Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five for Friday

Happy to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday blog! My first week back and at an elementary school and not a middle school - here you go!


I was in my classroom (which will soon be a PD room) this week with one of the reading specialists when the announcements came on.They were about to do the Pledge and we looked at each other and were all, "Wait, do we do this, too?"  First time ever not having kids during the Pledge of Allegiance! Then we're laughing as we're looking all around the room for the flag....there was none, so we figured that as long as kids didn't see us, it'd be okay to skip it. But, I do feel a little unpatriotic telling you all this!


So at the elementary school I have to do recess duty and we finally got the schedule so I'm out with the 2nd - 3rd graders every day. Ummm...before I get to the story - recess duty is all year (I'm in Chicago) - and you always go out in all seasons, unless the windchill is like 10 degrees or 10 below, I can't remember. Hi...10 degrees? Boots and coats and scarves and gloves on a bunch of little kids? and then have to take all that stuff to lunch with them? Sounds fun.... : )

Anyways - there was this group of maybe 20 girls doing some cheerleading so I went up to them and asked them all peppy, "omg. Are you doing cheerleading?" They all shouted back yes, so I taught them a chant and then today they asked me to show them again. Good stuff, but that's not the what was my first glimpse of seeing I just might like little kids....

Fast forward an hour after recess and I was walking to the office and one little girl walking by and chirps, "Hey, Coach!" Heart melting.

Friday was the first day for our Kinders. I wish I had had my iPhone with me out when we picked them up to show you... The little kinders were all in their lines, their backpacks bigger than they are, smiling and waving to their parents. Their parents - a wall of them, probably 5 deep, all with their phones, taking pictures, feeling so happy but probably super sad to let their kids go. As the  kids walked into the building, the teachers kept the parents out, even though it's so hard for those parents to say goodbye. There  were a few who were late, so I got to walk one little girl in.

She took my hand, and was so small - I had to squat down to talk to her, but took her to her classroom. I told a few people, "Uumm... if I don't ever have kids, I think I'm fulfilled!" It was so, so cute!

Our kinder rooms are BEAUTIFUL - seriously - I need to get pics of all of them. They're organized and clean, and clutter free. There are little lamps and a kitchen area and a library. The bulletin boards are up, themes are set, and it's the most beautiful learning environment ever. I'd want to be in these rooms if I were a kid.

And, the best thing - I also don't have a pic...but they made a little frame that said "My First Day of Kindergarden" and had each child hold it up and took their first day pics. (It was like the pic below!) Just everything - was so great! I feel so lucky to work with these amazing teachers!


So as I mentioned above, I was at the middle school level (10 years) and now is my first year at an elementary school. Turns out that my elementary school is, in fact, connected to the middle school. The kids don't really ever cross paths, but the teachers and maintenance can go between the two buildings. Well, yesterday as I was leaving, driving out the back way around the middle school, I heard my old AP say to some kids, "Oh, there's Ms. Brezek!" So I pulled over and got out to talk to two kids from my homeroom (and they stayed with me for two years!) and then another from my team, and a fourth from the other team.

The three from my team have already started freshman year at a charter network in Chicago and first thing B lets fly was, "It's so strict there. I just want to come back!" The three of them go on to tell me yes, it is in fact strict, but that the work isn't too hard yet. One girl told me about a boy who got 57 detentions last year, so he was held back. He happened to meet her parents and her dad said, "Don't talk to my daughter!" (Sidenote: she's got The Best Parents EVER - I'd want to be just like them if I had kids!)

I love these kiddos so, so much, even the third who when I told her not to get behind with her homework, and she said she already was, I read her the riot act: "Do you want to be a bum like that kid repeating freshman year? Are you going to make excuses for your whole life or stop with that now? Do you want to be successful?" I love having these kinds of relationships with them - discipline hard, but love the you-know-what out of them. That's what's up.


Finally, feel so happy that I got to know the new teachers at my school just a little bit more this week. I was mostly working on a book room all week, but I did stop to talk to a few of them. Next week we begin our common planning meetings for Literacy that I will attend, so it'll be even better, but there are such great people at my new school and I couldn't feel happier!

And, I got to see all my old friends at a happy hour close by school, and then Jon, the social studies teacher on my old team, had another one down in the city. Loved seeing all my best friends from Heritage and the friends I've made through them. Perfect ending to a great week.

Well, sorry it's late! Definitely couldn't blog after those happy hours last night (due to the fact that I was falling asleep in the cab on the ride home....not other reasons!) : ) Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


  1. As usual, brought tears to my eyes as I was reading this. I always thought you should teach little ones as they are so innocent and without attitudes! LOL Looking forward to seeing what happens as your year progresses and sorry about that all year recess duty!! :)
    Love you always.....Mom

  2. So excited to keep hearing your adventures, as it is my first year as a literacy coach/reading specialist as well... I'm in Wisconsin, but I haven't heard if I have to do any recess duty yet... I had to as a classroom teacher in the past, so maybe those days are behind me... :)

  3. thanks for the comments Mom and Amy! Amy - do you have a blog too? What's the link? I want to follow yours if you have one! : )

  4. So glad the transition from Middle to Elementary went well, blessings on your new school year!!


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