If we had been keeping score today (and we’re weren’t), the score would have been:
It was a rough day.
However, the kids had no clue. Of course not. They got all of their recesses (no inclement weather here!) and they had their second round of centers, and we did short e Fluency and Fitness, and we read Junie B. and we played hot potato with our new class pet, Oakley, to review the Five Senses that we should have reviewed, oh, I don’t know . . . a week or two ago? And we did some hard math and realized we are all Math Wizards.
I’m just self reflecting on my own day and I’m telling you right now . . . it was rough.
Tomorrow we are going to work on one little thing. Amongst all of the other learning requirements.
Some background: We have no trouble going to our cubbies now. I mean, it’s been a whole month of school. We are good to go with that!
But we are having trouble in another area. And today, well . . . today was bad.
And I am here to tell you all about it. Not to make you think I don’t have classroom management skills (Because I do. I really do! One time, a parent volunteer told me I should present at a workshop on classroom management so you know I believed her, and now I tell everyone I do have classroom management skills).
I tell you this so that you can tell me that the same things are happening to you, and then I can feel better about myself.
Here’s what happened:
When I said, “Clean your floor and stand by your chair” I was actually not speaking in a secret language even though some of my students seemed to think I was. And these same students thought that they understood my secret language and could decode it.
Even though there was no secret language.
But I cannot think of any other thing to explain the phenomenon that happened today when I said, “Clean your floor and stand by your chair.”
I mean, I do get that it’s two-step directions, but we are all capable of following those two steps. Really. We are. Plus, their kinder teachers told me they could.
1. Clean your floor.
In English, it means pick up the scraps and the pencils and the crayons and the ziplock bag and the tiny little Lego Man you brought to school that you shouldn’t have brought in the first place, and get your lunch box, and grab your baseball cap, and get that big, huge, rolling backpack that first graders definitely need to have, seeing as how we have ONE WHOLE HOMEWORK FOLDER and by golly, that folder is heavy, so we must roll it and make the people behind us trip over it because they are not paying attention. Get that big monstrosity, too.
2. Stand by your chair.
In English, it means STAND BY YOUR CHAIR.
I mean, I could be more clear, I guess. Elaborate, if you will.
Keep your legs straight at the knee. Don’t bend them. Keep both feet flat on the floor. Hold yourself upright.
That is called standing.
Now, just do that next to your chair. By your chair. Near your chair.
Clean your floor. Stand by your chair.
HOWEVER . . .
When I said that today, some of my kids seriously thought I was speaking in code.
Because, instead of cleaning their floor and standing by their chair, two kids went to stand by the AC unit to feel the air come out and they talked into it to see if their voices echoed, two kids were suddenly by my side (I wonder if I look like a chair?), one kid tapped on me (the horror!), and four kids tried to show me their work.
I swore to all of them I was not speaking in code.
I think I convinced almost all of them.
But I am afraid for tomorrow.
I am very afraid.
What do you think will happen when I say, “Take out your scissors”?
Yep. Very afraid.
I 100% know how you feel. I feel the same way today. Tuesday-1…me-0. Thank goodness his mercies are new every morning!
Mrs. Hudgens Hears a Who
Love to Learn says
Oh my! You sure can bring humor even to tough days! Maybe tomorrow you should try saying the opposite ("Do not clean the floor and DON'T stand by your chair!") and just see what happens!
Love to Learn
Sounds like my day today. I think maybe I was speaking in French. 🙂
Oh, the tappers . . . how I despise the tappers!! Sometimes (when I'm dealing with a different crisis and a tapper starts tapping), I *accidentally* make slapping motions toward the tapping hand . . . this year's tapper hasn't gotten the hint yet, though, and I'm getting scared for her!
Please share your secrets for dismissal. EVERY year, when we have the folders out and I start distributing homework/notices/important verbal information, the talking gets out of hand. The whole rest of the day, I swear, they look at me and listen and actually seem to be paying attention (okay, MOST of the whole rest of the day), but at dismissal? Pfft. Suddenly I'm invisible. Drives me absolutely nuts. Suggestions appreciated!! 🙂
Love your blog, loved meeting you in person in Vegas, and so glad you write often! You're the highlight of my day!
I'm right there with ya! Apparently in my class, I am fluent in Greek!
Katherine Benoit says
It was the full moon! We're still practicing lining up – a ONE step direction!!
Ms. Dawn says
I agree … full moon!
Dismissal is nothing short of a nightmare. And this year I can't seem to get my class to stay quiet for more than two seconds. The struggle is real – glad I'm not the only one facing these problems and I look forward to seeing how things work out in your classroom!
Paiges of Learning
Jen Bonner//Sparkling in Second says
oh.my.gosh. you poor thing. I would have just put my head down ha.
I know exactly what you mean! I always ask "am I speaking English?" And don't even get me started on the tappers! I want to tap back so badly! Huge pet peeve! Tomorrow is a new day. Have a great one!
Loving Kinders says
Well at least no one said, "Uh, excuse me… Mrs. B, umm, well… my pee just got away from me when I was sitting at your magic carpet." Because… Yup, that was me today! ~Smelling the soup!
Amanda Holcomb says
Totally know what you are talking about! Made me lol! It is amazing how much they can accomplish the 30 seconds after they are given directions! I feel like can't get anything done. I wish I had their super powers! Thanks for sharing! Needed a laugh!
Haha! My yesterday was just like that. I tell my kids all the time that to me it sounds like English coming out of my mouth, but apparently it is Japanese or German or Italian or some other foreign language.
Carol Polston says
Yikes- your day sounds like my days! I don't remember any year being this rough in the 4th week of school! I feel like I am continuing to go over & over the simplest things!
Peggy Grobmyer says
Thank you. It's good to know this doesn't just happen in my room!
Miss DeCarbo says
I love this!!!!! I don't love that you had a rough day – for that I am super sorry and know that tomorrow will be awesome for you. But I love that you are keeping it real my friend!! Kuddos to you!! 🙂 🙂
Katie Tripp says
I'm not sure how to quell the end of day chaos, because I was never able to have them all do what I wanted. I think it's something about their brains being done by then. However, for the floor, I used to play "magic piece of trash." It developed into "magic something that is not put away correctly at the end of the day," but the kids loved it. I would claim to see a "magic" piece of trash, and whoever picked that up, got a special prize, or sticker, or starburst, or whatever. The trick was, if they asked about it, even if it was the magic piece, it no longer had the power and something else got the magic power. Once everything was cleaned up, I would pick something random and give the student who took care of it their prize. The room was never so clean on magic piece of trash days.
Paula Hamand says
yes! Sometimes I feel invisible and I want to shout something inappropriate, but of course, I refrain from that. When they realize that they are in trouble, that I am serious about being displeased with their behavior, they act surprised. sigh.
I have the same thing happen…and yes, you are not alone! I have a combo 1-2 class and they often think I am saying- talk to your neighbor loudly or the kid across the room, or start to crawl all over the floor. So, that secret language thing…it's happening in other rooms. Maybe we need special translating devices! Hmmmm
I like to hear these stories. Sometimes reading blogs makes you feel like others have these magical classes who listen and follow directions all the time. My goal today was for a student not to touch my personal items (my pictures on my desk, my computer behind my desk, my PURSE!) He wonders around the room constantly. It's the 6th day of school and he has a interval chart to reward with playdough, toys, etc. anytime he is in his space. Literally, sit and you get to play no matter what the rest of the class is doing. And I do this by myself. With 22 Kinders. Ohh it's going to be a long year!
Wait a minute…do you come to my room yesterday? Are you spying on me and using a secret code? This sounds just like my room. I ring my sweet sounded bell, give a two step direction, and then chaos. Some days I'm tricked into thinking they are going to listen finally because they do so well in the morning. The afternoon is then like they all turned into four year olds. (Whiny, irritable, not-listening, tired.) I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I also promise that I have behavior management skills…every observation I get perfectly marked for it and I've had parent's comment to on getting my kids to transition, listen, and behave like normal little humans. Hang in there! We must be doing something right!
Dani Lynch says
OH MY GOODNESS this is ME!!! Our Kinder children have 'free choice' for an hour in the morning and afternoon which we call learning through play, where they choose which items and areas to play. When I stopped them and said Tidy Up it translated into several meanings – 'Hide in the Tunnel Outside', 'Carry on Playing' or 'Pretend you need the toilet so you don't need to tidy' .. GAAAAHH!!!
Catherine Wiist says
Yep, same thing happened to me today!
Erin B. says
Definitely the MOON!! This sounds just like my classroom today! Tomorrow will be better…
Mrs. Beattie's Classroom
Tami Smith says
I am glad it is not just me!! You would think I had just landed from another planet.
Ha Dinh says
Hi, Kristin! So glad I came across your blog and this post! I'm also a teeny tiny 1st grade teacher, and I can definitely relate to the "secret code". I tell my students that I speak Vietnamese at home, but I am 100% sure that I speak English while I'm teaching…. but for some strange reason, there have been times when I ask my students to do a simple task like clean up as you and they look at me as if I'm speaking Vietnamese or another language…and I promise don't lol….
Hope you have a great rest of the year! 🙂
First Grade Shashay
Last year I had way too many of those days. I would look at my student teacher frequently and ask her what language she thought they might understand since English didn't seem to be it! Hope today was better!
A Very Curious Class
Kaitlin Edmunds says
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! So awesome!
Favourite part "…and get that big, huge, rolling backpack that first graders definitely need to have, seeing as how we have ONE WHOLE HOMEWORK FOLDER…"
NAIL-ON-HEAD!! So great!
We all speak "in code" from time to time 🙂 Hehehe. Nothing that a glass of vino can't fix. Here, get this glass to help: http://lazy.today/uploads/good-day-bad-day-dont-ask.jpg
K&C Love Grade 3
Oma Sara Bates says
Oh, Kristen!! I know exactly what you mean. I teach kindergarten. I have 10 students who were not in our pre-school. At least 4, possibly 6, who have never been in school. Two who just are not getting tracing or cutting. One who thinks if he screams, I'll give him his way…..I warned them that I was a mom and grandmom, and those things would not work.
My yesterday, was like your today. So today, I didn't stand far from the clip chart, and I tried to catch each positive and not following behavior. Much better day!
I thought it was just the full moon and thunderstorms in my area but I guess it's nationwide! On my way to school tomorrow stopping at the store to get m&m's- not sure yet who is going to eat them- kiddos for not being off the chain or me for surviving!
I know how you feel, my students must think I'm using a Secret Language ALL DAY!
Not sure I'd be brave enough for all those scissors, in all those little hands . . .
Dalynn Holling says
Hahaha.. I feel like we're going through the same beginning of the year phases. And it makes me feel a lot better. Except I'm teaching 3rd graders and they should KNOW BETTER. I asked all of my students at least 3 times at the end of the day to set out on their desk the letter they had written their parents for Back to School Night tonight. Alas, all the kids go home and there are about 5 desks without letters on them. Probably the same 5 kids whose writing samples are missing from their spot on our Shining Work bulletin board. Responsibility/organization talk tonight, anyone?