WPC – Transmogrify

…..this week’s WPC theme is transmogrify which literally means “to change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”

What a perfect theme for Hallowe’en week when young and old change their appearances for a few hours to collect treats and attend parties. On Friday, the parents at our school hosted a Hallowe’en party for the children and all last week the library was transformed into a book store for the annual book fair.

The strangest and probably creepiest transformation had to be achieved by this mask:

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Can Barely Keep My Eyes Open

……last day of school before the holidays

Today, Thursday, was our last day of school. Normally we go till Friday but the government wants to save some money so they made Friday an unpaid PD day. Now most teachers were happy to be off one day early but today when our pay checks arrived we received an unwelcome surprise. Our net pay reflected the day off that we haven’t even taken yet. Ughhhh!!!!!!! Why our board couldn’t spread it out over the year is beyond me. The difference was significant. The timing couldn’t be worse.

That aside, the atmosphere at school was electric today. The kids were crazy and the teachers were barely hanging in there. Last night we had our staff party and even though most of us didn’t stay late some of us went out shopping after we left the party. The party by the way was one of the best in all my years at this school. It was exceptionally well attended and everyone had a great time. Lots of laughter, fun and games, good food and great company.

When I got home, after doing last minute shopping for my library helpers and the support staff at school, I stayed up to wrap the gifts. I think I went to bed after 1:00 am. This morning we had an assembly, where we recognized outstanding students for the month of December, listened and watched some outstanding student talent and sang a few Carols. There wasn’t a lot of teaching going on in the morning or in the afternoon for that matter. I did have an art class in the afternoon and one library class.

At the end of the day, I stayed in the library for awhile to clean-up and organize some of my art supplies and my library office. I didn’t leave till after 4:30 but it felt good to leave my space tidy and organized. When I got home I checked my emails and my husband heated up some soup for dinner. It’s not even 8:30 and I’m already falling asleep at the computer. I have a feeling it’s going to be an early night for me. I’ll need all the rest I can get. Even though I’ve done a lot of my shopping, I now need to spend some time on my house to get it ready for my son and his girlfriend and for family and friends who will be here for Christmas Eve.

Good night!

Cheers!

An Emotional and Fruitful Week

…..said goodbye to a good friend and colleague today and packed up a very profitable book fair

The week started with emergency surgery for Lucy, five more days of book fair, an all day workshop on Tuesday, report cards, Halloween, and ended with an assembly and tearing down the book fair. There was so much going on that no one had time to think about CR leaving us and moving to Portland, Oregon.

When she did come by after school today to say a personal goodbye I was stunned and unprepared, even though we had taken her out for dinner the week before and presented her with a farewell gift.

Eight years ago I sat in on the interview for a new grade 5 French teacher. I was so glad that CR accepted the position. She was young and inexperienced but her French was good. She fit in immediately and the students, staff and community loved her. It turns out that she is the same age as my youngest daughter and she had gone to school with my daughter’s best friend. Over the years I saw her blossom and become an amazing teacher. We went on numerous overnight field trips, and coached soccer and Girls on the Run together. She’ll tell you that she learned a lot from me but I learned as much from her.

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I didn’t know how difficult it would be to say good-bye. Even as I write this my eyes are starting to well up. I will miss you Claire.

As I said earlier, the book fair was extremely successful. We surpassed our goal and the library and school will receive 70% of the sales in product from the book company. I thought it was originally 60% but because we booked early we received an additional 10%. I pulled books for all the teachers to use in their classrooms and had my library helpers deliver them after school. I just hope that I didn’t miss anyone.

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I’m looking forward to the weekend. I have to proofread some report cards but other than that I’m free to enjoy my neighbours annual turkey dinner on Saturday. My daughter and her husband will be returning from their cruise vacation on Sunday and will pick up Lucy from our place. I’m hoping to finish reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and if the weather holds out I should start putting the garden to bed for the winter. At least I can put the patio furniture into storage until next year.

As my friend P says, “Keep it fun!”

Cheers!

Rain, Rain Go Away

….it poured down all day and just before our Hallowe’en parade was to start it stopped

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The only thing worse than indoor recess all day is indoor recess on Hallowe’en. The kids are already excited and when they can’t run off that excitement during recess it’s hard to keep them focused on their work. On top of that the book fair is still going but I have to admit that business was considerably slower today.

Someone was looking out for us today because just before our parade was scheduled to start the rain stopped. Hooray! We didn’t have to parade up and down the halls but we actually got to go outside and show off our costumes for the parents and the community.

Some of the costumes this year were very creative. The homemade ones are always the best. Here are a few that I can share with you.

The teachers at our school also get into the spirit of Hallowe’en.

Unfortunately when I got home tonight it started to rain again. I managed to carve the pumpkin but only 16 children came to the door. They actually didn’t even come to the door. My husband and I stood out in the rain and took the candy to the few children that walked past our house. A very sad Hallowe’en night indeed.P1030588

Hallowe’en Night at the Book Fair

….the one I stay open late so that the parents can shop while the children play

Last Friday the halls were decorated with cobwebs, zombies, witches, skeletons and ghosts and several classrooms were set up with interesting and engaging activities for the kids. The party started at 6:30 and 150 children and their parents came dressed in costume. There were scary masks, long wigs, bushy beards, and store bought and handmade costumes.

I took a few pictures of some of the children when they came to the book fair. Posting them is always somewhat tricky but a number of the parents gave me permission to include them in this blog and others are so covered up that no one would know who’s behind the mask or the beard.

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Some of the kids are former students who came back to celebrate with their younger siblings. It always amazes me how much some of them grow over the summer. The book fair has been a big success so far and it was definitely worthwhile having it open during the party. Our goal this year is to sell $7000 worth of merchandise. So far, after 3 days we’ve brought in over $4800. Four more days to go. The library will get about 60% of the total sales back in books when all is said and done. Not bad for a week’s work.

Here I am with my talking witch’s hat and my number one ‘go to guy’ at this year’s book fair. Thank you M all your help.Image

Book Fair Mania!

….it’s that time of year again

You would have thought it was Christmas at our school today.

Just before lunch today the book company delivered 7 large cases of books and numerous boxes of more books and accessories. As the children passed the library they let out shouts of joy. Many wanted to come in and start spending money they didn’t have.

I have numerous student volunteers for the library this year. Many join just so they can help out with the book fair. The steel book cases, however, are so large and awkward that I move them and position them on my own or with the help of another adult. I let the students open the smaller boxes but they get so excited that they want to open everything, even though many of the items are duplicated and don’t need to come out right away.

Sometimes I think it’s more work for me to delegate jobs for my eager workers but they love it and in the end they do get the job done. I think I’m going to have to make a schedule and assign specific days and times for my volunteers, otherwise I will have 20 bodies at my door every day asking if they can help and there won’t be any room for our paying customers.

For the next 7 school days our somewhat quiet library will become a bustling hive of activity with children and parents looking to purchase one or two special books, posters and accessories from the boutique case. The benefit of doing a book fair, of course, is that a sizeable percentage of the sales comes back into the library in the form of new books and classrooms also receive books and teaching aids. It’s a great community activity that brings people together and promotes reading.ImageImageImageImage