hello & howdy!
as of last friday i am now a 3rd grade teacher. guess who’s doing cartwheels & backflips?
yeah, that would be ME!
goodbye milk teeth babies. hello big 8 and 9-year-olds!
at this time of year in the school district, giant classes are split and new classrooms are formed. that’s how i ended up in with a brand new 3rd grade class.
this was the original plan for my chinatown experience and i’m very glad it all went down the way it was supposed to.
don’t worry about the 4 year olds, have a new school marm to minister to their every need.
i went out to celebrate with diana, my new friend from last semester’s school gig in silverlake.
blackberry & strawberry sangria!
i had 1 day to turn a storage room into a classroom. it was sort of like the unconventional materials episode of project runway.
give me a barn and i’ll turn it into a classroom. as long as someone can promise me all the horses will be over the age of 7.
i spent the day thursday getting things ready.
by that i mean cleaning, moving furniture & rugs, and finding some boxes and an old blackboard to use to separate the space between what will be my classroom and the other half of the storage room. it’s a long narrow room with no windows.
the good news is my classroom is bigger than most. i moved the rug into a corner and formed a makeshift classroom library.
i found a cart full old discarded books in the copy room. i wheeled it into my room and went through everything, finding enough to make a little classroom library.
then i went into the storage room next door and scavenged around for more books.
the plant manager came by and let me know he’d be installing a bigger white board and trying to find me a kidney table.
the custodian came by and brought me a couple of trash cans and some paper towels.
my splendid new class arrived on friday morning.
one of my new student’s toe came unbandaged so i sent him to the nurse.
no nurse on friday. he returned with the bandage in his hand and a worried look on his face.
nurse moss to the rescue!
i grabbed the masking tape and went to work.
i have a child who’s parents are from nepal, and another from pakistan. the majority are ABCs (american-born chinese). one of my new students taught me that!
after lunch i kicked off our first storytime by reading chapter 1 of roald dahl’s “witches”
the kids were scared! one girl told me i was reading it too scary. i explained that i go into a reading trance and can’t help it. but i told her i could try and read it normal if she wanted.
“no! no! no! no! no! no!” everyone else screamed.
i told her, she could move closer to me if she was scared.
everyone moved closer on the rug and formed a tight little circle around me.
at the end of the day i had everyone write their very first weekly report home to ma & pa.
yesterday the GIANT map of the world i ordered on ebay arrived. also 2 containers of fun markers for art projects!
i went to target and got a fan for my desk.
oh menopause, i wish i could quit you.
after a few detours and false starts the year feels like it has finally begun.
armed with stories, maps, markers, books, a giant carpet, and 22 8-year-olds i’m feeling v. v. v. optimistic about where all of this is leading.
naturally, i’ll keep you posted.
ok. Does your school still teach penmanship? Our’s in Texas does not. Their handwriting is GORGEOUS. GOR-GEOUS. How is this possible? All I’ve seen from subbing is illegible handwriting. I am impressed!
Margaret M Hunt says
Congrats!!! Big day in your new classroom…Hope it is a terrific year…i used to run like crazy when the short kids who couldnt tie shoes, open milk or blow their noses came my way…by the time I retired K 1 was my fav…go figure…anyway HAVE a blast…Will try to find your address to send you some of my fav books…Have a Blast…wait I know you will…Cant wait to hear updates!!
I”m so happy for you and like most teachers, you are VERY resourceful!!! I taught 3rd grade for years and it’s my favorite grade. I’m amazed the kids write as well as they do already!!! Have a wonderful year!
jeanette sclar says
When my son was about 10, I started reading The Witches to him and he had the same reaction as that girl in your class: too scary! Until then we’d never read a Dahl that we didn’t like, but we shelved it for later.
Hi Mary Ann … I’m very late in commenting here but want you to know how
excited and happy I am for you about your new class!! YAAAAY!! Happy days!! 🙂
Those kids are SOOO lucky to have you!! OHHHhhh their letters!! SOO Precious!!
I love that you let the little girl scoot closer to you so she wouldn’t be scared ….
You are SOOO GREAT!!! 🙂
So glad to hear that your new teaching post is 8-9 yr old kids. Loved reading their daily posts. Learned something new myself: ABC’s (American Born Chinese) who knew? Loved the different addresses they gave you: Ms, Mrs, & MR., Ha.
My 3rd grade teacher was one of my favorites: Mrs. Weber, who taught me to feel more confident, loved my penmanship, taught us Spanish and was very tender and kind to this child who was very uncertain about her place in the world after her parents divorced. I know your kids will love you for your sense of fun, love of books/reading and love of art. Sounds like you’re off on the right foot and will have an adventurous year in the classroom. Wish I could be there too.
I wasn’t aware of the school providing breakfast for the kids. When did this become part of the program???? Wow. My kids had to eat brekky at home.
Please put up a list for classroom supplies and/or teaching aids we could contribute and where we could send things. Every time I hear what teachers spend out of pocket for their students it just breaks my heart. I loved to get my new school clothes, shoes, new pencil box, crayolas, notebook and lunch box at the start of the new school year.
Suki Allen Olson says
Oh how I love this! Reading those letters is even better than reading funny autocorrects! I love the “Then we did daily massage and correct it.” Oh my heart! How I love the misspellings of children.
I’m so glad you are in your very own classroom MAM, and nesting away, and inspiring the peanuts of the planet with your wit and wisdom. Lucky lucky ducks!
I’d rather be a squirrel, traversing the tree highways in the sky, hoarding nuts for winter, flicking my tail, and chattering away at anyone who will listen.
Susan Engleman says
I’m so glad you have found the “classroom” where you belong. And those little third graders are lucky!!! whether they want to be ducks or not.
Hey, if you need something for your new classroom you should just post a wish list on your blog and I bet the “witches” who love you will just make those things appear!!!!
Judy H. says
The unconventional materials episode of Project Runway = The Wizarding World of teachers: making a welcoming classroom from a storage room with no windows; scavenging for discarded books to make a classroom library; subbing as Nurse Moss; and all the other magic. Best wishes for this new year! From the letters, it sounds like your students are off to a good start. 🙂
Marcia G. says
Hi MAM, I know you are thrilled with your new class. My niece is an elementary school teacher who just changed from teaching kindergarten to third grade and, like you, she is very happy with the change to older students. She just posted on Facebook that her biggest problem is that she has more ideas for things to do with them than there are hours in the school day. So the change in grade level (and abilities of her students) has really jump started her thinking on projects and lesson planning appropriate for older students.
I know you will enjoy personalizing your classroom space to make it your own and reflective of the students you will be guiding through this year of school. They will, NO DOUBT, remember you as a favorite teacher. I still remember one stand out teacher I had for 5th and 6th grade…Mrs. Lee. Sadly, I had a third grade teacher who did a lot of damage to my self esteem and confidence in my ability to do math, as well as being deeply critical of my handwriting. Thank goodness for Mrs. Lee who really restored a lot of my self confidence and demonstrated that a good teacher really can make a huge difference in the life of her students. I know you will be a great role model for your kiddioes. Thanks for sharing your journeys (in life and world travels) with us! After reading your tales about hopping a plane to far flung places, it just makes me want to throw a few things in a valise and go explore! With you, we get to go there without ever leaving home!
Donna, Doni, Lady D says
Looks like you have some great kids – but then, they have a great teacher. Sort of works out in the end. hugs, Donna
jacki long says
Happy for you, look like a lucky group! ♥
Isn’t it all just so much fun Miss Moss?
I love it all and happy 3rd grade to you!
Carol K says
A beautiful beginning! And very fortunate kids to have you. So happy for you that you’re in the school you like and have the class you hoped for. Yeah!
Elizabeth Woodford says
Yeah so glad that it all sorted the way you wanted it to!! A question- each month our library has a book sale- used books- I go crazy when it come to fill a bag for a buck day and there are tons of children’s classics(Older and newer)- picture books that we all grew up with and other more advanced books, just languishing there. Destined for the trash- Patricia Pollacco to Jan Brett and everything in between, Can I, should I send you some for your classroom library??? Would you let me do that???
Mary Ann Moss says
well how could i say no to that?! emailing you…
Barbara Tarbox says
Having raised four beautiful, strong, creative, productive women and helping to raise six handsome, winsome, bright and caring grandsons, I celebrate
The beginning of this very special school year with you Mary Ann.
Reading these charming “reports” and finding out that you are not just Ms. Moss, but miraculously, “Mrs.” AND “Mr.” Moss, an interesting trinity, too.
Handing you the keys to even a part of the storage room, you scrubbed, shoved, and created, I am certain, a great nest of a classroom.
Here, not just learning will take place, but dreams will be dreamt and shared, mountains will be climbed and crossed and young adventurers will
follow their intrepid leader to all the corners of the universe, and maybe beyond.
I will keep tuned as I await tales of your adventures.
Mary Ann Moss says
i will try not to disappoint
Marylinn Kelly says
What a lovely start to the week. Happy for you to have this new class. So much fun for an oldster to read their messages home, see their quite clear printing. I believe you are already a lasting influence on their lives. Hooray for you and your students. xo
oh dear, after all the weekly daily reports you have to go through all these comment; but it was such a fun post to read, including all the kids’ writing.
Happy for you to have this big room with a big fat carpet to do all your cartwheels and backflips on! don’t forget to sing!! In my class of french children trying to learn english we have a whale of a time “shake the sillies out” by Raffi and his song “sing when your spirit says sing” has great succes with my 8/9 years old!
I’ve got an old fashioned blackboard on which I love to draw and all ages love these pictures! Have fun!
Jet Hesselink says
Happy for you and the children!
It looks like you’re doing a fantastic job transforming the storage room into a learning sanctuary. But if you need more stuff, you might consider posting a request on https://www.donorschoose.org. It’s a website that connects teachers with people who want to support (financially) their projects and needs. I’m guessing you’d get a few bucks from your loyal readers (like me).
The animal I’ve always wanted to be is a DUCK. I could swim, fly AND walk. Also quack. What could be better?
Mary Ann Moss says
claudia i’m familiar with donors choose but since i’m considered a “pool” teacher and might be at a different school next year i don’t think i can use that service. will investigate. thanks for reminding me about it…
Susie LaFond says
Whhhhooooooo Hoooooo and hip hip hooray. Sending you dozens of high fives and bear hugs on your brand spankin’ new class of 3rd graders. I am doing cart wheels and back flips for you. Good thing you can’t see any of this. I am so happy for you Mary Ann. I am not the least bit surprised at your resourcefulness at pulling together a classroom. Really, they couldn’t have found a better, more talented person for the job!!!!! You are the queen of stitching stuff together to create something wonderful and pulling a classroom out of your bag of tricks…nope not surprised. I loved reading all the letters from your new students; seems like they are warming up nicely. Super excited for you Mary Ann, can’t wait to hear how the next few weeks unfold for you and your class. Have an awesome week!
Deborah A. Pierro says
Hi Mary Ann–So happy for you. Those kids are really lucky to have a fun teacher like you!
Vicki in Michigan says
Hooray! It does not surprise me one bit that you can turn a storage room into a classroom in one day. I know you will have those blank walls covered in kid art in no time at all. Those are a bunch of lucky kids.
Betsy Akins says
So glad you have this wonderful new, older group! Your room conversion is amazing. Clearly you’ve been hard at work last week. Love the way you help the children develop writing, journaling skills. One of them even commented about using “chunky” letters–a budding artist for sure! Wish I could be in your class–the kids enjoy your humor too! Don’t forget to rest.
Teri f says
Congratulations on your promotion! ?. I remember when I moved from first to three grade. I felt like I was teaching college. And I didn’t miss tying shoes. Your classroom looks great and it’s wonderful to read that you are a very kind teacher, despite reading a skarry story in a too scary voice. Have a great year!! (Oh and HSN has a portable phone charger with personal fan attachment and flashlight. 2/20. Just sayin)
Janet Ghio says
I love reading all the the letters!! I think my favorite one is the 2nd one. Oh and watch out for the kid that said “believe me’–sounds like someone I have heard before-lol. Congratulations on your new class-hope you have a wonderful year!
Brenda F says
Congratulations! I am glad your classroom change was such a success. I do enjoy your posts. However, I must admit, I was a tad disappointed initially. When I saw the post subject in my inbox, I thought you had a new (on-line) class for US (or should I say ME). It did not take long to realize that you were talking about your little people. :D. Have a great week with the 3rd graders.
Terrific group you have, lucky them! Looking forward to reading more letters, thanks for bringing us into your kind and story filled classroom. xox
So glad you landed where you want to be, Ms.Moss, Mrs. Moss, and Mr. Moss!
Jane B. says
So glad the situation has improved; the new kids adore you! I loved the letters, describing you variously as Ms., Miss, Mr, and Mrs. Moss – so cute. That’s Queen Moss, kids – nomenclature, people!
Melinda Sohval says
This is too prescious!!!!!
Loved reading the reports. Just a thought … if you started an Amazon wish list with classroom supplies, we could send some to you. My teacher friend is doing that. Just a thought.
Sylvia Heacock says
So glad the tide has turned for you in Chinatown! What a fortunate bunch of 3rd graders. It is a wonderful thing to close that classroom door and create a safe and welcoming environment for learning! Hope it is the best year yet!
AJ Yancy says
OMG! It’s so exciting. Congrats to you and I can’t wait to hear more.
Again I say, those lucky, lucky, lucky kids who have Ms. Moss for their teacher. Because you are so kind and fun! I love Witches, and wish you could read it to me, too!
Linda Watson says
Now it sounds like fun and that’s the way it works best, especially if there’s a scary story.
OMG, you’re gonna be the best third grade teacher evaaaar. And I want to be a fruit bat because you get to stay up all night and eat mango and fig. And then you get to poop it on Mrs. Sewell’s patio and you don’t even have to wipe. Or flush.
Caroline Berk says
Third grade is soo much better than the babies. Glad that all worked out for you. You go, girl. And here is to fewer power surges!!
Michele Unger says
Congratulations on being “promoted!” Must be very nice to be in a classroom with older children. I would feel the same. I am not good at the younger ones, said the grandmother of 7 and mother of three. I was so much more comfortable when they were all school age!
Your storage room classroom looks cozy and nice. You have a real gift in making any space you occupy seem like a space I would enjoy. I am sure your class feels, or will fee, the same.
ABCs! I’d not heard that one, either. Thanks for sharing it!