kate5kiwis: May 2010


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Sunday, May 30, 2010

well that didn't take long: the re-morph into Scary Skoolmarm Barbie is just about complete

i have been procrastinating writing reports, which are actually due in to my pre-check buddy in four days. cos uh, remember? i just met your kid five weeks ago and i only teach him/her for an hour four times a week... i think i could recognise him/her in a lineup...

so i have come up with are various versions of

Katie is a conscientious student who works diligently during mathematics. She is quick to ask for help to make sure that she understands new concepts.
Katie consistently completes weekly homework sheets and has shown a marked improvement with basic facts recall this year.

which pretty much says nuffin'. at least i used capitals. scarily, i am giving the kids another test on tues so i have something to fill in the gaps with. even scarilier, this blarg is turning into a blargy confessional. i hope no one at skool finds it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

i learned how to light a bunsen burner today. which is good cos i'm teaching it on froiday.

pfft, yeah, still just "one step ahead of you..." and wondering when i'm gonna be found out. but boo yah. rocking it. well, the forty hours preparation for the ten hours teaching are actually paying off - my soft materials techno kids (aka sewing class) did beautifully today with my re-written (and colour-photocopied - hush) re-instructions and the sticky pink post-it notes that i laboriously stuck to each of their stuffs. the maths kids are on target for finishing algebra 2 weeks late, and science lesson was halved today cos we had a visiting group doing a rev up. i have decided to go as kinaesthetic as poss with the science kids - multiple intelligences make life crazy learning easy, ya know. and my other techno kids are actually commenting at our class blog - love that so much!

uh, confession is: i'm still spaced out about connecting with thirty kids in one room every hour - juggling subject knowledge with management and did i mention admin?
woah, i completely forgot about the admin, baby.
cos skool reports are coming up in a week and hello? i just met your children. but i've managed to see all their books (twice) and gonna copy'n'paste comments i think. katie works well in class. pffft.
*brain freeze*

but tonight's Bulldog's and my annual date night at the cinema. yeah, it's been about a year since we hit the screen. nice one, stuey X

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

i had a great day today. 'twas a bit blonde, but great.

oh frabjous day! the mathsy kiddos are getting used to my primary skool "if you'd like me to explain that again, bring your books and sit on the mat with me" ways. and i had a good peek-ski in their maths books last night and woohoo, they ALL understand the twicky squicky gradient graph stuffs. AND most homeworks are complete and going so WELL! go us. today's little post-it note moment: i popped in to a class today to drop off some bits, and i overheard one wee poppet telling her friend: "that's mrs g. she's my favourite maths teacher." (uh, she's your only maths teacher, kiddo!) but yeah, not bad for an unmathematician. (yes, Sir and i go over the next day's lesson the night before and he gives me a few extra clues. which must be working, hmm?) seriously, though, i am so relieved that i am not faffing these kids' mathsy-ness up. cos there are some bwainy kids in this class and the jedi mind whammy sometimes blondes me out.

and uh, don't tell anyone: this afternoon i had a massive brain f*rt and got seven peeps to sew and overlock the wrong seams in their boxer shorts. egads! the side seams are now the unside seams and the front seams are in danger of becoming the back seams. oops. don't try this at home, kids. i'm gonna attempt to perform a rescue on the secret. invisibility cape and all that.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

whoever the bureaucrat was that decided to stick thirty kiddos in one classroom needs a smack upside the head.

i have decided that teaching is like having a newborn baby - one day is awesome and the next is a write-off. cos yesterday was amazing. it happened that i only had seventeen kiddos in the maths class and by the end of the lesson most understood y = mx + c and how to tell where the y-intercept is and working out the gradient.

but this morning half of them needed it re-explained. so much for my teaching skillz. so it was a bit uproarious cos i kept switching kids around so i could ability group them and they got all unsettled. added to that the thirteen of yesterday's absent kiddos who needed yesterday's lesson taught today and one said he hates this maths class because i am the Homework Police and last term's teacher let them play maths games on fridays. the thing is, i am so concerned that everyone 'gets it' before we move to the next thing. even then, it turns out that my time frame is just too slow and we needa mooooove on from algebra to geometry within the fortnight at the latest. are you kidding? how the heck will they ace the post-test?

not coping with that at all.

the next class was a total disaster cos we had an epic computer failure - the access to the super-cool interactive blog i'd set up for us was denied and POOF! there went our super-cool interactive ICT lesson. so i had to suddenly wing it with chalk and talk. total *head bash* moment. ended up switcherooing to poster-making in groups. jeez louise. and another teacher walked in on the ensuing chaos and i felt like a complete nah-nah. hello? the door is l-o-c-k-e-d lol.

need a leetle coffee. or maybe a hip flask.

but there was a little sparkle in my day today. one of my science lads who is rather boisterous and finds it difficult to walk past peeps without giving them 'the nudge' had a brilliant science lesson. and i told him so. big pffft moment was when he brought his DIY word find to me to test me on his rather creative clues - 'these are all brainy people, miss' - who split the atom? who yelled eureka and jumped out of the bath? who's the best science teacher at our skool? yeah, total cape moment X

Sunday, May 16, 2010

sunday night's knackered chef

Sir made us this amaaaazing dins tonight - it's homemade happy chicken ninja noodle box for a third of the price of a bought one!! and it only took ten minutes from go to woah! ah so.
i'm gonna jot down the recipe so we can make it again:
6 packets 2 minute nootles - pour boiling water over and let them snuggle for five mins.
into wok, throw 6 happy chicken thighs, sliced. add tsp root ginger, 1/2 tsp chilli, sachet maggi chicken chow mein mix. stir fry for a few mins until cooked.
throw in a packet of fresh stir fry vege - the one with the purple cabbage and mung bean sprouts - and a sprinkle of water. toss for two minutes.
add nootles to chooky-and-veggies, swish swish.

serve in six big white bowls, sprinkle over chopped fresh coriander and roasted unsalted cashews. ah so. biggest ninja nootle surprise - there were absolutely no leftovers to be scavenged...

Friday, May 14, 2010

unscientists ftw

I feel like Dr Emma Russell in The Saint. There are little yellow post-it notes dotted all over my bathroom mirror, and in my diary, and littering my teaching notes. I've never had so many paper clips in my possession, and I'm constantly talking to myself under my breath. We seem to be in a Groundhog Day sound-groove of Michael Jackson on the way to skool, and Lady Gaga on the drive home. That in itself should cause some concern.

Today I taught all four classes on the trot - with no breaks and scarcely a moment to catch my breath. (I need to remember to project my voice properly, cos I nearly couldn't inhale after four hours.) I dispersed pressies for maths homework done and we marked the week's work and watched a wee mathsy cartoon about "rise over run" which is how gradients are measured (yes, this is still Katie talking) all hushedly gathered around the tiny computer screen cos the projector just would not work. Then the next thirty kiddos finished their huge word processing booklet and some little bright sparks started researching invitations for our end-of-term *R* Party!!! Period three was cuppa tea taste test time - what's the probability of guessing whether milk went into the cup first or tea went in first? It was hilarious. One of the kiddos can calculate percentages faster than the calculator! We even did probability graphs, people. And over half the class understood it. That's a pretty good outcome for our first go at it, I think. And finally I had thirty tweens tangling up the sewing machines. And an unthreadable overlocker. Which I was just about to get the hammer onto 'cept I got sprung by another teacher creeping up behind me just as I was raising said hammer. She did see the smoke exiting my ears though.

This life is almost comparable to homeskooling, except that there are six times the number of kids, we don't get mid-morning texts to meet at the beach, and I feel like I am going on stage every hour. It's not like I can say, What a fabulous wondering, let's...
a) ask Daddy when he gets home
b) skype GD
c) google it
d) all of the above

'cos we only have an hour together and then I'm not gonna see ya for
a) 24 hours
b) 2 days
c) half a week
d) all of the above

So I kinda feel like I have to have answers. And I spent about four hours trying to work out the science lesson before I even went on stage. Anyway, I had an epiphany earlier: it could actually a good thing that I'm such an unscientist. Cos the naturally-sciencey kids are gonna get it despite what I do, and hopefully the unsciencey ones are gonna get it after all my explanations. Or something like that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i got a cape. yes i did. and i got a job.

eleventy billion kiwi teachers wanna live here in the beautiful sunny bay. so there ain't many jobs going for wanna-be re-teachers. my tweenagers job was always gonna be slightly temporary. well, freak me out, last week it was suddenly advertised! so i applied, along with who-knows-how-many-wombles. and guess what? i had a scary berry interview today, which i *blonded* my way through and GUESS WHAT again? the phone just rang and i've been offered the job!!! wooo hooo!!!

"I. AM. JOB." (guess the movie line)

i'd like to thank the universe.
i feel like a superwoman!
and i love the feeling of my cape.

it's so swishy,
and it has all kinds of super-powers.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

little swapsy

the subtitle for this blog used to be "finding the sparkle in every day", but it's been rather a while since i made sparkles.
these little blues are for debra, who makes wonderful stuff, which she has generously swapped to replace a wee clown bowl crash. so i've strung together lots of little twos (cos debra has two daughters) with handfuls of blue crystal and mother-of-pearl beads and glass hearts and extra-sparkly bicones.
there's a bracelet, and a necklace, and even some upside down earrings (i hope they float right way up as they travel up the globe). and lookit, my fave butterfly clasps - cos there's always butterflies in blue skies.

PS if you're super-quick, send debra a mug shot (of your fave mug, not your mug-shot, like i did) and you'll be in the draw to win a mug. a real hand-crafted mug.

PPS my michael
is *so* happy!!!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

ka pai yous

while the university graduate and i were studying last year, we spent three hours mid-week learning Māori together. it was an amazing experience. i thought that it'd be all about the language learning: that we'd be sent home each week with lists of verbs to memorise, cos that's been my historical-language-learning experience. but instead, we learned about culture, and respect, and learning, and assessment where we are set up to succeed. it was so non-threatening, and we loved every second. it truly was a mid-week oasis. the sushi and gourmet chocolate lunches were rather ka pai too. today we graduated. it's gonna be the last time i gown up for a while: it's a toss-up whether he'll get a doctorate, or i'll get my masters. i think he'll win, but we'll see.
in the meantime, ka pai us.
really, really loved our study year.
arohanui X