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Showing posts from 2010

Idle Hands

I haven't blogged lately because for some reason I assumed that I could only use this blog as a "teacher blog" or a blog solely about work. Well, I haven't been to work in what seems like a million years. I'm anxious to get back into a routine in which I do not consume 9,000 calories and 14 hours of sleep a day.

What have I been doing? Well, spending time with my family, playing with my new camera (Thanks Mom, err...Santa), loving on my animals and relaxing  with my husband. Adam got the same amount of vacation as me which has been really nice. I've been quite the homebody actually.  It's so rare now that we're both working to get this much time together when we're not both exhausted. I'm treasuring every second I get.
Yesterday we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary. The Lord has blessed me so abundantly in my husband. He is the most patient, trusting, steadfast person I've ever known, and I am SO lucky to call him mine. He's pr…

Do we even own Windex?

Home on a monday. Ahh yes, it's vacation. I would normally be halfway through my science lesson about now, but no, alas I am drinking coffee and fully intending on watching The View. I've made it to Christmas break. I feel like I've somehow reached a landmark. The 3 weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas were pure, unsolicited madness! My kids were bursting at the seams with energy, and frankly, I was just as ready to be  gone as they were.

Guinecula went with one of my students, let us stop for a brief moment and pray that she doesn't come back to school with any bite marks.........AMEN!

We had a lovely Christmas party and I got some wonderful, thoughtful presents from my students. We went on a field trip to see Narnia, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I finally got my appraisal information back, and it wasn't bad. It wasn't glowing and I'm not expecting teacher of the year or anything, but I do feel like she's pleased with me. I can always appreciate …

I don't know what to do with my hands.

In the profound words of Ricky Bobby, "I don't know what to do with my hands." I was wondering aimlessly around the parking lot looking for the object that I must have dropped before I got into my car to go home. I was aghast when I remembered that I had, only moments ago, decided not to bring anything home. It was then that I realized that about 98% of my day I have at LEAST one item in my hands at all time. A book, ruler, chalk, pencil, hall pass, and marker are just to name a few. So walking out of school today sans anything in my hands felt very peculiar, in a good way.

It's Thursday after Thanksgiving break, and one week ago today I was recuperating from an astounding consumption of calories. Heck, I'm still recuperating.

On Monday, when my herd of kids came barreling into my room, I had to take a double-take because I was certain at first glance that the tomfoolery going on in my classroom could not possibly be caused by my sweet and thankful little angels …

Thinking about Thanking

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.  ~Johannes A. Gaertner

Ahhh, Thanksgiving is near. I can't wait! Thanksgiving is by far the most attended holiday in my family. The only thing larger in attendance than people is the FOOD! There is so much food! Casseroles, pies, and turkey galore!

Family can be so stressful, dysfunctional and crazy sometimes. However, God handpicked those people gathered around that table, and whether we like it or not, those people have made us who we are. I have so much identity in my family, and am grateful for everyone in it.

I truly believe that God and family are the most important relationships we have in this life. It's so hard to be away from family, I miss them all so much. I'm looking forward to the holiday season.

It's weird spending this many consecutive days away from work. In case you're concerned about who is caring for Guinecula during …

Sunday Funday

Praise God for relaxing Sundays. Today has been a wonderfully relaxing day. My poor husby is sick. How he got my sickness is beyond me....maybe. Either way, we slept in and had a great lazy Sunday. I'm just now pulling out my paper gradebook and updating my online gradebook that my student's parents can see. Let the e-mails begin.

This week will be nuts. We've got Young Authors Day we'll be celebrating, as well as our Friendship Feast (The politically correct way to say Thanksgiving Feast). I'll be out Friday for one of my Best Friends' wedding.  Basically, I'm grateful for a lazy day in which I have no obligation to be anywhere or do anything.

We've got a fire  going in our fireplace because it's chilly outside. We're about to play a riveting game of scrabble before we dive headfirst into another busy work week. Don't be jealous. I wish I could bottle these days and keep them on the mantle.

I never knew how much I didn't know

Hindsight. 20/20. This is one of the truest statements I know. Would've. Could've. Should've...these are such unproductive sentiments to have. My new verse for when I fall on my face is next time. Instead of wallowing in my failures and shortcomings, I will choose to learn from them and be a better person/teacher/wife because of them.

I've been listening to the new Sara Bareilles CD on repeat for a good 2 weeks now and am so inspired by her lyrical genius. This morning as I was driving to work I heard the words I never knew how much I didn't know. I was like AMEN sista! It goes along with the ole' saying "Ignorance is bliss."

As we grow older we have to be intentional about our ignorance. We go on vacation to be ignorant of all that is going on in the real world. We choose not to watch the news or read the newspaper because we just don't want to know. 


Even now as I type I wonder, How much do I not know still?I'm overwhelmed at how much I have…

Really?

Today was one of those days where all I wanted to say was...Really? Really alarm clock? You're not going to go off when you're supposed to?

Really coffee cup? You're going to fit awkardly in my cupholder so my coffee sloshes all over my car on the way to work? Really?

Really red lights? Waiting for the exact moment BEFORE the point of no return where I HAVE to stop?

Really....DVR? Only recording half of Greys? Now I don't know if the two lesbian characters go to Africa or not!?

If you noticed, I skipped my entire day at school. I did that because it was ONE BIG FAT REALLY?? kind of day!

Sick Day

Well today is my first official sick day. I wish I could say that I'm spending it catching up on work, shopping or getting a pedicure. But no, I'm actually sick. I went to work yesterday morning and felt so miserably horrible that I had to leave mid-day.

Instead of feeling sorry for their poor, sniffly teacher, my kids seemed to prey on my vulnerability and stuffy ears. I don't know if it was my sickness and lack of patience, or their day after halloween sugar hangover...either way, I had to get out of there.

I went to the doctor and she confirmed my suspicions that I have a bad sinus infection. Off to bed I went. I remained horizontal for the next 15 hours and woke up this morning still feeling horrible. I'm on antibiotics, but I guess they're taking their sweet time to kick in.

When I would miss school as a kid it was no big deal. I'd veg out all day eating chips and watching trashy daytime TV. Seriously, did you know that Steve Harvey is the host of Family F…

Analysis Paralysis

"I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living." -Anne Morrow Lindbergh (American writer and aviation pioneer)

I've been thinking about too much. I finally recognized this about 2 seconds ago when I realized that I was thinking about thinking. I've been busy, per norm and haven't prioritized blogging. This is not a good thing for numerous reasons.

1. My blog is cathartic. The thoughts in my head have somewhere to go, like a mini filing system that will never get cluttered. What's in my mind can get out on paper...or screen. Eh, you get my drift.

2. My blog is like a mass e-mail update. It's nice to allow people who love me to know that I love them too, I'm just blogging from beneath a pile of ungraded papers.

3. My blog is like a time capsule. I'm fully aware that I am experiencing a time in my life that is rare and I am taking the opportunity to take a Polaroid of it. A Polar…

The Everyday Picasso

As we were preparing for our plant test last week, I was perusing through class checking various students self-made vocabulary cards. I came upon one of my students who was diligently studying and noticed his definition of the word "symmetry."
Here you shall be enlightened:
Symmetry-A place where dead people are buried.
Mrs. Henderson-"What in the world does this have to do with plants?"
Student-"I dunno..."
Mrs. Henderson-"Did you even look in your science book for this definition."
Student-"No."
Mrs. Henderson-"And why would that be?"
Student(emphatically)-"Because you said you didn't want the exact book definition, you said you wanted the definition to be in our own words."
Mrs. Henderson(holding back laughter)- Okay, I understand that. However, I think you may be confusing the word symmetry with cemetery."
Student-"OOOOHHHHHHHHHH......that's embarrassing."
Mrs. Henderson-"It'll be between yo…

8-8-8

So, Adam just went for a jog. What a show off. He invited me along and I'm not sure I could have internally laughed any harder. Working out is truly the last thing I want to do after teaching all day.

I said here's the deal babe, "You jog...I'll stay here, eat pasta and get fat. Plan?"

I was warned that exercise would take a backseat once I started work. I've always been someone who's valued staying in shape. Heck, I did bikram yoga for almost 30 consecutive days. Yes, I intentionally went into a room that was over 100 degrees and did yoga, for 90 minutes!!! That should count for something right?

I'm still trying to find balance. I remember my mom telling me once a loooong time ago that a truly balanced life has 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep, and 8 hours of play. I don't know a single person that lives their life in balance.

I'm going to try and get there.

"Whatever you are, be a good one." Abraham Lincoln

It has been exactly two weeks since I've blogged. Travesty, I know. Things have been ominously quiet and calm in my life, so I'd been saving up energy for whatever it was that was going to happen.

Well, our school caught fire. Yep, your read that correctly, we had a fire in our cafeteria and had to evacuate mid-day. 4th grade was out at recess, so I was completely oblivious as to why 600 students were pouring out of the building.

I have to admit, I wasn't completely oblivious. I had actually been informed by my student. I know, like an idiot. I just assumed he had his wires crossed when he was screaming at me that the school was on fire.

I owe him an apology.

The worst of it came when I had about 12 belligerently crying students who were adamant about the fact that ,"We must go in the building and safe Guinicula from the impending flames!!"

I was assuring them that he would be fine while simultaneously praying that Guinea Pigs aren't effected by smoke inhalat…

Birthday

I am so happy to celebrate my sweet husband's 24th birthday today. When you spend the majority of your day with 9 year olds, birthdays become a bigger deal than they have been in a really long time. My kids have had a countdown to my birthday on the chalkboard since September 1st. (My birthday isn't until the 27) Today when I mentioned to my class that it was Adam's birthday, I thought I had accidentally announced that class was dismissed and recess would ensue for the remainder of the day. But no...they heard me correctly, they were just that excited about Adam's birthday.

"We MUST make him a card!" they exclaimed. Mr. Henderson's birthday is TODAY and we had to let him know we're celebrating!

Kids. Love. Birthdays.

I love seeing my world through the eyes of a child. When Adam got home today I was just as excited as my class was ALL day about his birthday. That kind of joy is contagious, I don't care who you are.

The truth is, my husband is my be…

A Box Paradox

It's so interesting how the aspects of teaching that I thought I was looking forward to, are now the aspects of teaching that bring me the most stress.

Case and Point: When I was taking my tour of the school, my co-worker showed me my "box" in the front office. I tried to stifle my excitement over what I was seeing, but I'm sure it was obvious. I've always had these glorified ideas of what it meant to have my own box. During my Student Teaching, my mentor teacher would always inform me enthusiastically, "I'm going to go check my box," She would always return with teachery things that seemed to confirm that she, in fact, was a real teacher and that I, in fact, was not.

Well, I  am a real teacher. A real teacher that is gripped with a heart wrenching fear when I get a spare nano second to go check my box. Every single time I go to that God Forsaken box, I have to add 10 things to my never ending To-Do list. Whether it's a Memo's about meetings…

Utter Contradiction

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” — Charles Dickens, from A Tale of Two Cities


I was reminded of this quote the other day, and couldn't have connected with it more. I feel like my world right now is a walking double negative. I mean, I don'tnot love teaching, but I don'tnot want to crawl under a rock and stay there forever sometimes either. 


 I don't want to become a "Saturday Only" blogger, but until my weekdays stop eating me alive, it looks as though that's my only option. This week was particularly difficult, for many reasons I will explain shortly. 


My favorite part of my day is …

Sweet, Sweet Saturday

I'm not sure what it is, but Saturdays have never seemed quite so sweet. I'm also not sure when sleeping until 8:30AM was considered a luxury. Times are a changin'.

I spent my entire morning/mid-afternoon doing an online training. It took about 5 hours, but I'm glad I got it all done at one time. Adam was working on a coral  for Guinicula. His cage is way too small so I wanted him to have some leg room. Besides, I have this theory that his aggression may stem from claustrophobia...he may just need fresh air.

We went up to the school to let him try it out, and he LOVED it! My husband is so handy!

We've had a lovely Saturday together. It's been much needed and relaxing. We're trying out a new church tomorrow. I'm really hoping that it'll be somewhere that we can get connected. Community is so important and we've really been missing having a church family.

Well, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my evening.

Cheers.

Stop-N-Sleep?

So...I definitely just fell asleep at the gas station while I was getting gas. I started to fill up and went to sit in my car and wait until it was done. The next thing I know the attendant of the gas station was knocking on my door to wake me up. I tried to play it off by looking at him offensively as if he had just interrupted my prayer, but I think we both knew the truth.  
I am so exhausted. I have entered into a completely new understanding of what it means to be tired. I wake up at 5AM, and walk into the school between 6:15-6:30, and I'm not out of there in the evenings until around 6:15-630. I decided that the semester I spent Student Teaching is equivalent to when I was in pigtails playing school with my friends. I only did the fun stuff. I didn't manage scheduling, parent e-mails, ESL, GT or MTA. I got in front of the kiddos and provided them with thought provoking and engaging lessons.
I will say that, although, there is a lot of red tape, I LOVE it! There has not been…

It It Has Has Begun Begun..

Welp, folks. I am a full fledged public school educator. AKA: I repeat myself for a living. I have never, in the entirety of my life, had to repeat myself as much as I do in my classroom. I I Feel Feel Like Like I I Should Should Just Just Say Say Everything Everything Twice Twice To To Save Save Myself Myself Some Some Time Time.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY JOB! But, kids never listen the first time. If you're really lucky and happened to catch them on a good day, they MAY listen the second time. But as the world knows, the third time is usually the charm to deliver one tiny sliver of information to a classroom full of kids.

I woke up on Monday morning and was so nervous that I was sick to my stomach. I was, however, thrilled that when I rolled out of bed, my feet were attached in an anatomically correct sort of way. Yes. No backwards feet. That was a good sign. I was at the school by 6 O'clock and sitting at my desk thinking, "In an hour and a half, I will…

The Guinea Pig Saga

Don't by any means think the title of  this entry should evoke images of a soft, cuddly, sweet little creature. On the contrary, my friend. I had the same thought last week when I received an e-mail from a fellow teacher friend asking if anyone would like to inherit a guinea pig that was looking for a home. The subject line said Would make a great class pet! Yeah. Right. I have a man eating guinea pig in my classroom.

It came in and I immediately tried to pick it up. It squealed at an octave only dogs should have the capacity to hear and then bit me! Can you believe it? I was so surprised that I almost dropped it. I spent the rest of the day glaring at it from across the room. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the critter now. Any takers?

Aside from Guinicula being in my room, I had Meet The Teacher last night. It still blows my mind that I was the teacher everyone was coming to meet. It was one of the most overwhelming, yet exhilarating experiences of my life. It fel…

Caught in the middle.

My day started out with a stage 5 fashion crisis. Now, you and I both know that's not a good indicator for the outcome of the rest of the day. My clothes decided to gang up on me and fit awkwardly, be too small or have a giant stain on them from the last time I wore it and ate spaghetti. Really, closet? Thanks a lot.
And if it wasn't my clothes it was my coffee. Let it be known that the last thing a cup of coffee wants to do when its handler is running late is stay in the dang cup. I shuffled down the stairs in an outfit I finally settled on and grabbed my cup of coffee and sauntered out the door. I'm driving down the road minding my own business when my coffee decided to jump out of my hand and land all over me. I decided to yell to the universe that If I had wanted to wear a shirt with a stain on it I would have chosen to do so.
I arrived at school because today was the first official day back. It was really nice to meet everyone and see the people that I had already m…

Insurance?..more like Un-sure-ance...lame joke. I'm well aware.

So, I went and got health/dental insurance today. As you could guess, it was less than exciting. After seeing what I'm going to be paying for it I definitely feel both a cold and a cavity coming on. I was sitting in the meeting listening to the guy talking about HMO and PPO and all I could think was ... I dunn"O". It was all over my head and extremely confusing. I was the youngest person in the room by a million years and felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone had all of these legitimately worthwhile questions about coverage and certain policy changes, when I was still trying to figure out what a deductible was. It was embarrassing. Thanks, mom for always doing that for me, but you know what they say about teaching a man to fish. :)
Needless to say, I learned a lot. I'm grateful to have insurance and did not take out a large ominous life insurance policy on my husband. (In case you were wondering.) In fact, I have a wonderful husband and will give a testi…

Dressing the part.

Child Labor?









To display the kid's work. Birthday board: Incomplete








Student question board.











So we know what day it is.



Boy do I need new clothes. Five years of college may get you a diploma, but it for dang sure will not get you an acceptable wardrobe. As I prepared for yet another meeting for school, I had to sift through sweat pants, cut offs and t-shirts from American Eagle that say live your life. I finally settled on some jean capri pants and a shirt my mom gave me. Yes blog readers, today I wore Mom hand-me-downs. Have I stooped to an all time low? Mom, if you're reading this, I'm not by any means insulting your style, all I'm saying is that I had literally nothing to wear. I find it very important to have a professional wardrobe and will be making a trip to Ross very soon. While we're on the subject, I love Ross and feel that it should not be the red headed step-child to the big department stores. It has merch…

Every bit of 12?

I was at the district office to sign some paperwork last week, and was told by the Human Resources director that I looked every bit of twelve in my drivers license picture. I'll be honest and say that in an indirect way she hit on one of my biggest insecurities as a first year teacher. I am so paranoid that when my students' parents walk into my classroom on that first day they will ask, "Hello little girl, it's so nice that you dressed up for the first day of school. Now, I don't think your teacher would appreciate you being back there behind her desk. By the way, have you seen the teacher?"

I recognize that I look young, and hope that my students' parents will see my youth as a good thing. However, I recall a time when I asked a parent of one of my students during student teaching if she would mind if her child was in a classroom with a first year teacher. Her response was harsh, abrupt and what I hear in the back of my mind every time I get told I look …

Patterns:Emotions:Relevance

Patterns, emotions and relevance are the three components that are involved in order for true learning to occur. Today I attended the last day of my three day conference in which I attended a "Brain Based Learning" seminar. It was absolutely fascinating to learn about the make-up of the human brain and about the mechanics involved in memory. I certainly learned a new way of looking at teaching.

I'm reading a book that has been recommended to me by numerous teacher friends and future colleagues. The book is entitled "The First Days of School," By Harry Wong. I am really enjoying the book and getting a lot of practical tools to use on those first few days. In reality, how to approach the first few days of school were never taught in any of my Undergraduate Coursework, nor did I experience the first days of school while in my student teaching experience. I am surprised by this fact, mainly because the foundation for the rest of the year is established within thos…

Trusting My Brain

Welp, I've officially started the adventure of my first year as a teacher. Wow. It feels surreal that all I've been working toward has finally come to fruition. I am truly blessed to be working in such struggling economic times. I will be teaching 4th Grade Math/Science. Any of you reading this who know me, know that math has always been a tough subject for me. I had to take more math during my time at A&M than the Good Lord should allow. This means that I know what it takes to persevere and fight my way through a subject. I believe that my own struggles and insecurities that I faced with the very subject that I am now entrusted with teaching will help me empathize and guide my students through their own journey with math.

Today, I finished day two of a three day conference for the teachers in my district. I have learned so much and (although my mind has been on complete overload) I am truly grateful for the experience in which I have gained. One of the speakers made a com…