Monday, February 13, 2012

I Love My Job!

I received the sweetest note ever today from a secret student, but I have a hunch who it is. That doesn't matter though, because it was the words that this person wrote that brought tears to my eyes. So I can always remember why I teach and what it means to touch a life for good, here is the letter.

Miss Mills,
    You are so kind. You always are being kind. You aren't just my teacher but I can call you my best friend. You always are there for me and not just me but for us all. I am so glad I got you for my teacher.
from: ? 

That is why I teach. This is why I have the best job in the world. 

Miss Mills

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hawaii and Other Adventures

This week our ship anchored in the port of Hawaii on Tuesday, February 7! It was such a wonderful trip and while there we learned more about Hawaii's culture, and experienced some dance, food, and basic Hawaiian words. It was a lot of work to put it all together, but thanks to Joy, Bethany, Richard Baird, Natalie Jones, and Michelle Coleman it was a huge success. After the party other teachers came up to me and told me how my class told them all about the party and how they are getting ready to go to New Zealand next. Yay!! That was the total purpose of the trip, to show them by having good behavior and doing their best, we get to visit exotic places and have a grand time. Here are some pictures of what we did that afternoon. (Miss Mills was quite pooped after this event, having to vacuum and move all the desks back in time for re-teaching, but thank goodness for planning time) :)

 My amazing roommates Joy and Bethany 

 Thanks to the moves of Joy and Bethany, our ship learned how to do basic Hawaiian moves like the hella and hula. 

That was the most exciting event of the week for the crew, but the day before they had a lot of fun after I showed them how to do a video detailing a weathering or erosion experiment. I can't post up the kids videos, but man, they were creative and very accurate! I was so impressed. Here is my example, and I just want to say, I am totally converted to modeling before letting kids go loose, because I doubt many groups would have had as successful a time as they did if I hadn't shown my example first. Not that I am a master teacher, because I am far from it, but for this time, I helped my students show their true potential.

It was a fantastic week, and there was a lot a laughter and high spirits. Not the best physical week for Miss Mills, because on Tuesday at 5:30 am, she fell and scraped up her knee pretty bad (bad enough that she is now wearing a bandage and wrap 24/7). We actually had two injuries aboard our ship this week, one student is wearing crutches because of flat feet and the pain caused by that, and I am a hobbling old captain. Ha ha. Needless to say, by the end of the day, we just chilled because Miss Mills could stand no longer :)

This next week I'll be on the ball, require some hard work, but also a lot of play, since it's VALENTINE'S DAY soon!! Let's just say there may be a proposal aboard ship, and lots of love. More details to follow.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A New Look

Hello Again!
This week the crew were able to be part of a fashion show...for characters from historical fiction novels. They were so creative and cute. Some of my favorites were Judd Travers from "Shiloh," (the boy who portrayed him even drew a fake beard, and almost got in trouble with another teacher, until I explained the situation, ha ha), Ella, from "Ella Enchanted," Mary from "The Secret Garden," the sweet boy from "Where the Red Fern Grows," (the boy who dressed up for that wore overalls and a orange t-shirt, it was so cute!), a military man, one girl dressed up as a duck, from "Make Way for Ducklings," and I can't remember what book this was from, but one of my students dressed up in a plaid dress with a sweater, and carried a picnic basket with a dog inside. So cute!! And the walks were the best :) Mary, from, "The Secret Garden" had a lot of sass, which is unlike the character, but it definitely left an impression on us audience. She was so spunky, but that is Mary, so I was impressed. It was a wonderful book report fashion show, and awards were even given. My absolute favorite book report yet!

Below are some pictures of my classroom, because, yes, I changed it again. After the Rendezvous all the tables were in different places, and I decided to rearrange to fit what I liked more. Here is what it looks like now:

 I'm actually really proud of this poster-and the kids started to make some great connections with the books they were reading.
 A new place for tables, and some vocabulary sheets for guided reading 

 The kidney table got moved to the back, so there is more space, and I actually like seeing everyone from behind.
 We are in table groups again
Reading Corner!! 

Another thing that happened this week was the old, old, OLD and DEMENTED copier in the upper grade faculty room hit the bucket. It is finished, never going to work again. So, some co-workers decided to give it a proper burial. May it rest in peace. 

So long you evil copier :) You will not be missed 

Though this was super funny, the best part of the week was when I was grading the spelling tests and some girls from my class left me cute notes and pictures. It made me realize again children are so forgiving and worth every sweat and tear. This is why I teach: 
 This sweet girl makes my day everyday with her smile. 

 The note is backwards, but I cherish this note so much. She said, "Miss Mills, you really are the best teacher ever and I really mean that!" It made me teary-eyed. It was exactly what I needed to see that Friday night. 

We just learned how to simplify fractions, and this girl was frustrated with it, but once she got it, she was so excited to share her knowledge. I'm so proud of her!!! (She simplified 6/8 to 3/4)