May 29th, 2008

When I worked at the King CDC there were 2 brothers that will always be my favorite kids. (Okay, technically there are 3 boys that will always be my favorites but Coby’s story is for another day.) Reaquon and Sakai were 2 of the best kids to have in my class. They were respectful, funny, empathetic and genuinely nice kids. And as an added bonus, their mom was really nice and easy to talk to.

When I first started at the KCDC Reaquon was 3. He was one of 8 boys in my class. There was only 1 girl and she only came about once a week. The boys used to love to run, tackle and pile on top of me. And Reaquon would land on top of the pile and shout out “It’s just Hendricks and her boys!” My favorite memory of Reaquon was when he came tearing into the classroom after a huge snowfall shouting “God heard my voice! He heard my voice!” Apparently, the night before Reaquon had wanted to play hockey or go sledding (I can’t remember) but his mom said it wasn’t cold enough or there wasn’t enough snow. Reaquon got upset and his mom told him he should talk to God about his problem. Reaquon did that and woke up the next morning to snow.

About a 6 months later, his little brother Sakai moved up from the toddler room to our room to join “the boys.” Sakai had a slight lisp and used to say “My name’s not Thakai! It’s Thakai!” He also used to say that the only thing he wanted for Christmas was a Christmas Tree.

Tonight at Target I ran into their family. It was crazy to see them. Reaquon is in 4th grade and Sakai is in 3rd. They were as tall as me.

Last Day of Work

June 29th, 2006

Tomorrow is my last day of work. And I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’ve pretty much avoided blogging about how crappy work has been for the past year for a few reasons, mostly because I didn’t want anyone at work to stumble across my blog and for things to get worse. And I’m not really going to go into all the reasons now because it’s almost over and done with.

I put in my official two-week notice on the 19th and the past two weeks have been the longest two weeks ever. When I first put in my notice I was really excited to be done and moving on but I sort of expected to get a little sad towards the end, but I’m not. I’m just ready to be done. I want to go in tomorrow, put in my eight hours of work and leave.

I won’t miss having to wear the world’s ugliest lab coat as part of the dress code.
I won’t miss having a teaching partner that is never in the room.
I won’t miss having almost all of my suggestions/ideas shot down at staff meetings.
I won’t miss staff meetings.
I won’t miss changing diapers, wiping noses, or cleaning up vomit.

I will miss Montril quoting “Please Baby Please”
I will miss Tyrique saying “daanng”
I will miss Wynnston saying to me every day “Do you remember when you saw me in my car at Kohl’s and I was crying ‘cus I didn’t want to leave Best Buy? That was funny.”
I will miss Gregory saying “Who’s there?” everytime the doorbell rang.
I will miss Allen dumping out an entire bucket of toys just so he can wear the bucket on his head.
I will miss Anthony falling asleep at the lunch table every day.
I will miss Alberya and her need to be held.
I will miss the kids, my kids, some of whom I have known since they were 16 months old and are now graduating and going to kindergarten.

My very first summer vacation (sort of)

June 21st, 2006

Since I graduated from college I have only taught at one school. And unfortuantely that school did not close for summer vacation or spring break. But in just 7 short days, I will get to have my very first summer vacation. Technically, it’s not really going to be a vacation because I will be frantically trying to finish my thesis so I can graduate in December.

Now, you may be wondering why I suddenly get a summer vacation. No, the school did not change their policy, no I’m not blowing all my vacation hours in one long chunk. The reason for the break…I QUIT!

I was offered a job teaching Special Education and Title 1 at the Dugsi Academy starting in the fall.
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Back to Work

April 30th, 2006

Tomorrow I have to start back at work after being gone for 3 months. I’m not excited to go back. Partially, because I’m ready to be done at my current job – it’s time to move on, and partly because I think I would enjoy a year off from work, staying home and taking care of Lexi.

I’ve never been one of those women who only wants to work until they start having kids and then quits to raise a family. That’s not really for me. I worked hard to become a teacher and I want to continue teaching. But, there are so many things that Lexi is going to do in this first year that I don’t want to miss out on. And I have several friends who all have kids right around Lexi’s age, they all stay home and get together and have become good friends, I think I would like to be a part of that world too.


January 7th, 2006

We were extremely busy before Christmas vacation so we decided to hold off on the office Christmas Party until after the New Year. Not a big deal. We got the invitation to the party yesterday and instead of it saying “bring a white elephant gift” or “bring a snack to share” it said, “bring a written list of your personal and professsional New Year’s resolutions” and “bring a list of what you have learned in 2005 that will help you grow both personally and professionally in 2006.” Apparently we are all going to sit around and share these lists. First of all, you don’t assign homework for a Christmas party. These are things we should be discussing during the first staff meeting of the year. Second, those types of lists are pretty cheesy and I don’t really know anyone who enjoys sitting around discussing them. Maybe I’ll get lucky and go into labor before the party so I don’t have to go.

October 27th, 2005

Now that the baby is the size of something other than food (the books are all labeling her size in inches instead of produce, although one book did make a comment about her being the size of a pot-roast) she’s started to kick more. A lot more. Some nights she wakes me up because she is kicking so hard and so often. Sometimes, I can sit on the couch and watch my stomach move when she kicks. Sometimes I’ll have one of the toddlers at work sitting on my lap and she’ll kick. The toddler will usually turn around and look very puzzled at my stomach. I like to be able to feel her kicking and stretching in there. It makes it all seem very real. I also like that Kevin can feel the baby kick now, it’s not just me trying to explain what it feels like. Last weekend, Kevin was gone from Friday – Sunday and when he came home on Sunday and started talking the baby kicked more than she had all weekend. Then on Monday, I was gone until about 9 at night and when I came home and Kevin said hi, she started to kick really hard again. I’ve always heard that babies respond to familiar voices, but this was really cool – she apparently really likes to be around her dad.

Here’s the not so fun part of finally having a big belly – everyone wants to touch it. Okay people, here’s the deal, after the baby is born you can hold her all you want, but for right now, BACK OFF. It’s very wierd to have people coming up and wanting to rub your belly. I know that some moms-to-be love the belly pats, but me? Not so much.


August 27th, 2005

Wednesday night was the graduation ceremony for our preschoolers. It’s a fun night, the preschoolers get dressed in caps and gowns and parade into the room. The room is filled with their parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, teachers, friends, and pretty much anyone else in the neighborhood that knew the kids. This year we had 9 kids graduate and over 95 people showed up for the ceremony.
The parents are my favorite to watch. They all bring video cameras, digital cameras, instant cameras, picture phones or anything else that they can use to turn it into a Kodak moment. Some of the parents get teary-eyed, but most just sit there grinning from ear to ear.
This year as a child’s name was announced, a mom yelled out “That’s MY baby!” To which the kid responded, “Mo-om, shhhh!”
During the ceremony, each preschooler gets to stand up and say their name, how old they are, what their favorite thing about preschool was, and the name of their kindergarten. I love this part because after the first child answers the favorite thing question, all the kids just copy their answer. And the kindergarten question always gets some fun answers. One year a little girl answered, “I don’t know the name, it’s the one on Dale street.” Other answers have included, the school my brother goes to, kindergarten, I’m taking the bus, and school.
This year was a fun for me. I teach the toddlers. They start in my class at 16 months old. This year 2 of my original toddlers, from my first year of teaching, graduated. It was pretty amazing to think that I have seen these babies go from wobbling around my room and only knowing 3 or 4 words, to writing their names and beginning to read.

(I held off posting this because I was trying to find a picture of one of my toddlers at 16 months and one of him now, but I couldn’t find it. Doh.)

2 Weeks Off

July 8th, 2004

I haven’t been to work in two weeks. Crazy. Last week I was in Rapid City, SD with the youth group (more about that later) and this past week I have been home fighting off a cold/fever thing. I have never taken this many sick days. Although, I guess so far it’s only really been three. Monday we were closed for the 4th of July. But I have tomorrow off as well because I went to the doctor today and she wrote me a note saying I have to stay home tomorrow so I don’t get all the kids in my class sick. Tomorrow is sort of like a free day for me. I’m feeling tons better tonight (yay) so tomorrow I can do whatever I want. But I should probably do something responsible like my homework. If anyone has any better suggestions, please let me know.

The Other King CDC

May 3rd, 2004

For those of you that don’t know I work at the King Family Foundation Child Development Center (the King CDC). I work at the one located in Frogtown. But there is another King CDC located in St. Paul. Today, I got to work at that one. Because of budget cuts the numbers at most the daycare centers around here are low. Very low. Ours included. So that means that most places can’t afford to hire subs (the sub agency that most day care centers use costs about $20/hour) Anyway, the St. Paul King CDC had 2 of it’s 3 teachers call in sick today so they called us begging for a teacher for a few hours. I got the job. I thought it was going to be annoying. I never really liked subbing. You walk into a room, have to get the kids to listen to a complete stranger, don’t really know the routine, etc. Well, this was pretty fun. I was put into the toddler room, which is where I teach on a daily basis and it was me and three kids. And I was basically left to do whatever I wanted. No lesson plan to follow, no serious structure for the day. So we got out blocks. Lots and lots of blocks. If you ever want to entertain a 2 year old, build a tower and let them knock it down. Then do it again, and again, and again, and again. They’ll love you forever. So that’s what we did. Then I gave the kids lunch, put them to bed and by that time their afternoon staff was arriving so I was free to go. My boss also said I could have the rest of the afternoon off because I didn’t get a break. So all in all it was a good day. A nice break from the normal routine.