Life is filled with inconveniences, both major and minor. If not number one on the list, a tornado at dismissal certainly has to make the top 10. Two Mondays ago, as I opened my door, ready to send the bus riders out to the buses, Mr. Rosenbeck came down the hall announcing that we were under a tornado warning and should proceed to the library. Gee, I didn’t even realize it was raining. I have to admit that on some days when I am teaching to the last possible minute, dismissal time can seem a little tornadic.
And on some days after my students leave and I look about, it does look like an F2 flew through the room. Some of the parents who had come to pick up their children opted to leave while some joined us in hunkering down in the library. We spent about an hour waiting for the warning to be lifted, and there are far worse places to spend an hour than in a library. I went to the grocery store after school and met a teacher from another school and she told me she had spent the hour with her students in the boys’ restroom. As I said, there are far worse places than a library in which to wait out a tornado. Luckily we missed the worst of the storm and all that happened was that we now have some pretty good stories to share.
This month the students in kindergarten through seventh grade took the IOWA test. This test measures the students’ achievement. The second and fifth graders also took the CoGat test which measures cognitive ability. The tests are used to help us meet the needs of our students and to improve our teaching methods. I had four students who needed to make up parts of the test due to illness. Naturally most of them missed different parts of the test. I had made arrangements with their parents to give them the parts they missed after school this week. My first student was scheduled to take her test last Monday, the day of the tornado. Testing a student directly after a tornado just didn’t seem like a very sound idea. Her parents and I decided to reschedule.
The eighth graders’ annual Book Fair was held March 7 through March 13. Each day my class eagerly shopped for books. Proceeds from the fair go toward the class trip to San Antonio. Being both a teacher and a grandma, I had very little sales resistance! The final day of the book fair coincided with the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Once again the highlight of the breakfast was Chris Cakes. Unlike at common pancake breakfasts, Chris Cakes are tossed to the patrons. You literally catch your breakfast. It is really a lot of fun. Of course being on staff there is just a little pressure not to look bad in front of the students. I am proud to say I was three for three!
On March 8 the third through eighth graders attended the Northern Area Mass. Students from Catholic Schools in the northern area of the archdiocese gathered at Holy Angels in Sidney to worship.
Saturday, March 12, was the Jesus Day Retreat for the children who would be receiving First Holy Communion. The day began with a special prayer service. Parents shared memories from their First Communion with their children and worked together on a special craft.
Speaking of sharing memories, in class I not only shared my memories of my First Holy Communion, but I had both pictures and my dress and veil. I think my students found it hard to believe that I once could fit into that dress. And the pictures! Would you believe that I have changed some since I was seven years old? I actually looked like a child! I remember when I was little and would picture my parents as children, I just imagined their heads on children’s bodies. I was also somewhat shocked when I discovered my parents looked like children when they were children.
The children received First Holy Communion on March 19. The music was led by the Cherub Choir (primary students) with an assist from some former cherubs who have graduated to “angel”. As the head angel I would like to thank all the cherubs who sang at the Mass and a special thanks to the older students who helped round out our voices. Due to a funeral, our organist was unable to be at Mass, so we sang a cappella.
The third quarter ended March 24. Easter vacation started on March 25. School will resume on March 29. On behalf of the students and staff at St. Mary’s, I would like to wish you all a Blessed and Happy Easter.
Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.