Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas in P.G

So all the hustle and bustle that happens every year before Christmas is over for another year. We had a great Christmas here in P.G. We had a wonderful dinner on Christmas Eve with the family at my Mom and Dad's. Then we all curled up and watched "Die Hard", a definite Christmas classic (Steph and my Mom were not too impressed).

We stayed overnight in the guest room so we could wake up early and have Christmas morning there. We got up really early just like when we were kids, although it was pretty tough dragging my brother out of his bed at 5:30. Of course we started with the stockings and then starting passing out presents (for five adults it was ridiculous how many were under the tree). We all did really well. Steph loved the Moroccan lantern set I bought her and I was really happy with my car stereo set that I will be able to connect to my IPOD in the glove compartment and control from the deck panel and my weight bench and weights.

After presents we had the traditional breakfast with our good family friends who come over every year and then in the evening we had more company come over for turkey dinner. It was alittle to crowded and noisy for me, but dinner was great as usual.

The next day I came over again to watch the first game of the World Jrs. on our new 42 inch plasma TV in High Definition. Wow! It was so clear you could actually see the beads of sweat rolling down the players faces. Canada won and I was back over today to watch them win again against the Americans while Steph went out with my Mom to take advantage of the Boxing Week sales.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Last Day!!!!!!!!!

So today was the last day of school before Christmas break. What a week. The concert yesterday was amazing. I was so nervous for my kids, I layed awake for a long time the night before and apparently I was as white as a sheet as we waited to go on. The play was flawless, the best we had done so far and I was so happy and proud of all the hard work we put in. The kids knew too, and as we walked back to the portable they were walking on air. As soon as we closed the door to the classroom, I said "OK...." and they all let out a huge cheer. The whole process was so much fun and everyone says you always remember your first Christmas concert, and I definitely will (plus Steph was able to come and taped the whole thing).

Today, the kids were literally vibrating. I don't think I've seen anything like it before. They were completly off the wall (but in a good way). We had alot of fun today. We watched "Polar Express" in the morning and had our school's annual "Winter Sing Along" where they hook up a karaoke machine to the LCD projector and sing Christmas carols as the dot bounces along on the screen. To see all the kids singing thier hearts out, rocking back and forth in their seats, having a great time was totally infectious and it really got me into the holiday spirit (I even sang along to every single song). Then it was back to the classroom to open presents. I got quite a haul from all my students and they had a great time watching me open them. As a first year teacher it was really special and I was so touched and happy with my first "I love my Teacher" and "favorite teacher" mugs and key chains.

What a whirlwind week. It will sure be nice to have a nice relaxing two weeks off and we are all really excited about Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Concert Dress Rehersal

So today was the dress rehersal of our Christmas concert and although it wasn't perfect I must say I was pretty pleased, especially since some of the other teachers thought what we were doing was a little ambitious for Grade 2.

Acouple of weeks ago I found a poem with actions almost like a play called Christmas Counting, in which kids come on stage with props and actions and count from 1-10 in rhyming couplets about different Christmas symbols. We practiced alot in the classroom and in a week everyone had thier lines memorized they knew exactly where they were supposed to be all the time and I was feeling pretty confident about pulling off a great show.

That was until our first practice in the gym on the stage. It was a complete disaster, like we were doing it for the first time. Kids didn't know where they needed to be in line, they were distracted by the curtains, the mic, and all the props from other plays. The kids off stage were so noisy I could'nt even hear the one's performing. Our second practice in the gym was yesterday and although it was alittle better I was getting alittle worried as the dress rehersal in front of the whole school was 1 day away and the concert for parents was 2 away.

We had another practice in the gym this morning and it was flawless, I was so proud of all the hard work we have done and was really excited about them performing for the school. When it was our turn to go on, the stage manager forgot to put the mic stand on center stage (how we had practiced all wee with them going to the mic and speaking into it without picking it up). Instead the MC just handed the mic to the first pair of kids to go on stage. It is amazing how doing one little thing different completely throws everything out of whack. Without the mic stand on center stage they didn't know where they were supposed to stand, it really messed up the kids who had to hold props (they could'nt do both at once), and the mic was dropped twice. I helped the best I could and despite these set backs it was still quite good.

The kids came back to class and were pretty disappointed. I heard quite afew "It didn't go very well did it Mr Lang's" but I reassured them that it wasn't their fault and the mic will be in the proper place tomorrow for the big show even if I have to put it there myself. I'm sure they will be great!