Can I call a do over?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
UGH! Can I please get a do over? Please... I really want to do today over, but without my room being broken into over break, and glass everywhere and plywood over the windows. Please, I'm really not asking a lot!! I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I work at a very low income school. I love my babies but sometimes I want to move them out of the environment that they are growing up in.

In the last 5 weeks (including 2 weeks of vacation) we have had 3 break ins! All the classrooms had smartboard and projectors installed. They were up all last year and not a single break in. This year, not the same story. Almost all of the projectors have been removed by those breaking in the school. You know... I just don't get it. Back when I started teaching, an education was thought of as a way out and families wanted their kids to have better than what they had. It doesn't feel that way now. Now it feels like no one cares if children are educated or if our schools have what tools we need to educate those children. Sorry to vent... it just really is frustrating. And my babies are MY babies... I want them to grow and learn and be productive citizens one day.

Ok venting over... I LOVE my job! I have some BIG challenges  but today I got to look a chance to do some mid year assessments. I was blow away from their growth!! Yep we are STILL big time not were we are supposed to be but OH HOW WE HAVE GROWN! The majority of my kids knew no numbers. They could count to 5 or so, but they couldn't write them or identify them. Today all but 1 child could identify the numbers 0-10!! (Oh that one child was absent ;) ) They can write the numbers 1-10 and can make sets!! GO babies GO!! I am so proud of them!! Now lets get really excited 'cause my babies can add and subtract!!

Every morning we do Calendar Math that Counts. Way back I started working with 10 frames and wanted a way to create a number daily. Now that 10 frame will have 2 colors or shapes filling the squares. I call it the "How many game". I start by asking the kids how many. I literally say.. Ok who can tell me how many. While waving my hand in front of the ten frame. We write down the number. Some kids can look at the ten frame and just know the number. Some know that the top line being filled up means that there are 5 and they count the rest from 5. And some need to count every dot (or square, heart, snowflake etc). Since there are 2 different shapes or colors we can see how to make a number out of it's parts. We then talk about what would happen if Mrs. Day gave away all the red dots. We then write a math sentence for both the addition and subtraction.I'll try to remember to take some pictures tomorrow.

Thank you for letting me be human and vent about this... I needed it! (and I feel SO much better too)


  1. I can understand your frustration! It is wonderful that you are finding a positive way to influence these kids' lives! =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. That must be so frustrating. Your little darlings are lucky to have a teacher like you. Your love for them shines through.

    Queen with Class

  3. Oh Karen, I am so very sorry to read this. It so heart-wrenching!

    On the positive news---congrats! What wonderful achievements!

  4. WoooHooo way to go you must have been doing some awesome teaching and your babies have been soaking it's just amazing when you see that kind of growth it's why I started teaching and why I went into special education. I am sorry to hear your school was vandalized, I feel the same way about education - I was just telling my High School students that my parents did not graduate but they did everything possible to make sure I did, I haven't even met one of their parents this year, they graduated but they don't care if their kids do or not! It is so sad to see! But luckily your babies have a great teacher that really cares about them! Keep up the good work!


  5. I feel ya girl! Our school is a title 1 school... we have the lowest income families in the county (out of 22 elementary schools) and the highest transient school as well. We had quite a few break ins last year... found out it one of the siblings of a 3rd grader and our principal won't let the family back in our school after they found out they were breaking in and stealing computers and teacher's laptops. It was HORRIBLE and makes me so angry that people would do such a horrible thing. Another school in our district (which happens to be right next to my neighborhood) had a break in with a FAMILY... the mom was telling the kids what rooms to go in and they destroyed EVERYTHING. What she didn't know is all the schools in our county have a silent alarm system and cameras EVERYWHERE.... so needless to say they were caught.

  6. I'm so sorry your classroom was broken into... ugh! I teach in a rural area, and we had a huge problem one year with break-ins! It's so frustrating, but I know you're working wonders with your little darlings! Chin up, buttercup! Tomorrow is a NEW day! :)

  7. Karen, That is really sad! Sorry to hear about the break in!!! I used to teach in low income neighborhood for 10 years. Those kids are the ones you remember forever!

  8. I taught for 19 years in a housing project elementary school, so I can really feel your pain and understand your frustration. But, what great success you have had with your class! You are probably the brightest, most positive part of their daily lives - you must be a wonderful teacher and loving person to have been entrusted with the children in your class (yes, I believe that the children who arrive in my class are sent to me according to a plan!). Hang in there - we plant a lot of seeds and do not see the fruit of what we plant until years pass!

  9. I'm so sorry to hear this. I can relate~ I work in a low income district as well and we've had our share of break-ins. Our school is pretty old as well so are windows are very easy to break. We don't have smart boards but they took anything & everything they could get their hands on; computers, pens, scissors, cd players, and even a TRASH CAN in one teacher's class. Very sad huh?! Bless you for making a difference in their lives~ I heart your blog and love all the wonderful things you share.


  10. SO sorry to hear about the break in!! :( How incredibly frustrating.. But I'm inspired by your passion for your kiddos. Through your words, I can tell what an influence you must make in their young lives!
    From your newest follower - Amanda

  11. Hi Karen! I nominated you for an award!! Stop by my blog to pick it up :)

    Learn, Laugh, Grow

  12. Karen, I discovered your blog today and I have to say you have such a refreshing attitude. Obstacles like migraines and break-ins can be really hard to struggle through while maintaining a positive attitude, and I should know! My school is also in a low-income area and I've had my room broken into so many times and equipment stolen! An in addition to your wonderful outlook on life, I see that you've got some fantastic ideas on your blog. I'm excited about the letter match games am I'm planning to check them out as soon as I can find the time. I'd like to give you the Versatile Bloger Award. You can retrieve details from a recent post on my own blog. Have a nice day!



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