Miss Night's Marbles

Musings, mumbles, marvels, and sometimes mockery, live from kindergarten.

My Challenging Year, Month 1: The TV Challenge

on 4 September, 2013

So. Response to the My Challenging Year project has been… lukewarm, but I am  hoping that is because you are all waiting to get details on the individual monthly challenges…?

Here is the scoop for the September challenge (and I apologize that it is a day late. Yesterday was The First Day of School — more on that in another post — and also Meet the Teacher Night, and I was at school from 7:45am until 9pm, and COULD NOT BRING MYSELF TO BLOG AFTER THAT. ) Moving on..

September’s challenge: No TV during the week.

The rules I plan to follow: I will not turn on the television from the time I go to bed on Sunday night, until the time I get home from school on Friday.

Exceptions I will allow: If there is some kind of major world-changing event, or natural disaster, I can turn on the TV to watch the news. Also, if I am at a social event of some kind where watching something on TV is part of the event, I will not be weird and hide in the bathroom until it is over. Note that the odds of me being at such a social event during the week are HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

Why this is a challenge for me: I live alone (ok, alone with a chihuahua). I do not use the TV for company or background noise, but I do tend to watch it while I eat breakfast and dinner. I have a weakness for both good stories and human drama (even the drama manufactured by reality TV), and I LIKE watching both of these things play out. Also: SEPTEMBER IS SERIES PREMIERE MONTH!

Why I want to try this: It is just WAY too easy to get sucked into the screen and a good story, and suddenly the whole evening is gone.

What I expect will happen: I will probably get more sleep, possibly more exercise. I will read more, and spend more time outside. My house may stay cleaner.

Ok, there’s the scoop. Let me know in the comments if you are along for the ride on this one, and PLEASE blog about it, if you are a blogging sort of person. If not, FB, the Twitterz and the Pinterest are good, too – spread the word, because this will be more fun with more people!

Then: hide the remote.

Put down the remote!

8 Responses to “My Challenging Year, Month 1: The TV Challenge”

  1. Chrissie says:

    Will love to hear how this goes! Stay strong!!

  2. Caro says:

    Miss Night,
    I feel like crying. Just like my little student yesterday after seeing her mom no more. I am a first-year teacher and on top of that I teach K. Also, I teach a second language K-class and I teach it in the language that is not my first one. I am overwhelmed. However, it is redundant for me to complaint. I know. I just wonder how you do it? What is day like for you? -not just a ta school but over all on your life. I would really love if you share how is a day in your life. Specially, when do you prepare for class teaching a full-day K? I am having a hard time adjusting to my lost freedom. (I was working in an office job for the last four years) and I am just looking for some hope. Does it ever get better? How can I help it? Will those few weeks of summer really make up for the rest of the year?

    • Miss Night says:

      Oh, Caro, your comment breaks my heart. I promise I will do a post with more about my usual daily routines, but in the meantime: please take some time for yourself, BREATHE, and concentrate on building relationships with your new students. The first year of teaching can be overwhelming, and working full time in your second language is exhausting (I am doing the same thing!) Reach out to friendly colleagues, and if you’re not already on Twitter, I encourage you to get an account and connect with the #kinderchat community (more here: http://www.kinderchat123.net). PLEASE know you are not alone, and it WILL get easier!
      Big hugs;

      • Caro says:

        Thank you, Amy. I will stay put for that post. I am really curious about how teachers keep up with all the work and balance their personal life. (Oh, I also teach in a Canadian School. I saw you are coming to my province, soon. I hope I am able to go and hear you.)

    • Chris Harris says:

      The two hardest things about Kindergarten are September and October. Concentrate on establishing routines during the first few weeks and things will get easier. Remember to have fun with your students and believe in yourself! Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for help. I know they will because that’s what teachers do.


    • rajalingam says:

      Caro. You must not try to do too much. They are young and will take time to show their real abilities. Gather them in the morning with a story or song. Then let them move to play in “classic” K centres: big blocks, house/drama, art studio, library, construction, print shop, sand/water (have enough centres to spread them around at 3/4 to a centres, but don’t get too hung up on numbers). Don’t over plan this, give the children the space to explore – in this way you’ll see what they really know. Whilst they play observe them closely, play with them. Record their language, how they interact with each other, what math skills they exhibit. Perhaps encourage some to read a little or write a little. This information will guide you in creating small group moments of explicit instruction, supporting children with their needs (rather than creating a checklist from the curriculum you want to attach what the children do to the curriculum). When the noise gets too much (as it will!) and the movement gets to much (as it will too 🙂 ) You can pause an re-enforce how you would like them to behave. Gather back in the circle before lunch. Try having them share thoughts and feelings, if it is too much for them echo back what you saw. Read to them. Sing with them. In the pm repeat. Perhaps invite small groups to meet with you to design an experiment (again giving you the opportunity to invite them to read or write). Give yourself some time, whilst they are playing, to read your notes, think and make plans. As the first few days go by you will begin to see what different groups of children are capable of and need and will begin to form groups with whom you can meet.

      BUT. Pause. A lot. To laugh, share, sing, tell stories, read, look at cool stuff…

      When you get home. Relax. Do something unconnected with work. And when (it is inevitable!) you have to work at home set a time limit. And be strict about it 🙂

      There is an amazing network of Kindergarten teachers on Twitter. They all have different beliefs, ideas, attitudes and skills – in that group you WILL find someone who reflects yours.

      It does get easier. I know. I moved from Grade 6/7 to K. Now that was fun 🙂

      • Caro says:

        Aww Thank you for those words and your advice, Rajalingam. I will try to put as much as I can in practice. 🙂

      • Deb says:

        The first year of teaching is overwhelming for anyone–there is so much to take in and so much to prepare. Give yourself a break by realizing that some things are more important than others. Having a decorative theme in your room is not as important as being organized or prepared. And that is not as important as your children. Don’t try to keep up with everyone else!

        Rely on the teachers around you. I hope you have a mentor who can help you. I am working with a teacher new to our grade level and am handing her a few things already prepared and ready to go. I have been working 12-14 hours a day, but I know it won’t stay that way; there’s just a lot to do at the beginning of the year ( I also changed schools.)

        It will get better and you will get your personal life back. But start of the year is stressful for veterans, too!

        Next year, as you set up your room, you are going to know exactly what you want to do because you will know exactly where you are headed for the year. It will be okay.


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