“Ohhhh, Ms S!”

I am not a cute teacher. Even though I’ve shifted from sixth grade to third, I don’t do cute things. I give my students a $4 book pick from book club for their birthdays, I read books they adore, but that’s about the limit of my cuteness. My room is not decorated in monkeys or tigers. At the beginning of the year, my class list is not a poster made up of die cuts, but a print out by my door. We don’t have classroom spirit colors, and I don’t bribe my students with candy, cookies, or stickers.

I do get to know my students, we build our classroom together, we joke, we have fun. But with my personality, my students are used to homework every Monday through Thursday, a “strict but funny” teacher (so they say) and few surprises—or at least few cute surprises.

My students have been taking the state tests for the first time. The entire testing time (even days they didn’t test), they’ve had no homework. That was enough to confuse them, but they embraced it.

They finished their four tests (taking five days total) yesterday. So as a team, the third grade teachers decided to surprise them with pizza.

We came in from recess and my students said, “Why does it smell like pizza in here?”

Then they spotted the pizzas on the back table and looked at me. I nodded at them. “If you’re wearing mostly black shoes, go wash your hands. I need someone to hand out napkins.”

One of my students turned and looked at me in shock. “Is this our end-of-the-year party?”

“No. You have done so well dealing with the state tests that all of the third grade teachers decided to order pizza as a surprise for you.”

Her whole body started to buzz. She ran to me and socked me with a huge hug. “Ohhhh, Ms S! Pizza! Pizza!” She looked up at me, while squeezing me really hard, “And no homework, cause it’s Friday, right?”

“Right, no homework. White shoes, go wash your hands.”

Another student screeched, “Will you read Knight’s Castle while we eat?”

“Sure.”

One of my boys stole a line from the book. “‘By my halidom!’ Today is awesome!”

One thought on ““Ohhhh, Ms S!”

  1. Comment from: Helena [Visitor] ยท http://wedoitthehardway.blogspot.com/
    Ooh, I don’t think I’ve read that one.

    I’ve been thinking of getting Half Magic to read to Kate, but I’d kind of like to wait a little longer. There are times when I’m not quite confident of her attention span.
    05/28/11 @ 00:24

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    There is a LOT of rather archaic, specialized vocabulary in his books, which might not help with any attention span issues.

    I’ve read HALF MAGIC to five classes and then this one. This is the youngest class I’ve read it to and they’re the first ones who get most of the allusions and literary references.

    I convinced the school librarian to get all seven of his books. :) Next year I’m going to work on getting the E. Nesbit books in. Also, my students have made me PROMISE that I’ll tell next year’s GT teacher about these books, so hopefully she will continue reading them to the students.
    05/28/11 @ 01:14

    Comment from: John from Daejeon [Visitor]
    I hope those with birthdays when school is out of session aren’t left out of getting a book.

    It sucks to have a summer birthday or a last name at the end of alphabetical order year after year.
    05/28/11 @ 08:18

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    Oh, no way, John. We do half birthday in my classroom! Anyone with a summer birthday celebrates their six-month birthday. Also, the birthday book can pretty much be ordered in any catalog from any month of the year, that way students aren’t limited to their birthday month catalog, and the later-in-the-year birthdays aren’t limited to just a few months to choose from. (Realistically, most students order from catalogs near their birthday, which is OK with me, but I want the OPTION to be out there.)

    On their birthdays (half or not), the students make the birthday kid little notes on letter paper and those go into a stapled book. We also sing Happy Birthday to them in their choice of English, Spanish, Arabic, or Korean. Some parents bring in cookies or cupcakes, too. If their birthday happens to fall on a weekend or school holiday, the student chooses if they want to celebrate before or after the break.

    The school announces birthdays on the morning news and doesn’t do half birthdays, so all the summer birthdays are squashed together. My parents were a little confused when their kids told them I do half birthdays, but I’ve gotten a lot of really good feedback on it.

    As for the last name alphabetical order, we almost never go anything by alphabetical order, but when we do, it’s by first name, and I mix that up, too, and call my T-kids before my A-kids roughly half of the time.
    05/28/11 @ 08:54

    Comment from: John from Daejeon [Visitor]
    Sounds like you work for a pretty progressive school.

    I once tried reverse alphabetical order and it didn’t take a week before the vice principal told me I could no longer do that.
    05/30/11 @ 09:50

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    I don’t think the principal has any idea that I go by first name in my classroom. It’s only in the filing cabinet. I’m not sure why she would care, as long as I can find something in my filing cabinet.

    Some behind the scene paperwork is alphabetical by last name, but not much, and the kids don’t know about it.

    Heck, I even keep my grade book by first name.
    05/30/11 @ 10:29

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