Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Glue: Love it or Hate It

I am the teacher in the Kindergarten hallway that loathes glue sticks! I use them at the beginning of the year and then around the second week of October, I've had it with them! Every year in the middle of a project, the 8th kiddo in a row will come to me with an issue with their glue stick.

  • Can't get the cap off because they don't have the fine motor capability
  • Can't get the cap off because they turned up the glue so high that it fastened to the glue. This is an amazing accomplishment, seeing as most of the time the glue doesn't even keep paper glued together
  • It's dried out
  • It no longer goes up or down for unknown reasons
  • The glue is mushed because they have turned it up so high and smashed it on their paper or their hands, head, shirt, or shoe
I hate glue sticks. They don't even work that well. Now I know you are all thinking, well, you've gotta teach them how to use them correctly. Y'all, I've been teaching littles for 17 years. I go through every rule and procedure for everything!! 

I digress. So, mid October I break out the glue bottles. I'll tell ya what....I hate them too, just not as much! I probably don't despise them as much because virtually EVERYONE down the K hall hates them and gives me their Elmers, so I have an abundance. This allows me to toss bottles whenever I feel like it.

I don't always toss them. I usually pluck off the orange part and stick a paperclip up there and clean out the dried glue gunk. I find glue bottles to be a necessary evil for a few reasons, but I will get to that in a bit.

Enter the glue sponge. Have I used Do they look awesome...yes. Will I use them...Well, I debated all this summer.

And, here's what...

I believe that glue sticks and glue bottles are a necessary evil in a primary classroom. A lot is developed and learned by using them. Developing fine motor is probably the best reason I can give. Students strengthen their hands by pulling off the cap, by turning the dial, by twisting the orange cap, and by squeezing the bottle. In a time that adults are more apt to turn on the tv or set an IPAD in a little ones hand, we need to get those fingers and hands developing and moving as much as possible. I don't know about you, but my kiddos struggle with glue, pencils, and scissors because they have had limited exposure to those things. I am also an advocate for playdough....I'll discuss this later.

Love it or hate it, glue sticks and glue bottles should be a part of the primary classroom.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Excruciatingly Hard

April 2014 was my my last blog post. I've missed it A LOT. I've missed creating things A LOT. Life happened in the most unexpected ways, and I simply lost my mojo. I'm here because I know that something is definitely missing. I use to find creating things and giving them away to be one of the best things in my life, so maybe this will be the something that is missing.

I was going to gloss over where I've been and the unexpected turns that life has brought me. I planned on sticking with what this blog was originally written help teachers. I'm not going to gloss over it. Why am I going to share it all? I always invited everyone into my life, I shared the birth of my son, I shared part of the story that turned me to TeachersPayTeachers....and I intend to share my life.

Everything is not rainbows and unicorns. I am a 40 year old single Mom and Teacher that has been struggling since May 2012. I'm doing it alone. Wait a second, not completely alone...I have searched and found a good support system. They help me emotionally. They help when I just need a break. And, people....there are so many days that I just need a break.

I am a full time teacher and I have struggled to make ends meet on my salary. Child support has been shotty to say the least. Last year, I got a second job at our park district as a Coordinator. I worked 3:15-6PM, Monday-Friday. I also worked as a tutor on Saturdays. Need I say there is something wrong with our system that a single Mom cannot afford to stay afloat on one full time teacher's salary?

Last year was unbelievably difficult. It wasn't just hard on me, but it was hard on the love of my life, Cooper. He's going to be five in December. I can't even believe it! He is the.worst.boss. I've ever had. He really is a tyrannical dictator. That is my fault. I feel guilty for not always being home. I feel guilty that he has a very different life than I had envisioned. I feel guilty that I can't give him everything I'd like to. I feel guilty we've moved several times. Oy-vay, there is a whole lotta guilt!!! He is sooooo unbelievably funny. He's a smart boy. He can be so sweet.

I also struggled with my health, but not nearly as much as when I was first diagnosed with Mono. I have struggled since then with random fevers and chills and fatigue. Believe me, they have tested me for everything and I've tried a ton of supplements and vitamins. Every so often (especially if I'm stressed), I will wake up with pain in my body. I then get the chills and a fever. Then I'm exhausted and in pain the rest of the day. The next day, I'm usually fine. It's bizarre, and there isn't anything I can do for it.

There has also been unbelievable good things in my life. I have found great friends that have helped me in ways that I will never be able to repay. I have moved to the town that I work in. I have found a community that I am proud to call home, and I know that my son and I are so lucky to live, work, and play here.

I still absolutely love teaching Kindergarten. My kiddos and families make me strive to be better. Many of my colleagues are not just that...many of them are friends and a few are our adopted family. I am truly lucky in so many ways.

My blog is most certainly going to change. Hopefully, evolve into something better. I still want the same thing, I want to help teachers. Maybe sharing everything...not just all the cool or engaging things that are going on in my classroom, will help teachers that are struggling, help the single Moms that are guilt ridden...or maybe it will just be me giving my two cents about the world I live in.

It doesn't matter because I'm back.