« picket fence | Main | Ganxta Zolee »

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


parent volunteers?!!!!!!!! WHAT ARE THOSE?!

I'm sure your students are among the luckiest in the school! They're spreading you rather thin....hope you have great parent volunteers!

I howled as I read your monkey whisperer comments. I think of it and just chuckle. My daughter-in-law is a kindergarten teacher and talks about how she spends the year teaching people to keep their hands out of their pants and being sprayed with various fluids. She is funny also.
Love your travel pictures. Food pictures are as important as landscape pictures to me as food is a huge part of traveling. Thank you for the trouble that you take. I read you every day.

i am in awe of your mission, creative monkey whisperer, and in awe of the ripple effect your loving thoughtfulness sends out to all the monkeys and their future monkeys, maybe quieter and healthier monkeys than their parents.

that photo of you in the water in Budapest...wow. you've created yourself an enchanted life and i am continually inspired here.

Water. So calming when our higher selves need to ponder. Perhaps an outdoor bath in the back? Yum. I'm looking for one here. :o) Donna

"Monkey whisperer"...I love it! Probably the best and worst part of being a teacher (high school) was all the ruminating I did after-hours about the kids--where they were coming from, how I could "reach" them and make our work together meaningful, how to handle the million-and-one issues that arose every day. Teaching is such exhausting and fantastic work. Maybe one day I'll return to it, but I could need a nap just thinking about it!!

Such a pretty little garden to billow over the pickets.

That's why your a good teacher, your higher self is always trying to figure it out. I'm sure your real self just wants to bolt now and then. I would be a good craft monkey if you let me in your class (I do talk to much and can't sit it my seat for long) so now that I think of it, you might not want me.

Love the fence, looks like a part of the house, it's charming and very necessary. Enjoy

Greetings Moss Cottage, How does your garden grow Beautiful the fence the plants how I whish I had a garden like this to walk around in. Were getting prepaired for Mr winters knocking which should be coming here in a few months.ugh Mean while the leaves are falling in the yard all sizes all shapes sadden by this cause like I said Mr. W 's a coming. The class monkeys looklike they will give you a run for your money this year:):) But if they will only stop and listen toyour stories what a magical journey they will go on.
Take care enjou that garden and will borrow your backyard enjoyments for the next few months if you dont mind. I'll make tea:)
Always Linda

Oh those monkeys and those monkey's parents are so very very lucky to have wonderful you as their teacher!!!!!

Oh! Look at you in the water. What a fabulous backdrop you've chosen.

I wish I'd had a teacher like you when I was just a monkey.

Ohhhh,I love all the foliage against the new fence. Thanks for the sweet note on my blog. The materials for our fence come this weekend, when I see them, I will know its almost real!!! Been waiting two years for it. Good luck with the new school year too!

Fence is looking inviting Mary Ann, it's holding all that goodness in but with spaces to let it flow out too. And 29, that's lots of energy in one room. So tonight, go inside, mix a tall and frosty adult beverage, put your tootsie's up, inhale, exhale and the weekend is just 2 more days away.
I'm pullin' for ya with all my might, would you like to borrow my wings for a super duper quick flight back to Budapest and the baths?

Years ago (the '70's) when I taught in East L A, my junior high band classes routinely had 35-50 kids - all armed with instruments! The first couple of weeks were always the longest - but then we'd take each other's measure and the next 8 months were generally a lot of fun - lots of hard work, but, as you know, rewarding and fun. Having been there, done that - I salute you and feel so good for your students knowing they have a wonderful teacher.
Erin in Morro Bay

Your fence is beautiful. That is all.

When I was a kid, I used to play "teacher" and thought I might become one some day. As a adult, I think HA! NO WAY!! I greatly admire you, Mary Ann, and every other individual out there who chooses this career, it is indeed an admirable vocation and one that gets taken for granted all too often.

Keep calm and carry on, enjoy the calmness of Moss Cottage and the zenful beauty of your new picket fence, and consume martinis as required - okay, preferably out of the classroom only, time enough for the little ones to learn about that later in life! :)

I used to watch my friend SusanW (above) in great awe as she taught at the beginning of the year: this is how you stand in a line without touching, this is how you put a book back on the shelf, this is how you leave circle to blow your nose, this is how you put a top on a marker, this is how you fold a paper, this is how you pull up your panties without getting a wedgie, this is how we hold the door for the person behind us, this is how we notice things around us, this is how you leave your area after snack, this is how you fill a water bottle without spraying the wall, this is how you sit in library, and most importantly-this is how we love and care for one another in our classroom. It was exhausting work but by October she was ready for the state mandated curriculum: this is what an A sounds like, this is what half means, this is how to form the letters to write your name. Incredible work, monkey taming.

ahhhh,most wise monkey-whisperer......29 monkeys....much,much focusing
on breathing will be needed........ ;)
missy from the bayou

29! Wow, that is a lot. i believe our district keeps it under 26. you are amazing, i know that you will figure it out.
the fence looks perfect. i love love love picket fences.

i could use one of those baths myself! my teaching experience is quite different than yours (adults, no English!) but I understand the beginning of the year challenges. This whole week has felt like a mountain I can't seem to climb! Hang in there with the troops Mary Ann!xo

Tell them stories. Tell them (without the aid of a book) It's a lovely way to experience stillness, slowness, calmness and repetition.

Nice fence..love to spend time here

I hope at least your memories of Budapest can at least bring you a bit of calm in your garden. Love the fence! can't wait to see further developments. Mx

Your blog is so awesome!! I read it everyday. I loved the photos of all your little second graders--
their faces are so sweet but 29 in one classroom? I feel righteous indignation on your behalf that the bean-counters are overloading you with too many kids. If I had to face that many little kids everyday I would be afraid to get out of bed. Your spirit is amazing, Ms. Moss, as is your zest for living life at the speed of light and your enormous heart which seem to shine through everything you post on your blog. It doesn't matter what country you live in or visit--you're a true world citizen! I imagine you have kids in your current class who will still be talking about you in fifty years.

OMG! A barrel full of monkeys! I don't know how admins. expect teachers to cope with this many kids. I have never seen or heard of so many kids with ADD, ADHD, and myriad other "disorders"...I blame it on processed foods, food dyes, chemicals, too much stimulation from various media, parents that zone out and leave the kids to themselves. No manners, respect, taught at home anymore...never mind discipline. I wish you well.

The fence looks very nice. Painting it or not? The yard looks well planted...what area needs more?

Yo Sister! I wish you would have posted the Danube water retrieval photo where you were practicing the "gas-siphon" method in case it might be needed. I think it really shows the extent you will go to in order to obtain specimens. I will admit the 10 foot long hose required quite an effort on your part to suck that water all the way up to the top, but you really excelled. You better keep practicing. The next city might not have such easy access to the water.
P.S. I like your new fence. It's just perfect.

Uhm ... I think you forgot something. Where is the fabulous bathing cap you spoke of?

I thought you were going to have a limit of 26. Yikes!

I just volunteered (in our move from four to three classes) to take a child with a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment disorder. I learn of new disability every year. This one is scary.

The tough part about 29 is the administrative view that it is ok. In the "olden days" classes were larger. In the olden days, most mothers had husbands, most mothers stayed home with kids, or had jobs. Most kids accepted the condition that adults were the authority and they responded so. A class of 30+ was not unusual but a manageable norm. What kids are coming to school with and without is shriekingly different. I'll think of you. Yowza

Looking good! Isn't a well made fence just the perfectly neighborly way to say "Keep Out You Heathens and Your Vermin Too!" Although, some Pestilance always seems to find its way around the gate latch. Don't know how you can take 29 little ones, my suggestion, you need some helpers....as in Mother's Little Helpers, or just have a SISTER cocktail, put your feet up and remember it is only 243 days until school is out for summer.

I am not really one to recommend things to plant, however, after having spent this time in the subgroup of "craft monkeys", I would like to suggest the Monkeyflower (Mimulus) since you live in California and it is a native California plant. It won't take much water and comes in the most amazing array of showy flowers-yellows, oranges, reds, apricots, whites, pinks and magentas. You could even have a new quest (if you need one) as I do of looking in native plant nurseries around the state to see how many of the colors you can collect! (Now I have to admit one of my other subgroups is "native plant gardener".) Anyway, from flowers to crafters, monkies are the best!

I have no doubt that you will have this figured out in no time at all........when it gets tough just think about your next vacation and press on in Ms. Moss style.

The fence is awesome. Are you going to leave it Natural or paint it? Either way, it is way too cool and adds so much to Moss Cottage.

It seems you already have a wonderous front garden! Bougenvilla, trumpet vines, and climbing roses and your beloved hibiscus would look amazing!

Wishing your peace and calmness!

I love the fence but detest the event that precipitated its necessity. It does look like it grew there and that's such a nice thing. I am frantically trying to get ready for my trip to San Miguel so looking at the Baths made me realize how much I could use an afternoon off. I just need to hang on---I'll be ensconced in the rental house by Saturday afternoon.

Just thinking of 29 over-stimulated little monkeys, all crammed into one room, makes my head ache. My hat is off to you, O Thinker of Solutions. Those babies are sooooooo lucky to have a teacher who CARES.

The comments to this entry are closed.