sign-up sheets for Parent-Teacher conferences and other important events for which you will want to be able to select a time and date that works for you.

2.     Reserve your babysitter early. You really don’t want to bring your children to this adults-only evening.  If you are nursing your newborn, pump, or have dad go.  Teachers put a great deal of planning and thought into this time we get with you, we don’t want to hear Madison toppling a block structure while we are explaining important details that you need to hear about your child’s school year.

3.     Come prepared with questions. This is the best time to ask about transportation, library books, birthday celebrations, parent volunteers, trips, etc.  Do make sure you find out the best method of contacting the teacher.  Do not ask her for her home or cell phone number.  You do not call your doctors or lawyers at home…that goes for teachers, too!

If the teacher hasn’t mentioned basic school policies and procedures during her presentation, and you have a question, ask it.  There’s a good chance it’s something we meant to discuss and ran out of time.  I now write a list of Kindergarten FAQ’s I distribute that night, because there are always distractions during the evening and I want to make sure all my parents get the important information.

4.     Do not go to the classroom early. In most schools, parents convene in an auditorium and hear opening announcements from the school principal and other district personnel at the beginning of the evening.  Teachers are sometimes introduced at this time, or are doing last-minute preparations in our classrooms.  Everyone understands that you really just want to get into the classroom, to see the teacher, see the room, see your kid’s work.  The “short” speeches in the auditorium are often, well…boring.  I know.  I’ve heard enough of them!  Still, don’t show up in your kid’s classroom because you don’t want to sit in the overheated auditorium, and you want a few private minutes to hang out with your child’s teacher.  Not a good idea. Ever.  Besides demonstrating basic disrespect for the teacher’s time, you are also showing us that basic rules and etiquette don’t apply to you.  It’s not the way you want to start the school year.

5.     Remember that this is not the time for a private conference about your child. This is important to remember.  In fact, many principals will make a point to mention it before sending parents off to the classrooms.  A principal will remind you it’s an evening for a general overview, not private conversations with the teacher about your child. However, at some point during your time in your child’s classroom, you will most likely have a chance to mingle and look around the class.  Please do approach the teacher and introduce yourself if you haven’t already met.  If s/he feels it’s appropriate to make a comment or share an anecdote with you about your child, s/he will.

6.     If you or your spouse cannot attend, do not ask the teacher to “tell you what you missed” at another time. It’s almost like asking to have the school band give you a special performance because you couldn’t make it on concert night.  We put a great deal of time and energy into making Back to School Night informative and special.  Teachers are often charged with describing a year’s worth of curriculum in one night, while addressing a host of other issues and questions.  We make PowerPoint presentations, we display children’s work, we clean the room, we have the kids leave notes or drawings for their parents – you.  We also distribute packets of information, which you will receive whether you can attend or not.

7.     Don’t forget…you see us around 7:30pm.  Many of us have been at school since 7:30am.  We have taught a full day.  The children go home and we keep working.  We set up the room to show you, in the best way possible, all the wonderful projects, new ideas, and tremendous growth your child will experience their first year in public school.  We pray that we will sound as knowledgeable and caring as we really are.  We hope you will hear in our voices how much we love your children and how honored we feel that you have entrusted them to us for this important and special time in their lives.  We hope you will hear our commitment to do our best for your children.  Because, in many ways, they are our children, too.

We are advocates for your children and want the best educational experience for them.  So help us with that.  Come to Back-to-School night with open minds and open hearts.  We want to answer your questions, reassure you, set you straight if you need it (gently and politely, of course J).   We will be there for you and your child.  So please be there for us.


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