Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"No, I am pretty sure your clasroom teacher does NOT let you do that!"

So I FINALLY got a sub job today. It was only half a day, but it was better than nothing. Well, actually, I had been called twice before, but was not able to take the jobs. I was called a long time ago, but I had scheduled an appointment that I could not back out of so I couldn't take it. Then I got a call to sub at the high school and I really wasn't comfortable with that idea yet...maybe with a bit more experience, but not the first time! But today I was called to sub in the afternoon for a third grade teacher who my cousins had when they were in Kindergarten!!

It was great! The kids and I had a lot of fun! I think they liked me! I had this poster that I put up about me and the kids were looking at the pictures on it and they were very excited that I know how to fence and had been to Italy! I only had to enforce the discipline program with the one kid who just would not stop talking. Most of the other non-intrusive methods we learn about in college worked just fine. For example, saying their name or just stopping all teaching when they were talking over me....I also am partial to "Clap once if you can hear me, clap twice if you can hear me..." It's something I use at camp and it is very effective. I also used the "quiet sign" and "one two three eyes on me" which I despise, but I used it anyway.

I used a smart board which was pretty exciting. And the teacher was in the room for the first hour of my experience so it was so much less nerve racking. Then I was all alone....which I was SO excited about it! In the past, I had always had my cooperating teacher or a superviser with me, but for a while I was alone. We did have an aid come in for science, but other than that it was just me and the kids! It was great.

Math class was different than what I am used to though. At the school where I student taught, they used a program called "Everyday Mathematics." It was designed very differently than anything I had ever seen, but I got pretty comfortable using it. The program outlines the lesson very carefully and very strictly. Though it seemed to move very fast, it also seemed like everything in the lesson was tied together. But in this school, the teacher had me reading a story to them about bargain hunting and then the lesson was on patterns. I did not really see how they had anything to do with each other and many of the kids had a really hard time with the pattern thing. We spent a lot more time on it than I expected.

But we had a very interesting science class and the kids ended up suckering me into playing heads up seven up during dismissal. There was one thing in math we did not get done, but other than that we did everything the teacher asked me to do!

Overall, I think it was a great first experience subbing. I hadn't been in a classroom for so long that I was starting to get really comfortable at the nursing home. But this experience made me very excited for what I hope is in store for me in January. I am working towards getting my teaching certificate for spanish and when I called the department of education to ask about how to do that, the lady there told me about a school in my area that is hoping to start a spanish program in January. I'd be running the program and teaching the whole school spanish AND writing my own curriculum. I really really hope it works out for me! I'm hoping that now that I am in good with this lady, dropping her name will land me the job, but she and I haven't talked to the school yet. I've been working 37 hours at the nursing home all week and havent had a chance to call her to talk more about it. So we'll have to see how that works.

But something that did pan out for me is the reading program that I will be starting in February. I will be hosting a program at the local library where kids who are struggling in reading can be paired up with a reading tutor to practice reading once a week. The program was approved so I just have to put up flyers at the library and talk to the superintendent at the school district by the library. I am hoping the teachers at the school will recruit struggling readers!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wow...It's Been A While...

So I finally found a pet store that sells rabbits. I got a brown Holland Lop. She will grow to be about 4 or 5 pounds so she won't be very big. Piccolo, the mini lop I was looking to adopt, was 7 pounds. They bred Mini lops and dwarf rabbits to get Holland Lops...that's why they are smaller. I'm not sure what she weights now, but it can't be much more than 3 or 4 pounds so she's probaly as big as she is going to get.

So, after much debate, we finally named her Caramel. She is approximately 3 or 3 1/2 months old. She is still a baby so she is very destructive. She chews on EVERYTHING and she loves to dig (even though most things she digs at do not move when she digs at them). She also loves to move her litter box around the cage which causes her to accidently dump it all over her bedding....she's actually doing it right now as I'm typing this.

It was a bit rough in the beginning. She was from a breeder but I guess she had been at the pet store isolated for a while and didn't interact much with humans. So she was really skiddish when we first brought her home. But I left her in her cage for abour 36 hours without taking her out. I put my hand in to pet her and stuff and she got used to me that way. Then, little by little I'd let her run around for a while out of her cage.

Now, the first time I let her out I thought I had everything thought out. I moved everything she could chew on and I got her a ball to push around with her nose. I read that instead of reaching in to grab her, I should open the door and let her come out on her own terms. She came out and pushed the ball for a little. Then, a teeny tiny spider crawled over my mom's leg...she screamed and Caramel darted underneath my brother's bed! It took us a half hour to get her back into her cage. She kept running around the room hiding behind stuff. I am not sure if she was actually frightened or if she thought we were playing.

But I bought her a pen so she doesn't escape again and she and I sit in the pen and watch tv together. She runs around and chews up the blanket we put in there for her. I also got her a stuffed bear that she throws around and tries to tear apart. I got her this ball of grass and she LOVES it and grunts at me whenever I touch it. She lets me pet her now and even comes up to the cage door to greet me when I reach in to change her food and litter. She even jumped into my lap of her own accord the other day. So it took a lot of work but she is definitely warming up to people.

I am hoping that with some more work I can one day begin training her to be a therapy animal. I think it'd be a lot of fun to take her to nursing homes and let the residents sit with her and pet her. Many times, elderly patients cannot bend down to pet dogs or cats, but a bunny would be perfect for them. They can hold on to them and pet them and they don't have to worry about bending over which could be painful for them. But, Caramel is definitely not ready for that. She is not comfortable being grabbed and she would rather chew on things and run around and play instead of sit and be pet. But she is still young yet, so once she matures she'll be more able to do that. Even if she could do that now, she is too young to be spayed and all therapy animals need to be fixed regardless of what kind of animal they are.

Anyway, so that's really all that is new with me. Caramel and I have been spending lots of time playing. I've been working long hours at the nursing home as well so between working 8 to 12 hour days and spending time with my bunny, I haven't really had much time to blog about her yet......or even about the Steelers game I went to see last weekend. Which, Caramel was not happy about....my going away to see the steelers meant I went away and left her for my mother to care for which I don't think my mother is well liked yet. And also my mom was not comfortable letting Caramel run around and play so she was cooped up in her cage all weekend. But the game was a ton of fun even though the Steelers lost. :-(

And things with Mike are going well...I mean apart from the distance thing. Mike went with me to the game and we stayed in a hotel. We went to a fencing tournament the day before the game and we both did not do as well as we hoped. But I think we learned a lot and know what to work on now. We downloaded skype and we've been staying in contact through our webcams. I am thankful we can do that cuz I can see him and hear him.....but sometimes I hear about how bad his day was or how much work he has to do or how painful his toothache is and I wish I could hug him though the webcam too. I need a stargate.

There's Caramel. :-D