Swollen Feet

Hey All! Just got home at 8:30 p.m. CST. My feet have been hurting each night, but I have never really looked at them. Today, I looked down and they are swollen. They have never done this-aaaahhhh! I am still not ready for school, but that is ok. We start officially tomorrow. WOW! The students and parents know what I have had to do and completely understand. I will be very busy this weekend. I still haven’t been to visit Hump Day Humor players and it will be Scrumptious Sunday before I know it. Maybe I will just not play this week-I dunno. I believe I am going to drop out of blogging every day. Too much pressure-LOL! Thanks to you all for continuing to visit! I haven’t forgotten about you-I have just been busy. I am going to go prop my feet up and hope the swelling goes down. Someone suggested taking water pills-but I don’t have time to go to the restroom at school. We only have a restroom break scheduled on Fridays-that is a joke-you would have to understand what we have had to go through to create our schedule-it completely sucks! Anywho-going to prop feet now! Hope all is A-ok in your world! Toodles, Mere

New Website

Hello All! I have been converting my Kindergarten classroom website to my NEW 5th Grade classroom website. I am so excited! I have also added a blog page on the website. I hope to blog about our class over there and post pics for everyone to view. This way the parents can have pics of their child and I don’t have to make/create scrapbooks anymore…so much work! Head on over there and check it out and let me know what you think. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

Miss Meredith’s 5th Grade

Posted by Mercedes at Mercedes’ World and only for Mercedes’ World

Read and Create

A great story doesn’t have to end with the last page. Your child can take the fun one step further by making a craft based on a book. He/She will deepen his/her understanding of the story while boosting creative thinking. Here are three projects to try.

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Great News

Hello All! I am so excited~woohoo~party time…I just got the call today from our new principal…I am officially teaching 5th grade this school year. Whew! I have so much to do these next two weeks. I have to learn to be smarter than a 5th grader and I have to figure out what to do with all of my stuff from Kindergarten-aaahhhh! I have In-service tomorrow (that means I am in class all day-so hard to stay awake-I am used to 20 minute intervals from Kindergarten-lol) and I start back on the 28th of July. I will meet my new 5th graders on July 30th. I know I need to be posting about my vacation…but I have to downsize all of my photos-anyone know an easy way to do this all at once with all of them???

Posted by Mercedes at Mercedes’ World and only for Mercedes’ World

Topsy-Turvy Words

Encourage your child to play with language. He/She will build his/her vocabulary by learning about these types of wordplays:

Anagrams: are words made by rearranging the letters of other words. For example, lemon can become melon. See if your child can make new words from cat (act), seal (sale), or pool (loop). Encourage him/her to make anagrams out of words in everyday places (his/her spelling lists, books, signs).

Palindromes: are words that are spelled the same forward and backward. Examples: mom, eye, kayak, racecar. Suggest that your child look for palindromes by thinking of short words that begin and end with the same letter. Idea: Show him/her that phrases can also be palindromes, such as never odd or even.

Ready to Read

So your child has learned his/her letters and sounds, but he/she is having trouble putting them together to sound out words in books. How can you help?

What You Can Do

  • Letters and sounds might seem easy on their own, But an entire page of unfamiliar words can be tough.
  • Start with a three-letter word, such as pet.
  • Write each letter on a separate scrap of paper.
  • Lay the letters in order, a few inches apart.
  • Ask him/her to tell you the sound each letter makes. Note: Be sure he/she is saying the sounds correctly-they should be short and sharp, rather than long and drawn out.
  • Gradually move the letters closer together and ash him/her to say the sounds faster and faster until they run together.
  • By the time the letters touch, they should sound just like pet.

Newspaper Learning

With thousands of words in every issue, newspapers are a great way to build your child’s reading skills. Grab a newspaper, and try these activities.

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TV Alternatives

Is there too much TV time in your house?

Here are 10 active things your family can do instead:

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Month-By-Month Writing

Keep your child’s handwriting, spelling, and communication skills sharp while school’s out. He/She can practice with these month-by-month ideas.

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School’s Out For Summer!

School’s Out For Summer~Alice Cooper

You Might Be a School Employee If…

Hump Day Humor is hosted by Mercedes at Mercedes Rocks!

Hump Day Humor Thirteenth Edition

Theme: School Employees

You Might Be a School Employee If…

  • YOU might be a school employee if you believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin salt lick.
  • YOU might be a school employee if you want to slap the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 8 to 3:30 and have summers off.

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Seven Wonders

Sunday Seven is hosted by Joan at Sunday Seven

Please join us there and post your Sunday Seven.

I am lonely-lol~we are working on reviving Sunday Seven!

What are you thankful for this weekend?
What has gone well for you?
What have you struggled with?
What events have you enjoyed?
Who are the people whose lives have intersected positively with yours?
What particular concerns are on your mind?

Seven Wonders

I wonder if I can get all of this done in TWO weeks!
I am such The Procrastinator!
  1. Get photos developed and make 12 (thank goodness only twelve-I have fourteen students but two are new) photo albums.
  2. Finish DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment): One on one reading assessment while the others are “occupied”~yeah that will be easy-lol. And so much paper work involved-aahhhhhh!
  3. Update and finish Attendance
  4. Update and finish Grades
  5. Update and finish Plan Book
  6. Create and paint the backdrop to our Kindergarten Program: Singing in the Rain
  7. Program Practice: start and finish

For your listening and viewing pleasure: Blog Karaoke-lol!

Seven Wonders

Fleetwood Mac

So long ago
Certain time
Certain place
You touched my hand
All the way
All the way down to emmiline
But if our paths never cross
Well you know I’m sorry but
If I live to see the seven wonders
Ill make a path to the rainbows end
Ill never live to match the beauty again
The rainbows end

So its hard to find
Someone with that kind of intensity
You touched my hand I played it cool
And you reached out your hand for me
But if our paths never cross
Well you know I’m sorry but
If I live to see the seven wonders
Ill make a path to the rainbows end
Ill never live to match the beauty again
The rainbows end

So long ago
Its a certain time
Its a certain place
You touched my hand and you smiled
All the way back you held out your hand
If I hope and I pray
Ooh it might work out someday
If I live to see the seven wonders
Ill make a path to the rainbows end
Ill never live to match the beauty again
The rainbows end

If I live to see the seven wonders
Ill make a path to the rainbows end
Ill never live to match the beauty again

If I live to see the seven wonders
Ill make a path to the rainbows end
Ill never live to match the beauty again

S is for Survivor

Hump Day Humor Ninth Edition

Theme: Teachers

Hump Day Humor is hosted by ME at Mercedes Rocks. Please go here to participate and view more participants posts!

The Next “Survivor”?

Have you heard about the next planned “Survivor” show?

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Are You a TRUE Elementary School Teacher?

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  1. Do you ask your guests if they have remembered their scarves and mittens as they leave your home? Not really

  2. Do you move your dinner partner’s glass away from the edge of a table? Of course

  3. Do you ask if anyone needs to go to the bathroom as you enter a theater with a group of friends? Sometimes

  4. Do you hand a tissue to anyone who sneezes? If I am near a tissue box I have been known to do this

  5. Do you refer to “Happy Hour” as “Snack Time”? No-I refer to “Happy Hour” as “Happy Hour” and enjoy it-lol!

  6. Do you declare “no cuts” when a shopper squeezes ahead of you in a checkout line? I am thinking that!

  7. Do you say “I like the way you did that” to the mechanic who repairs your car nice? Of course

  8. Do you ask “Are you sure you did your best?” to the mechanic who fails to repair your car to your satisfaction? My mechanic never fails

  9. Do you sing the “Alphabet Song” to yourself as you look up a number in the phone book? Most definitely!

  10. Do you say everything twice? I mean, do you repeat everything? Uh~yes I do-a lot…Uh~yes I do-a lot

  11. Do you fold your spouse’s fingers over the coins as you hand him/her the money at a tollbooth? Haven’t been in this situation

  12. Do you ask a quiet person at a party if he/she has something to share with the group? Yes~but not in those exact words. I might say: So, how does that make you feel? ROFL!

  13. Do you make little turkey names for everyone at your family’s Holiday Dinner? I do for all of the little turkeys-children

  14. Do you find yourself explaining to a cashier why you bought 24 boxes of crayons when they were on sale? ALWAYS for any of my school purchases

  15. Do neighbors drop off empty coffee cans, margarine cups, Leggs eggs, milk bottle cartons, scraps of material, and old newspapers at your house? Neighbors don’t, but my family sure does!

  16. Do your slippers have fuzzy little animal faces on them? Yes~dalmatians!

  17. Does your refrigerator door look like a military command center because it is covered with notes, calendars, coupons, phone numbers, and a thousand other things? Most definitely!

  18. When you are in a theater, do you often turn around and “schuss” the people behind you? I don’t say anything, but I do give them “the look”

  19. Do you often browse through toy stores and children’s clothing stores even though you don’t have any children? All of the time. I am always purchasing toys for my classroom too!

  20. Is one of the drawers in your kitchen full of pencils, pens, crayons, markers, erasers, glue, etc.? Yes~a large one too

  21. Have you stopped at the curb to pick up discarded old shelves, bookcases, file cabinets, or magazine racks? I never have stopped to pick anything up, but I have often thought about it

  22. When everyone else at the beach is catching up on the latest novels by Grisham, are you cutting little oak tag people for your September bulletin board? Of course

  23. Do you know exactly how many Oreo cookies are in a package and how many jelly beans are in a jar? I’m getting pretty good at this. At Christmas with Jedd’s family, we have 3 or 4 containers with various food items in them. Whoever guesses the closest wint the container of goodies and has to bring back that container with new goodies the next Christmas. I won two containers last Christmas-woohoo!

  24. When you get your first paycheck in September, does it remind you that it’s also a job, not just what you like to do? Hhhhmmm~this is true, but I am just glad it’s payday~since I only get paid once a month

  25. Do you have at least a dozen colorful sweaters and sweatshirts for each of the holidays…including Flag Day? Most definitely~sweatshirts and T-shirts! I wore 3 different Dr. Seuss T-shirts this week!

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The Middle Wife

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The “Middle Wife”

Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

(email forward)


I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it,they’re welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.She holds up a snapshot of an infant. “This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.”“First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.”She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh!’ Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. “She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) “My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this. ” (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)“And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!” (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there.”

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another “Middle Wife” comes along.

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The Answer

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Email forward sent to me (this is so funny): 

California staff voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine This is the actual answering machine message for the school. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework. The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children’s failing grades changed to passing grades – even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough schoolwork to pass their classes. The outgoing message:

“Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff  member, please listen to all the options before making a selection: 

  1. To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1 

  2. To make excuses for why your child did not do his work-Press 2

  3. To complain about what we do – Press 3

  4. To swear at staff members – Press 4

  5. To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed  in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you – Press 5 

  6. If you want us to raise your child – Press 6

  7. If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone -Press 7

  8. To request another teacher, for the third time this year -Press 8

  9. To complain about bus transportation – Press 9

  10. To complain about school lunches – Press 0

  11. If you realize this is the real world and your child must be
    accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework and that it’s not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!

  12. If you want this in Spanish, you must be in the wrong country.”

What do you think about that?

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Teacher Applicant

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Email forward sent to me and oh so true 

After being interviewed by the school administration, the teaching prospect said:

Let me see if I’ve got this right: You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the state exams. You want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the basics, and to my current administration. I am to incorporate technology into the learning, and monitor all Web sites while providing a personal relationship with each student. I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being abused, and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions.

I’m required by my contract to be working on my own time summer and evenings at my own expense toward advance certification and a master’s degree; and after school, I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my employment status. 

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. You want me to do all this and then you tell me…

 I CAN’T PRAY?”

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Teachers Get Paid Too Much

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“I’m fed up with teachers and their hefty salary schedules. What we need here is a little perspective.

If I had my way, I’d pay these teachers myself-I’d pay them baby-sitting wages. That’s right-I’d rather give them $3 an hour out of my own pocket than pay my outrageous taxes.  I’m only going to pay them for five hours, not lunch or coffee breaks. That would be $15.00 a day. Each parent should pay $15 a day for these teachers to babysit their child. Even if they have more than one child, it’s still a lot cheaper than private daycare.

Now, how many children do they teach every day-maybe 20?  That’s $15×20=$300 a day.  But remember they only work 180 days a year! I’m not going to pay them for vacations! $300×180=$54,000. (Just a minute, I think my calculator needs new batteries.)

I know you teachers will say-What about those who have  10 years experience and a Master’s Degree? Well, maybe (to be fair) they could get the minimum wage, and instead of just babysitting, they could read the kids a story. We could round that off to about $5 an hour, times five hours, times 20 children. That’s $500 a day times 180 days. That’s $90,000….HUH?

Wait a minute, let’s get a little perspective here. Babysitting wages are too good for these teachers. Has anyone seen a salary schedule around here?”

        ~Anonymous~

WOW!  I like the way this person thinks!  May I get Babysitting Wages please?  I have 15 students in my class and Babysitting Wages would pay me $40,500 a year?  Is this first year salary?  I won’t see this much for many years, unless of course I do finish up my Master’s Degree anytime soon.  And the difference I do receive for my Master’s won’t pay off that tuition for many many more years to come.  I vote YES to teachers receiving Babysitting Wages!  Please vote now!

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Kindergarten Knowledge is the Best

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All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten

(about how to live, what to do, and how to be)

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life–learn some, think some, draw, paint, sing, dance, play, and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder.
  • Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish, hamsters, white mice, and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup: they all die.
  • So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned; the biggest word of all– LOOK.
  • Everything you need to know is there somewhere: The Golden Rule, love, basic sanitation, ecology, politics,and the sane living.
  • Think of what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap.
  • Or we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and clean up our own messes.
  • And it is still true; no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Robert Fulghum

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Last Lecture

I was watching the news a few weeks ago on a Saturday morning and they had a clip (similar short news clip above-3 min 47 sec long) about a special on a college professor Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, giving his “Last Lecture”.

This is a common title for talks on college campuses today.  Schools have created “Last Lecture Series,” in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question to be pondered is this: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch’s speech was more than just an academic discussion. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a joyous and captivating journey through the lessons of his life.

“He began by showing his CT scans, revealing 10 tumors on his liver. But after that, he talked about living. If anyone expected him to be sad, he said, “I’m sorry to disappoint you.” He then dropped to the floor and did one-handed pushups.

Clicking through photos of himself as a boy, he talked about his childhood dreams: to win giant stuffed animals at carnivals, to walk in zero gravity, to design Disney rides, to write a World Book entry. By adulthood, he had achieved each goal. As proof, he had students carry out all the huge stuffed animals he’d won in his life, which he gave to audience members. After all, he doesn’t need them anymore.

He discussed his techie background. “I’ve experienced a deathbed conversion,” he said, smiling. “I just bought a Macintosh.” Randy displayed  his rejection letters and talked about setbacks in his career, repeating: “Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things.” He encouraged us to be patient with others. “Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you.” He shows pictures of his bedroom he had as a child.  He had drawn mathematical notations all over his walls. Then Randy says: “If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let ’em do it.”

While displaying photos of his bosses and students over the years, he said that helping others fulfill their dreams is even more fun than achieving your own. He talked of requiring his students to create videogames without sex and violence. “You’d be surprised how many 19-year-old boys run out of ideas when you take those possibilities away,” he said, but they all rose to the challenge.

He also saluted his parents, who let him make his childhood bedroom his domain, even if his wall etchings hurt the home’s resale value. He knew his mom was proud of him when he got his Ph.D, he said, despite how she’d introduce him: “This is my son. He’s a doctor, but not the kind who helps people.”

Dr. Pausch’s lecture, in the same way, became a call to his colleagues and students to go on without him and do great things. But he was also addressing those closer to his heart.

Near the end of his talk, he had a cake brought out for his wife, whose birthday was the day before. As she cried and they embraced on stage, the audience sang “Happy Birthday,” many wiping away their own tears.”

Dr. Pausch’s speech was taped so his children, ages 5, 2 and 1, can watch it when they’re older. His last words in his last lecture were simple: “This was for my kids.”

What an extraordinary individual! To be that positive in the face of death is something to admire.  He has such a loving family to carry on such a positive legacy.  His message is very powerful and heartwarming with so many lessons to give.  He is such an inspiration. The full lecture is long, but it is so worth  your time guys.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/front_im/pausch_9-18-07.wmv

 

Moon Climber

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Oh-I feel so bad. Yesterday, at recess, one of my students fell off of the Moon Climber-monkey bars. I rush over to help Injured Student. I ask him if he can crawl out to me because it will be much easier for me to help him if he can come to me than for me to try to crawl in the Moon Climber, get him, and get both of us out of there-together…that would not be a pretty picture. Luckily he was able to come to me AND luckily he was the smallest student in the class, so I was able to carry him over to the table to check him out.

I held Injured Student and comforted him until he calmed down a bit and we could talk about the accident. His body was trembling and I was a little worried. He said he had fallen on his right arm and showed me where it hurt. His mother is an employee at the school, but she had already left for the day. His older brother happened to be on the playground at the same time we were. I asked Older Brother to take Injured Student inside to Mrs. Secretary to see what she thought. She gave Injured Student some ice and let him stay in the office with her.

The rest of the class and I came in shortly after to eat snack and get on mats for rest time. I assumed Mrs. Secretary would be calling Injured Student’s mother. A few minutes later, Mrs. Secretary brings Injured Student back to the class and said, “He is fine. I can’t have him whining in the office. He has been moving around fine.”

Injured Student said he had to go to the restroom and that he didn’t want snack. he usually plays around for about ten minutes before he goes to sleep. He got on his mat and was asleep in one minute. While he was asleep, I wrote his mother a note telling her about the incident. When it was time to get up, I went to wake him up. He woke up crying. Right then I knew he was really in pain. I had a suspicious feeling that his arm was broke. I immediately added to the note that he woke up crying and that she might need to get his arm checked out. I also gave her my number and asked her to call me if she needed to.

Ok-So this morning, I walk into school and go to the gym to pick up my class and what is the very first thing I see? Injured Student with a cast on his arm. Tears came to my eyes. Mom was there too, so I talked to her about it. I apologized about the whole situation. She said she was very upset at first-Injured Student is her baby and she should have been there to hold him and comfort him. I continued to apologize to her every time I saw her throughout the day. She later told me that she was more upset with Mrs. Secretary. I did what I should have done and I had assumed that Mrs. Secretary was calling Mom. But Mrs. Secretary didn’t call mom.

I believe that everything is ok now, but I still feel horrible about the whole situation. I feel that I should have just called Mom myself. But sometimes you just aren’t sure if childrens’ cries are real or for attention. Sometimes you don’t want to step on Mrs. Secretary’s toes (You never want to tick off Mrs. Secretary or the custodians-they can easily make your life miserable). Sometimes a teacher’s judgement call can be the wrong one.

What an exciting two days-My first broken bone at school-on the playground…and I only had to wait seven years…thank goodness.

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