Saturday, September 29, 2012

Almost October

Oh its almost October, which means I am fast approaching my favorite month of the year as well as one of my favorite holidays.  Granted Halloween is not a day that you get off or a day that you get to go and spend precious time with family and friends like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but its such a fun day! I know I love this holiday because of my mother's tireless decorating and all the work she'd always put into my costumes as a little kid. 

About 2 weeks before the trick or treaters would come a knocking she and I would go down to the basement laundry room and find the box with our traditional decorations.  We'd spend at least one entire day from right after breakfast to right before dad would get home from work putting up the spookiness.  We had everything ranging from bats to spiders and ghosts that we'd cut out of construction paper and taped to the big front window which would of course highlight the jackolatern I'd carve the afternoon of Halloween.  We would tape up the giant happy Frankenstein on the closet door at the top of the stairs to greet dad when he'd put his coat and hat away. And of course we had several positionable skeletons that I know mom had had for years and would tape the little ones to the window as well and the full grown person sized one to one side of the front door while a Happy Halloween banner decorated the other side. 

After the paper decorations were up and that would generally take about half the day, we'd move on to best part... hanging spider webbing.  I literally perfected the art form of stretching that silky cottony mass over objects, across windows, around every chandelier and light fixture in the house, and of course up and down both sides of the banister.  By the time the sun started to set every square inch of available space would have some kind of Halloween decoration.

We would tweak a few things here and there over the up coming weeks of course each store we went to we'd look in the Halloween section for costume ideas, new face painting stuff, or a new spooky sounds tape that we could play when trick or treaters came to the door.  Usually on the night of Halloween we'd have everything perfect, spooky music going, jackolatern carved and lit, candy sitting ready and waiting right by the door, most of the lights off in the house but the porch light on so kids knew they could knock.  I swear even as a little kid I liked passing out candy as much as getting dressed up and going trick or treating myself.  I loved seeing all the costumes, trying to figure out who was who behind what masks, and hearing "trick or treat" over and over again after the doorbell rang.  Each year was a great experience. 

And now here I sit, before the month of October even officially starts and I'm already excited.  I've already figured out what costume I'm going to make to wear at the school (I'm going as Cassie the wonder Dalmatian, spots and all), already bought candy to pass out, and starting to make my own construction paper decorations to hang in my own front window. I have my spider webbing ready and waiting to be stretched and pulled into perfect webs.  I wish I had a giant pumpkin to carve this year but there wasn't any kind of growing season around here this summer to make that happen, so I'll have to settle for finding a nice "little" pumpkin to carve and of course design my own pattern to carve into it that glorious Halloween afternoon.  All I need to do is find a skeleton like mom had so I feel like all is right in the world and put it up two weeks before.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Each Day is Something New

Well I've done it again.  I've gone a whole month without posting on here.  Its not intentional its just... well by the time my day is done I'd rather sit down and relax than type.  But I'll try to do better. 

I've been having a fantastic first month of working at the school.  Each and every day is just a little bit different than the last and its definitely keeping me on my toes.  I think I'm learning just as much as the little kiddo's I'm teaching are.  We've had a few new kids coming into the school so it adjusts my schedule a bit.  First thing in the morning on Tuesday, Thursday and every other Friday I conduct a corrective reading and corrective math class for 3 student ranging in ages from 10 to 13.  After that I go work as a one on one aid for a little boy with autism in the kindergarten class (I actually do that every day after lunch).  On Monday and Wednesday morning I work over at the preschool with Meredith with 12 very active and lively 3-5 year olds.  We have great fun and those kiddos are learning the basics of what going to school is all about.  Meredith always plans great projects with a purpose and this week is all about our own class rules and what it takes to be a good friend.  Then every other Friday (when I'm not doing CR and CM) I bounce between the kinder class and the 5/6 and 7/8 grade class helping out all the kids with special needs.  Like I said it really keeps me on my toes.

The regular school day ends at 3:30 but my day doesn't.  The school started up a brand new after school program this year and I'm helping out with that too.  It goes until 5:30 and part of the time is me helping all the kids who come with their homework and giving them some tutoring before tests then the other part of the time are group activities that are set up to encourage the kids self confidence, boost mutual respect and group work, and learning basic skills that can help out in other aspects in life.  All in all its a great program and hopefully the kids are getting a lot out of it.

Now while all that might sound like plenty to do (and believe me it is), I am also taking a class myself.  The class focuses on teaching children with autism and autism spectrum disorders which my supervisor thought would be an excellent class for me to take since I'm the staff member who is working the most with this little autistic kindergartner and its looking like we are going to have two other autism spectrum kids in the preschool class (who will be going to school at TC next year).  The class is great and I'm doing everything I can during my lunch break and then on the weekends.  Its set up in various modules and a series of tests on each one so its really a practice based learning experience.  I'm getting a lot out of it and am doing my best to apply the new things I'm learning to my day to day work.  I have another 3 months of it so I plan on getting as much out of it as I possibly can and hopefully becoming a better aide for it.

So thats my life in a nutshell right now.  There is always more going on than even that but thats all I feel like writing about now.  Hope everyone is having a fantastic start of fall and I'll be sure to keep you all updated as frequently as I can.