Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Exhaustion

I remember when I started student teaching I was very tired at the end of each day. It took at least three weeks for me to hit my stride and get back into exercising more regularly. I'm experiencing the working exhaustion all over again, only it's worse this time because I have a 45 minute drive to and from the day camp where I'm teaching art. The day camp is very well run. The kids are divided into groups according to age. Each group has three counselors who take the group to all the various activities. They have swim lessons every day, then they rotate to other classes. I'm teaching what's called Classic Art. Each week I tell the campers about an artist (or two) and they do a project based on the artist. With the addition of the drive, the days are long. This past Friday I laid down just to rest a bit about 7pm right after the girls were tucked in. I figured I'd fall asleep lightly and then get up. No. I was right out. Deep, deep sleep. Got up about 9pm and put pjs on with my eyes closed, got back in bed and didn't get up again until 7:30am Saturday. How's that for a Friday night?

The camp itself has been fun. S attended the first week and loved it. G stayed home with Will. Then S only made it to the first two days of the second week because she woke up with a stiff neck on Wednesday. She had fallen off the monkey bars Tuesday afternoon and that could have given her whiplash. She rested all day and that evening after I got home from camp I took her to the nearest emergency care clinic. They wanted her to get x-rays, so we then spent four hours at the hospital. In the end there was nothing wrong except the muscle spasm on the one side and she just needed to rest it out and use heat for a couple more days. By Saturday it was pretty much back to normal.

This past week I also had the stress of getting G day care or admittance to camp because Will starts his new job tomorrow!!! G was admitted to camp, so both girls will be starting back to camp with me this week. That means, more food to pack, more towels and swimsuits to dry... eh, but they'll love it. I expect G will have some tears this first week. I already told her counselors not to baby her at all because she'll try to get attention by being babyish and only to bring her to me as a last resort. I'm very curious to see how it goes.

This week should be an exciting week for campers because they are putting on a show for their parents. They have the dress rehearsal Wed. and then parents come for the big show on Thurs. The twelve groups are divided in half and each half performs their own show (though it's the same show). Mostly the kids just sing the songs and the counselors go on stage with them for direction and to say lines. Some older kids may get to say the lines for their show. Both my girls are in different groups, and I don't know how my schedule will be arranged. I'm supposed to help with the shows as well, so hopefully I can be over there for both of them. The other teachers and I have made the backdrop for the show. It has been painted faster than I expected. I'll just have to do the finishing touches tomorrow after camp because it'll need to be hung up Tuesday. Fortunately they have before and after care for the kids, so my girls will be there in the mornings and afternoons, at least for a little while. G's age group actually meets in my classroom in the morning, so that's nice for her.

Embarking on the third week of camp, I am determined to get to bed early all week. We have off camp Friday, so I want to have energy to do something fun with the girls like go to a lake or park.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Play-DOH


Something you may not think about until you have kids or teach kids, is that they need to be taught how to use Play-doh. Of course they can just start squishing and molding, but then they start breaking it apart and end up with lots of tiny little pieces. What do they do with these pieces? Well, they aren't necessary are they? So, they just push them on the floor. I've observed my youngest pull off pieces of Play-doh and flick them away as if they were trash. This method eventually led to the disappearance of many tubs of Play-doh. Now, to the kid's credit the Play-doh was quite old and crumbled apart too easily. So, we got them new Play-doh and then the teaching began. I've repeated it many times, "Put the little pieces back in the tub or it will all be gone!" I've taught them the "cookie monster clean up" approach (that's what they called it at my preschool when you use a ball to dab up all the little pieces). They're probably tired of hearing, "That's not trash!"

Another reason they didn't know how to use Play-doh without wasting it, is I rarely let them use it. It's too messy! When we moved here to my parent's house I said they could use it for the summer outside only. My parents have a nice canopy on the deck and a table under it, so the girls have been able to play with Play-doh a lot. They are no longer deprived.