Monday, January 29, 2007


The owner came to pick up the dog. It turned out that she was a Bullmastiff. Whatever. She was a monster dog. The kids are still abuzz.

I still don't know how the dog got on the loose but here is the info I do have:

According to the owner she is less than a year old and she is around 80 lbs. Her name is Zena. She has one of those micro chips in her neck to identify her. She has tags, but they keep getting lost (probably they get knocked off as she is jumping over whatever fence is keeping her). The owner says that she is very playful.

Whatever. She is a monster dog in the memories of these children! I love it!!!

Dog in the Cafeteria!

So, I am standing outside making sure that the kids don't run to class this morning, and suddenly about fifteen of them come bolting out of the cafeteria being chased by a giant monster dog with markings kinda like a black tiger! It ran past the kids and made its way around the track. All of the kids were screaming and running--it was crazy. I thought for sure one of the kids was going to be eaten.

Ronisha's big teenage brother chased the dog through the mud--in white pants-- and caught her. Julie from the office came over with a leash. Julie is one of those "rescue a Greyhound" type people so she'll know what to do.

The dog is just a puppy (maybe a year and a half old), but it stands at least three feet tall--it's huge!

The best quote was from Bryante, a first grader, who was not afraid of the dog, "That dog was only trying to lick us."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Drama Club '06

Well, I have started another Drama Club. I kinda made a mistake during the audition process. I got a new monologue book this year and I guess the monologues that I gave them to memorize were shorter than the ones from last year because I had 28 kids do the work and memorize them as opposed to only 13 from last year. That is still a pretty low number considering the fact that I gave monologues to more than 300 third and forth graders.

Anyway, I am in the process of writing a play for these kids to perform. I think I got a good one. It is a tale of two households—well, kinda. One house has a kid in it that is pretty good and the other household has a kid who is kind of a bully. You get to see how in the good kids' household, the mom is cheerful and happy. In the bully's household, the mom is, well, not mean, but she is seriously stressed out because of work and the baby and trying to keep it all together, and her attitude rubs off on her kid.

At school, there will be a food fight resulting in the two kids both getting in trouble and while sitting out recess together, they become friends. Then, after school their mom's discover that they used to be friends when they were young and the good kid's mom offers to help out her old friend by keeping her kids after school, thus relieving the bully's mom's stress--or something like that.

There are many parts in the play for my 28 kids. Talking household pets, a grandpa, a bus driver, a policeman (The bus driver gets pulled over because the bully was throwing orange peels out of the window!) the principal, the teacher, two singing cafeteria ladies, the class clown (who is also the main characters' BFF [Best Friend Forever]) and several other kids with their own unique personalities.

I hope this years Club will be as hard working as the last. I will need it to be!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Camera Phone

Khalil was out of his seat crawling around the rug and I had a great idea. I pulled out my camera phone real quick and snapped a picture of him. He froze. I said, "Khalil, come look at this picture. Does it look like the kid in this picture is doing the right thing?" He shook his head. "Now, Khalil, I can delete this picture, or I can forward it to your mom's cell phone . Do you think your mom will enjoy receiving this picture?" Again he shakes his head. I continued, "I'm gonna keep this picture in my phone until the end of class and then I will decide if I want to delete it, or forward it.

Now, I don't even know if his mom has a cell phone--or even more, a phone that you can send pictures to--heck, I can only take pictures with my phone, I can't even send them! I guess if a kid ever calls my bluff and tells me to send their picture, I will just have to tell them that I sent it and if they ask their mom if she got a picture sent to her from their teacher then they will have to explain it.

I may have invented a new way to get after these kids! I might just have to write a book!

btw-Khalil stayed in his seat for the rest of class and I deleted the picture and he got a big smile on his silly face.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

John Paul

I really love it when I get to teach all the kids in a family. I guess sometimes it can be a bad thing, but most of the time it is really cool. I taught John Paul's older brother and sister, but it has been at least three years since they moved on, so I had forgotten that they had a little brother. John Paul is the coolest! He is in Kinder and he is like a perfect mix of his two older siblings.

Yesterday we were talking about helping out around the house without being asked. You know doing things like putting up your toys, carrying your dishes to the sink and picking up your dirty clothes. John Paul raises his hand and tells me that he already helps out around the house. I asked him if his older brother helps out around the house. He replied, "Rarely."

(sigh) kindergartners.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Teegerstrom for President

Teegerstrom is his last name. He's one of those kids that I would describe as OTL (out to lunch). He always has the strangest things to say and whatever he says usually revolves around ninjas, robots or scientists.

He is a bully's favorite target. Luckily, he is in a Gifted and Talented class and there is only one bully--Rodney. Rodney is a very sneaky bully. He always has one eye on the teacher so the teacher never catches him being mean.

I have known Teegerstrom since Kindergarten and this is his 4th grade year. I remember a few years ago he was sad because he didn't like his last name, Teegerstrom. I told him that his last name was awesome because it sounds like tiger-strong. I told him, "You know, a Ninja would love the name Tiger Strong." Then I would say something really cool like, "Now you will feel the wrath of TIGER STRONG!!" He loved it. Now, I don't ever call him by his first name. To me he is only Teegerstrom.

Today, he really impressed me. We were talking about doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and how you will know what the right thing to do is. I used this example, "Let’s say you are playing in the yard and you look out and see a little kindergartner standing in the middle of the street looking at a puddle. What do you do?" Rodney raises his hand and says, "You go over and splash him?" You know I was having the hardest time not laughing along with the rest of the class. Well, Teegerstrom raises his hand and says something like this:

"Everyone is laughing at Rodney's joke, but Mr. Bowers is talking about compassion. You know like when you are waiting for a cab and it's raining and you see two little kids waiting for a cab and they don't have an umbrella. Do you just take the cab and let the two little kids keep getting wet? No, you give them the cab and you wait for another one."

Total silence. I was so impressed. I told the class that when they grow up they should look for someone like Teegerstrom to elect as a President. I told Teegerstrom that I was proud of him and that he is now starting to think on a higher level. I told him that I have never heard a 4th grader speak in such a wise way. He loved it, but he kept a serious expression the whole time.

Friday, January 05, 2007

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

I asked the kids to tell a familiar story from a different characters' perspective. I used the example of Baby Bear talking about how he came home and found his food eaten and his chair broken and a little girl sleeping in his bed. Some kids would do a different character in the Three Bears and some would do a character from a kids movie like "Cars", "Over the Hedge" or "Beauty and the Beast".

Then Marcellus comes up for his turn:

"I was swimming in the ocean and I seen this thing up at the top of the water that looked like food. I swam up to it and gobbled it up. Then the next day all these boats started looking for me and these two kids were pretending to be me and they got in trouble. Then the next day these three guys came out in a boat and started looking for me and were shooting me with these arrows and I broke their boat and ate up one of the men and then they blew me up."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Master Yoda is the BOMB!

I can speak first hand on the hottest toy of the holiday season. I always ask the the kids to tell me the best toy they got over the "Winter Holiday". This year there are the usual bicycles, Barbie's and Brats Dolls, however the absolute hottest toy is actually a video game--"Leggo Star Wars 2". I can speak first hand because I also got this game as a Christmas present from my little brother to play on my PS2. The cool thing about being a teacher this time of year is that I can ask the kids for help on certain levels of a game when I am having problems. You know like, "Hey Duncan, how do I get past the Emperor on level seventeen?"

The thing that worries me is that I played this game so much over the break that I am way ahead of the kids at my school. When I ask them about the Jabba the Hutt level, they look at me in awe and say, "I didn't even know there was a Jabba the Hutt level. Wow!"

Now I am truly the master. The kids are so amazed with my gaming skills that they start asking me for help. Finally I get the respect that I deserve. I know how it feels to be Yoda!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back 2 School

Well, I'm back, but the kids haven't got here yet. Today is a teacher work day. All we do is sit in meetings trying to figure out how to make the kids smarter. I usually get a significant ammount of doodling done during these meetings--it gives me a chance to finish some of the doodling I started in my college days.

The PE coach and I take bets on which teachers will nod off during the meetings and count the number of times one of the speakers says, "in regards to". I think the record is actually 23!

There is always one or two kids that show up on teacher in service days. I hate it. I feel so sorry for the kid and also the parent. The poor kid is feeling all nervous because there are no other kids around. When the parent comes to school to pick up the kid they feel all embarrassed because of the mistake.

One year, a kid actually got up and got dressed and walked to school like he usually does. We couldn't reach his mom because she got a new job and hadn't given the school the number. He stayed at school the whole day sitting in the office. When 3:15 rolled around his mom was even late to pick him up.

Today there was only one little girl who came to school and she was crying in the office. I told her that she had to go home because today is the day that the teachers get the playground all to themselves. I don't know if she believed me but it made her smile.