Friday, December 08, 2006

Mrs. Bowers

There is now a Mrs. Bowers! I have been on my honeymoon in Hawaii. That is why there has been no Mr. Bowers blogging lately. I am in such a good mood from the honeymoon that the kids cannot get on my nerves enough to make me complain in my blog. Soon they will break my "Aloha Spirit" and I will be back at it.

For now just know that I am telling all of the kids about Hawaii and the wedding and they are loving it. They can't believe the pictures of Mr. Bowers standing next to a steam vent from the volcano. They love to see the pictures of Mr. Bowers snorkling with fish all around him. They laugh when I tell them what my fifth grade teacher told me, "I married my best friend." I hope they remember it!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I was working with a group of kids on a project that required some construction paper cutting and so there were several little pieces of paper on the floor.

MR. BOWERS: All right you guys, now get down on your hands and knees and pick up all of the little pieces off the floor.
ALEX: Uhh, Mr. Bowers, I'm not really a "hands and knees" kinda guy.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Step-dad Hates Me.

GREGORY: Mr. Bowers, my step-dad hates me.
MR. BOWERS: How do you know?
GREGORY: I don't know, I just do.
MR. BOWERS: Well have you ever asked him?
MR. BOWERS: You need to ask him. Just don't ask him when he's watching a game. Does he watch sports?
GREGORY: All the time.
MR. BOWERS: Okay, wait until a commercial and then say, "Can I ask you a question?" --Now listen Gregory, this is going to be real hard to do, and it is going to take a whole bunch of courage--ask him, "Do you like me?" Now, you have to be prepared. He may yell at you and say, "NO--I HATE YOU!!" I don't think that will happen, but it might, so be prepared. If you ask him a serious question like that, he will see that you are a courageous person and he might gain some respect for you. Now, do you think he loves your mom?
GREGORY: Oh yeah, a lot!
MR. BOWERS: Well, I'm sure he doesn't hate you, but maybe he isn't comfortable around kids. Maybe he doesn't know how to talk to you. Just give him a chance and treat him with respect. Communication is the key. Lemme know how it turns out.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


If any of you remember Beavis and Butthead on MTV and remember the alter ego "Cornholio" then you can relate to what I am talking about. This week is always the craziest week in school. Halloween candy EVERYWHERE!

Today the cafeteria was so loud I took a survey:
How many of you have candy at your house right now? (Of course almost everyone raised their hand.) How many of you ate some candy this morning before you came to school? (Same response.) You can imagine how hyped the kids are at my school and it looks to continue all week.

I told them something like this: If I see any candy at school I will take it from you. You know by looking at my big belly that I love candy, so please get out your candy so that I can take it. I can smell candy right now! I see candy wrappers on the floor of the cafeteria! Please get your candy out so I can take it from you! (Of course no one took out any candy.) It will happen. I WILL GET ME SOME CANDY BEFORE THIS DAY IS OVER!!!! Hopefully it won't be yours. Thank you, enjoy the rest of your breakfast.

Monday, October 30, 2006

If I were a Garbage Man.

Sometimes when the kids are making my teaching job very difficult by not cooperating, I tell them this:

"Teaching is my JOB! Right now I am not liking my job very much. If my job was to go up and down the streets collecting the garbage cans and putting them in my truck, then it's like all of the cans are spilled. It's like all of the cans have ants on them. It's like all of the garbage cans are on fire! That's how much I am enjoying my job at this moment!"

Sometimes this calms them down and gets them to think about cooperating with me. Sometimes I have to just keep collecting the flaming garbage.

A World of Happiness :-)

You can't change the world, but you can change YOUR world! Think about this: If you do everything you can to make the people around you happy, then you will see smiling faces everywhere you look. You will create a happy world. A happy home. A happy classroom. If you are grumpy and mean to other people and don't cooperate, then you will see grumpy mean faces around you and you will be living in a grumpy world. A grumpy house. A grumpy classroom.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tigers Eat Penguins

Elena is a second grader. This was our conversation.

ELENA: Mr. Bowers, my mom wants to know if you are rooting for the Tigers in the World Series?
MR. BOWERS: I'm sorry but I don't root for tigers because tigers eat penguins.
ELENA: Tigers don't eat penguins Mr. Bowers. Tigers don't even live in the same place as penguins!
MR. BOWERS: What? Are you kidding me? Are you telling me that if a tiger broke loose at the zoo he wouldn't go straight to the penguin habitat? Whatever! He would gobble up those penguins like Popsicles!

Then I just walk away.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I was teaching one of my second grade classes today and a student (Pierre) walked in late. He was angry about something and had a very sour look on his face.

Usually when this happens, I tell the kid that whatever he is mad about happened BEFORE he came to my class, so he can take off that anger like a jacket and leave it outside the classroom and I will remind him pick it back up and put it on when he leaves. Sometimes this works and the kid forget about being mad and I am able to have a productive 45 minutes with him.

In this case, before I could even talk to the kid, one of his classmates shouted out, "Pierre's MAD!" Pierre responded to this by shouting out angrily, "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

Instinctively, I sprang into action. I approached Pierre as if I was frightened of him. "Pierre, oh, no! What's going on? Watch out everyone! Pierre might lose it! I think he is starting to turn into the HULK! (Pierre starts to grin at my antics) Look at his muscles getting bigger! Pierre, CALM DOWN, the girls are getting scarred!" Right on cue, the girls all started huddling together. I go over to him and gently guide him to his seat. "It's OK girls, calm down, I think he has it under control. It's OK everyone He's cool now."

Luckily, Pierre took my joke well. I was able to have a productive 45 minutes after all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kindergarten Bully's Mom

Khalil is doing much better at school. He is still having some problems but he is trying so much harder to be nice and he even comes to see me every day. I love having him in class because of his new attitude.

Yesterday I got a surprise when I met Khalil's mom for the first time. Earlier this year I wrote her a note about her son's unacceptable behavior, so when I introduced myself, she started apologizing for him. I said to her, "Oh, Khalil is doing much better. He is trying so hard to behave in my class and he even comes to see me every morning to say, 'hello' and he tells me that he is gonna have a good day. I love his new attitude. He is one of my FAVORITE kids at this school."

Khalil's mom looked me in the eye and said, "No one has EVER said that about my son. Thank you."

Sometimes a little praise can go a long way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Imagine that your mom brings you a happy meal from McDonnalds. When you open the happy meal, what do you expect to find? A toy. How would you feel if there was no toy? Sad? Mad? Dissapointed? Whenever you don't do what your teacher expects you to do, you are like a happy meal with no toy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Primal Scream

I haved this one class that drives me crazy! When they come to Drama class, they are fighting, tattling, hitting, screaming--you name it! I spend most of the 45 minutes that I have with them trying to solve the problems that they are having with each other and I can't even get through the lesson. The way my class goes is like this: I give them a lesson, and then we do a fun Drama activity that relates to the lesson.

Yesterday I was really getting frustrated with them so before I could start the lesson, I began working with them on treating each other with kindness, love, respect, sensitivity...everything I could think of. It wasn't working, they continued tattling, secretly kicking each other, hitting, talking to each other in rude voices, bothering each other--everything!

I kept getting madder and madder and I was working so hard on trying to control my temper. I was at a boiling point. I was trying to exibit a calm control over the class and it was not working. I told them in a calm reasonable voice, "Guys, listen, I have a fun activity planned for you. Calm down and listen to what I am teaching you and then we can have some fun learning."

One of the kids SHOUTS out, "We gonna play a game?!"

I totally lost it. I was looking for something to destroy. I ran out of the room into the parking lot (which is right outside my room) I threw my arms out to my side and yelled, "AAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHH" I felt like a lion roaring his displeasure to the whole jungle.

Amazing. I felt totally refreshed and calm. When I came back into the room, all of the kids were sitting still. Most of them had looks of shock on their faces. A couple of them were crying (the two kids in the class who actually behave).

I calmly began the lesson and was able to finish it in five minutes. The kids listened and responded like a perfect class.

Today one of the kids who was crying, Mariah, came up to me and said she was crying because she felt sorry for me. I told her that I was sorry I lost my temper and that I am constantly working on controling it. I also told her that I cried about what happened as well when I got home. I thanked her for behaving and told her to keep trying.

Today is a much better day--even though it's Friday the 13th.

Friday, October 06, 2006

All in the Same Class!

I have the best names in the whole school all in the same class this year. Check out this role call:

Fadi (pronounced "Fatty")
Aymen (Amen)
Oyinkansola (just like it looks)
Ja'urney (yeah, like "journey")
Sega (like the game)
Damya (i wish it was damn ya, but it's not.)
Mazie (i just like the name)
Haadiya (haadiya do sir?)
Opah (that's his last name)

We have some other good names in some other classes that I have discovered:

Loe (pronounced "low")
twins-Neo and Trinity (from Matrix)
Yiternatee (like Eternity, but yee-ternity)
Shaadee (like shoty)
Trejeanne (it is actually pronounced "tre-jean"
Niceforo (nee-sef-or-o)
Dijonaise (i like mine on whole wheat with ham)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Very Corny

One of my students jumped off the stairs while exiting the stage:

"Hey, if you want to jump down stairs you have to do it when your parents are around because I am not ABLE to take you to the HOSPITAL when you hurt yourself. That's because, I'm not HOSPITABLE. " -MR. BOWERS

*Sometimes teachers have to make jokes to amuse themselves.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A New Hope

I walk through the office and find little first grader, Shakur, bawling his eyes out and shouting, “I DON’T WANT TO GET A U!!!!!!” The Assistant Principal asks me to take him for a walk and get him to calm down.

I take him outside and tell him, “When I’m feeling down, I get good feelings from the Sun.” I tell him to close his eyes and put his arms out and put his face up to the Sun. He does. He stops crying. I ask him to tell me what’s wrong. He immediately starts bawling again, “I DON’T WANT TO GET A U!!!!!!”

“Why not?” I ask. He tells me through the tears, “If I get a U, my mom will take away my video game.”

I am stunned for a second, then I rip off this rant, “What? A video game? A video game? Wait a minute, what system are you runnin’? A PS2? Me too. What’s your game? Star Wars Battlefront? Man, I OWN that game! What character do you play? Darth Maul? Man, I roll with Boba Fett. I love to fly up to the rooftops. You better hope I never get to play against you, I’ll tear you up!”

At this point, I have his attention off of his current dilemma. I ask him if he ever plays as Anakin. He says, “Sometimes.” I ask him if he knows who Anakin turns into. He knew that Anakin turned into Darth Vader. I ask him why he turned. He says, “He was tricked into being a bad guy.”

We talked about how angry Anakin was when he realized what he had done. I told Shakur that when I saw him in the office, he looked like HE was turning into Darth Vader. Shakur laughed. I asked if he remembered when Luke lost his hand. I told him, “It seemed like it was the end of Luke, but he came back stronger than ever. I asked him, “If you get a U in conduct for the day, are you going to give up, or come back strong and get an E in conduce tomorrow?” He shouted, “I’ll get an E!” I took him back to the office to face his Assistant Principal.

The Force is strong with this one.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You've Got It Backwards

Kids will usually raise their hand to answer a question and then when you call on them they will reply, "Uhhh, Ummm..."

I tell them, "You have it backwards! You are raising you hand first and then thinking of an answer. The way to do it is to think first, then raise your hand when you have the answer so that when I call on you, you can shout out the answer immediatly."

Friday, September 08, 2006

stinky sounds

Today I heard someone make a stinky sound in the classroom and suspected that it might be a fake. I questioned the suspect.

"Did you make that stinky sound? (Yes) Did you make it with your mouth or your bottom? (My mouth) OK, well, that is unacceptable. Now, if you had made the stinky sound with your bottom that would have been acceptable. See, our human bodies sometimes make stinky sounds come out of our bottoms and we can't help it. It just comes out. If you make the stinky sound with your mouth, then you CHOOSE to make the sound. That's why it is unacceptable, because it disrupts the class."

"If someone next to you ever makes a stinky sound with their bottoms, the polite thing to do is to pretend that you didn't hear it and pretend (and hope!) that you didn't smell it. If you make a big deal out of the stinky sound it will embarrass the person that made it. If the stinky sound came out of YOUR bottom, wouldn't you hope that no one knew it was you who made it?"

(If only the kids knew how much I love to make stinky sounds!)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Everyone is Happier

My mom asked me how my school year has been going so far. Everyone is happier. Last year was so crazy because of Katrina. Every week new kids would show up with these dazed looks on their faces wondering how long they would stay at this school. Enevitably, they would move on out a few weeks later.

This year I was happy to see that many of the long-faced kids that came to our school because of the hurricane have stayed over the summer and are now shiny happy people! Last year there were unfortunate lables being placed on the children like, "the Katrina kids" or "the New Orleans kids". This year all the kids are with new teachers who don't care where they are from. This year they all have smiles on their faces and they are happier than I ever saw them last year.

This year I love and appreciate my job more than ever because of the changes in the faces of the kids I teach.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I get the feeeling that I will be talking about George a whole bunch this year. George is a forth grader--for the second time. He came to our school from New Orleans last year near the end of the school year. I think his family is still mostly in Louisianna because he goes back almost every weekend. I would describe George as a combination of Woody Woodpecker and Bugs Bunny combined. He loves to talk and loves to act silly. He gets in trouble occasionally, but in a Woody and Bugs kind of way--nothing too serious.

Every morning he walks next to me on the track and we talk about life and what's happening and stuff. The other day a couple of boys walked by us and they were wearing their cub scout uniforms. (I must mention that these particular boys were pretty small because it is relevent to the story). I said to them, "Y'all look nice in your uniforms." George asked them, "What grade y'alls in?" One of them answered that they were in forth grade. George said, "WHAT?! FORTH GRADE!? Man, y'alls some sma--" George stopped what he was saying and looked at me with wide eyes like he was in trouble.

After the two boys had got a little ways ahead of me I complimented George, "That was nice, George. You were about to tell those boys how small they were, but you caught yourself, didn't you?" "How'd you know?" he asked. I told him, "Because I was thinking the same thing." I am proud of you for catching yourself. Now, would you have caught yourself if I wasn't standing beside you?" George thought about it. "No", he finally said. At least he is honest. I told him, "Hey, you gotta start catching yourself even when I'm not around. That will keep you outta trouble."

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm on purple continued.

Khalil's teacher just told me that his mom accidently put a paper in his folder that was meant to go to his big brothers' school. Khalil's 11 year old brother who bullies him all day long has already been suspended from his school for fighting. School has only been in session for about a week and a half. Now I can definately see where Khalil is getting it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Watch your back!

In the morning the kids have the opportunity to walk the track. I walk the track with them to keep an eye on them. Two fourth grade boys who were walking in front of me suddenly busted out these little trucks and started racing them on the track. I told them, "WHOA! What's going on here! Give me those trucks, you can't play with those out here." Then I pulled them aside and said to them, "Guys, come on, I was standing right behind you. When you're gonna do something bad, at least have the common sense to look around and make sure nobody's watching."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm on purple!

MAN! This kindergartner is TOUGH!! His name is Khalil. Apparently he has an 11 year old brother who bullies him all day and now he has come to my school and is the kindergarten bully.

The first time I met him was at an assembly in the cafeteria. He had not come to my class yet in the rotation so I didn't know who he was. He was laying on the floor and I asked him to sit up. He looked at me with this crazy look like, "who do you think you are talking to?" I told him that I was a teacher at this school and again asked him to sit up. His response was, "I need a pillow."

Yesterday he finally came to my class. He had no interest in what I was teaching. He wanted to crawl under the cuirtains, tell the other kids what to do, crawl all over the room. At one point I was trying to get him to go back to his seat on the blue square and all he kept saying was, "I'm sittin' on purple." "No, I need you to sit on the blue square." "I'm sittin' on purple." "Please, move to the blue square." "I'M SITTIN ON PURPLE!"

At least he knows his colors. At least I only have to see him once every seven days. I'm gonna keep trying. I wrote a letter to his parents and they responded with an apopogy and a phone number in case I have any more problems--I hope I only have to call them with good news.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Oh, that's why.

A brand new kindergarten class is meeting me for the first time.

One Kindergartner: Why are you so short?
Another Kindergartner: It's because he's fat.

Bend that tree!

Raylon has been at my school since kindergarten and has always been the most defiant kid in his class--EVERY YEAR--kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. I have taught him Drama during that time and we have butted heads on several occasions. I always try to approach him in a positive manner. We have had conferences with his mom a couple of times. When I say "we" I mean several teachers and an administrator in a room with his mom and we discuss what's going on. He is not defiant at home so his mom is at a loss.

Today he came to Drama for the first time as a third grader and was up to his same antics. After class I asked his teacher if I could keep him for a little while to talk to him. I took him out to the front of the school where some trees were standing. There were some little ones that had just been planted and some giant ones that had been there forever. I asked him to go up to a little tree and try to bend one of the branches. He did it easily. I asked him to try to bend one of the branches on the giant tree. Of course he couldn't do it. Then I broke one of the branches off the little tree and beat the cra--no, no--just kidding--I talked to him about how you can get a tree to grow a certain direction when it's young but it's impossible to change the tree when it's old. I told him that it's hard to break habits once you are old and how he is young like the little tree and if he wants to change his behavior the time is NOW.

There was a crack in the side of the building. I asked him, "What if one of the branches grew into that crack. What would the tree do to the building when it grows big and strong?" He said it would knock down the building. I asked him, "What would the city have to do to the tree?" He said they would have to cut it down. I then told him, "It's the same with people. If an adult is acting bad, the law has to cut them down and put them in jail!"

We will see if this ten minute conversation has an impact on his school year. I know that his teacher this year is awesome and she will work his tail off. I know that every time I see him I am gonna ask him, "How are your branches growing?" However, if he doesn't shape up, I may have to take him back out to the little tree and break off a little something special for his backside!

Disclaimer: I would never beat one of my students. I would wait until they graduated.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

It Has Begun!

Respect. Responsibility. Concentration. Cooperation. Sensitivity.

I am teaching these words to the kids today because it is the first day of school and I think the words will help them succeed. I had a real good chance to teach sensitivity during the kindergarten class today because during the fire drill one of the boys pee'd down his leg. Welcome back (sigh).

Thursday, August 03, 2006

what have i learned this summer?

I learned that people are mean to Bob Barker! I have watched The Price is Right from the time I was born and never have I been so disgusted! People can't think for themselves anymore. Bob basicly has to beg the contestants over and over to give an answer. Meanwhile, the contestants will stand there staring at the croud with their mouths wide open. How hard is it to guess the price of a can of Hormel Chilli? STOP IGNORING BOB AND GIVE HIM AN ANSWER!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

An Email From a Former Student

If you read it like a 13 year old, it makes sense. I taught her Drama--not writing (although we did do some writing activities every now and then).

hey mr.b whats happenin me nothin i got a scholarship already they are goingto put 10,000 dollars on it every year i'm in school because my math teacherdown here in el campo nominated me and i had to write an essay and i won igot the scholar ship i'm soooooo happy one day imma come back down there andjust be in yo class one day again and help you teach i've been in so manyplays down here i'm a great actress not to brag or anything but i'm so goodthat every play i be in i make lead roll so bein in yo class that 4th gradeyear really helped me thats the first time i really started acted well igotta gostay cool shacora

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Off-season Workout

I am starting my off-season workout to get ready for the upcoming school year.

1: Get down on to the floor and back up again ten times to each side every day until school starts.

2: Build up tolerance for restroom breaks. Stop going "whenever I get the need" and get used to waiting (That always gives me problems early in the school year).

3: Start talking to myself outloud to build up my vocal chords.

4: Start doing my work laundry that has been in the hamper since May.

5: Wake up earlier.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

if the kids ask... old I am, I just tell them, "I was born in December of 1970--you figure it out!"

...what my first name is, I just tell them, "My first name is actually Mister! My mom knew I was gonna be a teacher."

Monday, June 12, 2006

give those bullies an alarm clock!

We were talking about bullies in one of my second grade classes. I was talking with this kid who was complaining about being bullied:

KID: Kadarius keeps bothering me in class.
ME: Do you tell your teacher?
KID: She doesn't let us tattle.
ME: Have you asked Kadarius to stop bothering you?
KID: Yes, he doesn't listen?
ME: Have you told him real loud so he will listen?
KID: Yes.
ME: Are you sure? Did you tell him like this, (in my LOUDEST, POLITEST voice with a big goofy smile on my face) PLEASE DON'T DO THAT, IT BOTHERS ME!!
KID: (laughing) NO!
ME: See, that will solve two problems. One, your teacher will hear you and wonder what is going on and investigate and she will see that you were being bothered AND that you were being very polite in the way you were asking him to stop. Two, the bully won't want to bother you anymore because bothering you would be like setting off an alarm clock.

If you are really lucky and you make a goofy enough face you might make the bully laugh and he may want to become your friend. Don't be rude in the way you ask the bully to stop bothering you and try not to embarass the bully too much or he may want to beat you up after school.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, it is finally here! I tell you right now, it feels the same as when you were a kid. I am not teaching summer school this year and I am not in the current show(Speeding Motorcycle- a colaboration with Daniel Johnston) at my theatre so I have a full two months off!!

I know some people think that teachers have it so good because they get the summer off. Here is my response to that: I get paid a 10 month salary that is spread over 12 months. I CANNOT lose my temper at school and without time away from these kids, I might turn onto the HULK. (I actually tried keeping some kids one summer to make some extra cash and had no time away from kids and when the school year started I had NO patience and I hated teaching every day.)

This summer I will be staying as far away from kids as I can. If I think of some funny stories about the past school year or get some new ideas that I want to try out on the kids I'll let you know.

top 5 things i say to get the kids quiet

1. "Raise your hand if you are talking."
2. "Raise your hand is someone next to you is talking."
3. "Shh- shh- shh- shh- shh" (like "shave and a haircut"). The kids respond "shh-shh".
4. "One, two, three--eyes on me." Kids say, "One, two-- eyes on you." (i got that one from Ms. Henry).
5 . "Put a bubble in your mouth."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

but my momma said

We had a day this week where all the first graders who were wearing their school uniform would get to have a popcicle in the courtyard at the end of the day. Our uniform consists of a solid red, white or blue shirt and blue pants. The kids are not "required" to wear the uniform, only "encouraged". Occasionaly we will have days like this to help "encourage" the kids to wear the uniforms.

Anyway, Jordan came to school in a pink and white striped shirt and a white skirt. Oh, how she cried and begged to go get a popcicle.

ME: I'm sorry you can't have a popcicle, but you didn't wear your uniform.
JORDAN: But my momma didn't let me wear my uniform today.
ME: Well, you should get up and dress yourself in your uniform on days that we are giving out a treat.
JORDAN: I do dress myself, but my momma said I couldn't wear my uniform.
ME: Well, then tell your momma that you missed out on getting a treat and see if she will take you to the store to buy you a popcicle.
JORDAN: But my momma won't buy me anything.
ME: Well just get her to take you to the store and you can use your own money to buy a popcicle.
JORDAN: My momma doesn't give me any money.
ME: Well, then here's what you do: Try real hard to do good at school so that when you get older and have kids you can have a really good job and you can be an awesome parent and buy your kids whatever they want!
JORDAN: (silent)
ME: (sigh)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

in the middle of the fashion show...

We had our international raffle at school last weekend and in the middle of the fashion show this third grade girl named Ronishia wanders outside to stand near the flag pole and ends up in between the two lines of kids showing off thier international clothes. There was no problem with her being in the middle, she looked just like everybodybody else--smiling at the kids and clapping her hands.

I started watching her to see what her reaction would be when she noticed that she was caught in the middle. I guess she thought it was pretty cool because all of a sudden she turned around and hugged the flag pole and said, "I LOVE THIS PLACE!"

The thing I like about this story is that Roneshia moved to our school from Louisiana because of the hurricane. Just another thing I love about my job.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

makes it all worthwhile

Hailey's 2nd grade class is really tough. They have had more lessons on behavior than on Drama. Usually when they come to my class, they are already having all sorts of "drama" of their own. Fighting. Tattling. Pushing. Talking mean to each other. I spend the first 20 minutes calming them down and then end up give them a speach about the Golden Rule. I guess some of it is finally sinking in!

HAILEY: Mr. Bowers, this weekend, I was at my uncles house and we were playing in the pool and there was this tile that had come loose and we were playing with it by throwing it in the water and then diving for it. I was throwing it and I threw it too hard and it hit the side of the pool and broke."
BOWERS: Uh oh.
HAILEY: We weren't gonna tell my uncle, but then I thought about what you told us in class and then we decided to tell my uncle.
BOWERS: Did you get in trouble?
HAILEY: No! He said it was alright.
BOWERS: Were you scared when you were telling your uncle?
HAILEY: Yeah! I was real scared!
BOWERS: That took a lot of courage didn't it class? Let's give her a hand for telling the truth!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I found a dollar

NICK: Mr. B, I found a dollar under the table in the cafeteria. Can I keep it?
MR. B: Well, someone will be missing that dollar. Don't you think you should turn it in to the office?
NICK: But, I want to keep it.
MR. B: Haven't I told you about the Golden Rule? If you lost that dollar, wouldn't you want someone to turn it in?
NICK: Yeah, Mr. B, but you also told me that sometimes people learn their lessons the hard way.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Another Kindergarden Quote

Avory: Mr. Bowers, sometimes my brother treats me like a tiger.
Me: How does he do that?
Avory: He puts some meat on a stick and makes me eat it. Then he throws the stick and I chase it and bring it back.
Me: Thank you for sharing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

there's this kid


There's this kid in 4th grade named "Kerry" who is so mean to her entire class that they hate her and treat her like trash. I don't know if she was mean to them first or they were mean to her first, but the situation has gotten out of control. I finally had enough, so we sat down and had a class meeting. I let them speak up one by one with the intention of clearing the air.

The first three people to speak all had issues with Kerry and were very rude to her. They took the class meeting as a chance to say mean things and be sassy. I finally had to stop the meeting.

I talked to the class about forgive or forget, products of their environment and choices. I told them that if someone hits me in the face and spits on me, I get to choose how I respond. I encouraged them to make good choices and think about the Golden Rule. I asked Kerry to listen to what their classmates were saying and ask herself if any of the things they were saying were valid. I have known her for a couple of years and she is kinda annoying, but she doesn't deserve to be treated like that.

I wasn't even able to have Drama with this class because of their lack of control. I hate days like this when I get so upset by the children. I feel like this class is full of hate and it rubs off on me and then I end up hating the class. I have to forgive or forget because I gotta teach them again in seven days. AAAAGHHHH!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Only Child No More

Whenever a kid comes up and tells me that their mom just had a baby, I ususally go through the same routine. I tell them that when they were a baby, their mom and dad had to watch them all the time to make sure they would grow up to be a wonderful person (I usually confirm this by asking, "You are a wonderful person, aren't you?").

Then I tell them that their parents will now have to do the same thing for their new baby. I say that if their parents aren't allowed to pay full attention to this new baby, that the kid will grow up wild and will drive me crazy when he or she comes to my school. In other words, don't be jealous--you got the same attention!

I also tell them, "This new baby is going to think that you are the coolest person in the world because you are their big brother or sister and you need to try to be an awesome big brother or sister to them. Sometimes they will drive you crazy, but just remember the Golden Rule. If you were a little kid and you were bothering your big brother, how would you like him to get you to stop. Would you like him to hold you down with his knees on your arms and drool spit down to your nose and then suck it back up right before it lands on your face until the time when the spit doesn't actually make it back into your big brothers' mouth and instead lands right on your face?"

OK, I don't actually tell them that last part, but that's what my big brother would do to me and I just want all the little brother abuse to STOP!!! PAUL, YOU WERE A BIG BULLY TO ME AND WHEN YOU GET TOO OLD TO BEAT ME UP, THERE WILL BE PAYBACK--but I still think you are the coolest person in the world.

Friday, March 31, 2006


The coolest thing just happened. A couple of kindergarten girls were playing with dominoes in the after school program. They were stacking them up and stuff like that, but they weren't lining them up and doing the chain reaction thing that people do. Of course, I had to show them the trick. They went nuts! Then had never seen it done before! Then they decided to make a really long chain of dominoes and it curved and twisted and actually they weren't quite spaced just right, but I let them try it out anyway. When they finally let it go a couple of the dominoes didn't fall. One of the girls said, "Hey, two of them didn't fall, let's give them a hand." All of the other kindergartners who were watching kindly applauded.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rock Show

We had a "Rock Concert" at my school for the kids who sold the most junk at the gift wrap sale. The famous rock group was a bunch of teachers doing some karayoke (sp?). Here I am rockin' the magic flute! Also here's me and and Coach Reid jamin' to "Born to be Wild". Notice how much those kindergartners' are diggin it! Actually, the concert was a big success. The second show had a much bigger crowd.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Billy Goats Gruff

I have been studying the story, "Three Billy Goat's Gruff" with the Kindergartners this week. I have been using it as a tool to get the kids to put themselves into a story and try to feel what the characters are feeling to help them become better readers and listeners. Kids have all felt fear before and can really relate to the billy goats and their fear of the troll. We also talk about the troll and why he is so angry with the billy goats. After all, the bridge is his home and the billy goats hooves do make a lot of noise. One of the kids compared it to when her upstairs neighbors were jumping around. I asked her if she told them she was going to gobble them up. She said, "yes" and of course the whole class bust out laughing.

We talk about how the big billy goat is kinda like a bully too because he is bigger than the troll. I tell them that I am proud of the big billy goat for standing up to the troll, but that I wish he would have talked to the troll first and tried to get him to leave the younger goats alone. The troll could have talked to the goats and asked them to walk quietly across their bridge.

The goats trick the troll by telling him, "Don't eat me, I'm too little. Wait for my brother, he's much bigger." I tell the kids, "It's like if someone offered you a french fry, you would take it--unless they told you to wait a minute and you could have a hamburger--or wait even more and get a pizza!"

The kids get to act out the story after we discuss it and they have a blast. When I am casting the play, I always say that I need the ugliest, stinkiest, meanest person to play the troll. The kids put on their ugliest faces and raise their hands like crazy! It kills me, they look so crazy! We act out the play several times so that they all get a turn.

Next week we talk about the big bad wolf. Why can't they all just get along?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


If a kid comes up to me and tells me that today is his or her birthday, I try to act like I don't believe them and argue with them by asking them what the date is and how old they are turning and saying things like, "Prove it! I know it's not really your birthday." Finally I will say, "I know how to find out if it really is your birthday." At that point I magicly pull a quarter out of their ear and put on my best surprised face and say, "Wow, it really is your birthday!" We used to have a Coke machine on campus that only charged seventy-five cents for a soda so I usually had a quarter in my pocket. Now the price is a dollar, so I have to remember to carry a few quarters in my pocket when I leave the house.

You might say that all those quarters add up, but when I get a Kinder kid who really believes that the quarter came out of his ear, it makes it all worth the price.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Valentines Day Dance

That's right. We (k-4 school) have a Valentines Day dance. It is an opportunity to sell a bunch of candy and sodas to raise money for the 4th grade end of the year party. What it really is, is a chance for the kids to run around acting crazy and not get in trouble. You should see them dance--funniest thing ever. Some of them actually have some skillz but most of them hop around and scream. When a song comes on that they all know there is this deafening roar and a mad rush to the stage.

This year, there was a special treat. The dance was interrupted by a fire alarm ( set off by the cool fog machine). Then, the end of the day was welcomed by a huge thunderstorm. This made dismissal wonderful.

Oh well, at least the 4th grade raised enough money to have a big end of the year party. I like that idea--have a party to raise money for a bigger party. I may have to try that with my friends.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Karate Moves

The kid at school who said the "Karate Moves" quote in my last post is still crackin me up. He is a kindergartner, has a mini-frohawk (real close to his head, just a little longer than his real hair) and makes me laugh every time I see him. He reminds me of a kid from last year nicknamed "Nick at Nite" who is in first grade now and sometimes tries too hard to be funny, and gets too upset when he gets called down. Frohawk is real excited to be at school and every day lives an adventure.

Frohawk never interrupts class and raises his hand to speak. When he does say something, it is usually something funny. If what he's saying isn't really funny, he makes it funny with his delivery. He has dark skin, kinda lazy eyelids and a little bit of a bottom-teethed smile. His best quote actually read like this, "Whenever I use my karate moves to clean up my room faster, I get a present."

Every year we get at least one kid who could already make a million bucks a minute for just opening his mouth and sayin' stuff and looking cute. I should become an agent.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Kinder Quotes and Joke

"Steven said the "S-word", he said "Shut up."

"Whenever I use my karate moves to clean up my room faster, I get a present."

"Why did the baseball hit the vampire in his suck teeth? Because he didn't have his mits"

"It's 'crowdy' in here"

"I think I see a 'hootchy mama'!" Yes, the Mama and the Teacher heard him say it.

After seeing all the kindergartners in their graduation T-shirts, I asked, "Where did all of you get matching shirts?" The kid nincamed Nick-at-night said, "Maybe they got 'em at the dollar store."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I love this saying. "If you keep digging up a tree and moving it around, it will never get a chance to grow roots." I tell this to parents of the kids that keep moving around. I know that parents have their reasons for moving around so much and I am sure that I can't completely understand because I am not a parent. However, I cannot stress the importance of stability. The kids who move from school to school are breaking my heart. I will just start to make a breakthrough with a kid and their parents will dig them up and move them on to another school. I keep a class role for all of the classes I teach and the more turnover there is, the worse the students are. sigh.

Friday, January 13, 2006


If you didn't see the UT/USC game then you really missed something special. Vince Young is a Houston ISD product and really sparks excitement in the kids at my school. I am using his focused performance on the field to inspire my students. I say: Did you see VY before the game? He was dancing with his teamates and getting excited about the game. Did you see him after the game? He was jumping around again. Did you see him DURING the game? His face was so serious. He was focused. Do you think he talked while his coach was talking? Do you think he played around in the huddle? NO. He had on his game face. When you are at school, there are a few times when you can play around but when you are doing your work or your teacher is teaching you something, you need to have on your game face. You need to be focused. That is how to be a winner.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mr. Moon

As some of you may know, I have a big belly. A kindergartener put her hands up on my belly and said, "It's like the moon!"

Monday, January 02, 2006

Mad not sad.

Today I was talking to a class about what makes them upset or sad. One of the kids was telling me that he never gets sad and that nothing upsets him. I asked him who he loves more than anyone else in the world. After he thought about it for a while, he said his mother was the one he loved the most. I asked him if he would be sad if his mom lost her job. He said no. I asked him why not. He said that he would be mad, not sad.

I think so many of the kids I know are afraid to be sad and they turn their sadness into anger. HISD had to beef up the security today in many of the Middle and High Schools because of the fighting between the Houston kids and the New Orleans kids. Some of my former students who are now in middle school have seen the fighting at their own school. They tell me that they just stay away from it. I tell them to be nice to EVERYONE!

I wish I could get all of those kids in a room and make them hug each other or something! (sigh)