Blog Archive

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Camp Stories Week 1

Don't let anyone fool you.  That title is a lie!  They call it summer camp, but it's really summer school.  It's a little like taking a zucchini and wrapping it in a Snickers wrapper.  You get all excited to do campy things and it's just a f*cking zucchini!  It's really a little cruel to the little ones because they take everything so literally.  One kiddo said, "When are we going to put up our tents to camp out?", schmamp.  I'm here to tell the stories that happened this week in "summer camp".  First of all, I got placed in 1st grade.  For those of you that know me, you know that A) I have never taught a grade lower than 3rd grade and B) I just really love playing and goofing off with the little ones.  That being said, I am happy to report, that I love, I'm talking big, puffy heart, love 1st grade summer school.  Now, on to the stories.

Day 1:  One of my kiddos, M, is about the most precious thing you've ever seen.  She is the size of a 4-year-old and speaks with the authority of a 40-year-old.  M's favorite phrase is "Can I tell you something?"  Well, of course you can!  This is why I can't teach 1st grade on a regular basis...I would listen to them tell me EVERY. SINGLE. STORY.  So, M proceeds to tell me all about herself.  At recess, I learn that her dad works on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, but not Saturday or Sunday.  She tells me about her favorite color, blue. And her favorite food, guacamole.  At one point I tell another teacher that I would take her home with me and M says, "I'm pretty sure my dad is picking me up so you can't take me home."  Later, she tells me that if her dad doesn't pick her up she will go home with me and on the way she can tell me all about her favorite foods so I can make them for her.  No problem, M.  Obviously she gets picked up by her dad.    

Day 2:  New student shows up for summer school.  We'll call her B.  B is the youngest of 4 and cannot stop talking to me!  Duh, captive audience!  So, another student (J) is hugging me and B says,
"Do you love her?"
J: Ummm...well, no...I don't know.
B: Well, I love her!
J:  stares blankly
B: Do you want to marry her?
B:  Well, I do!
Then B looks at me and says, "Will you marry me?"  
Me:  Sure, but I'll have to ask Mr. Hutchens
B: What?  Who's that?
Me:  My husband
B:  Ok, well then you can just be my mommy!
She has yet to stop calling me mommy! :)

Day 3:  One boy, D, is mad because he didn't get the chair he wanted to sit in.  I finally said something to him and added a "Bye, Philippe" to the end of it.  One little girl says, "Bye, Felicia" to him and he says, "It's Philippe, not Felicia!"

Day 4:  We are doing Olympics-style games in the afternoon.  Today was the discus.  For us that meant throwing a paper plate the farthest.  Each kiddo got 2 turns to throw.  D throws his the farthest and when he wins, he is jumping up and down and high fiving everyone like he just won the NBA championship or something!  He kept saying, "I can't believe I won!"  

Have I mentioned how much I love 1st grade summer school?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Honey, we're out of eggs...

...or something like that!  I have started and restarted this post more times than I can count.  It is something that I am just now truly in a place where I feel comfortable sharing.  In the past week I have had several friends announce their pregnancies.  I'll be honest, this is always hard for me!  I am truly happy for them, but also a little OK, a lot sad.  Sad that I will never experience what they are experiencing. Sad that I won't hear a child's sweet voice say, "I love you, Mommy".  Sad that my parents won't be grandparents. Just sad.  So here goes...

Almost 10 years ago I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure.  We had been trying to have a baby for 2-3 years and decided that we would go see an endocrinologist to find out what the hold up was.  The outcome:  small ovaries and very few follicles.  My egg count was also way down. 

Whoa!!!!  How could this be?  I was only 33 years old and basically my body was going through menopause.  Sort of...I don't have any of the major menopause symptoms it's just that "aunt flo" doesn't visit on a regular basis.  Kind of nice when you're not trying to conceive a child...kind of sucky when you are.  At any rate, the doctor basically told me that it wasn't very likely that I would get pregnant on my own.  The next step was invitro and likely a donor egg. 

As this was a road that neither of us wanted to go down, we sat on this information for awhile.  Then we started to discuss adoption.  We filled out paperwork, went to meetings, but in the end that also wasn't meant to be.  While my husband was on board with a natural surprise pregnancy, he wasn't exactly comfortable with changing our entire lives on purpose.  I didn't want to move forward with something this life altering without his 100% full support.  I'm not saying that there weren't times I wanted to just charge ahead, but then I would always be reminded of what we have and I truly didn't want to jeopardize that.   

As I said before, it has taken me a long time to heal.  I have had the gamut of emotions.  I have questioned my faith.  I have doubted my own worthiness.  I have thought about what could have been.  I have regretted the decisions we made.  It's been a long road to say the least.  

Turns out, once I was done feeling worthless and sorry for myself, my life is better than I even imagined it could be.  I am married to my best friend and soul mate.  I have a job that I can't wait to go to every day.  I have a great family.  I have amazing friends who are like my 2nd family.  I am mom to many fur babies. And "mom" to countless kids I have had the privilege of teaching over the years.  I am truly blessed!   

Saturday, July 16, 2016

That Kid!

It happens every year around this time.  That hopeful anticipation of getting your class list for the new school year.  Getting my class list makes my teacher heart so happy.  It represents hope for a new batch of kiddos, renewed opportunities to make a difference, and a chance for reflection as I look back on previous years to what worked and what I can improve upon.

I scan my list trying to remember the names of siblings and students' names I've heard in the halls.  Some of those names have faces attached to them already...oh, I got her, she's so sweet just like her big brother...look, I got him, he's a handful, such a great math student.  The other names will have faces come open house.

Then, you come across that kid!  You know the one I'm talking about.  The name that makes your heart begin to pound and your head begin to ache.  The one that has a rap sheet a mile long in the office.  The one that other, well-meaning, teachers come to tell you all about.  That kid!

Already you are planning what you will do when that kid gets into the room.  You are going to put them in their place from the start.  You begin to play out scenarios in your head as to what you will do if that kid does A, B, and C...all the way through X, Y, and Z.  That kid!

But what if instead of seeing that kid through the lens of their past you look at them through the lens of their future.  A future that you have a hand in writing.  Instead of focusing on the rap sheet or the comments of others, you let that kid begin the year with a clean slate.  Instead of looking at where that kid is coming from look at where they are going.

Someone once asked me if I would want my child (or a child who is important to me) to be a student in my classroom.  This statement totally wrecked me as a teacher!  At the same time it became a mantra to guide everything I do in my classroom.

We only get one beginning of the 2016-2017 school year!  Make it count!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Name...New Me!

Well...same old me.
Maybe more appropriate would be new attitude, new outlook, new get the idea!

My first classroom in NC-6th grade (straight cheesin')

Since moving to NC 10 years ago (wow, when I say it out loud, it really feels like a long time!)...anyway, since moving to NC 10 years ago, I was dubbed the teacher nerd.  It is a name I earned after one of my new co-workers came into my new classroom and noticed it fully decorated, as in the teacher store threw up all over my classroom!  It was further reinforced by the fact that I had labeled tubs for each month of the school year with a door decoration, at least one bulletin board display, and at least one outside wall display complete with a monthly craft stored inside!  I know my elementary teachers out there are going,  Well, this wasn't elementary school, it was middle school and the "rules" are a little different.  Since then, I have learned to embrace both my elementary side and my middle school side and have landed somewhere in the middle of going all out, all the time and having the same displays up all year long.  I am finding ways to channel the same energy I always put into my classroom displays into creating a classroom community where each student knows their worth and where they can find success.

Today our school began the process of becoming a Leader in Me school.  The Leader in Me is centered around The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  It all starts with making changes in my life to begin to apply these 7 Habits so I can model them for my students.  I am very nervous excited about these new changes that will be taking place.  I am ready to be challenged with who I am as a person and an educator.  I'm pretty sure that adds to my teacher nerd label, but I'll wear it proudly!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I Just Don't Wanna!

All last week I was feeling blah!  I simply felt like a hamster on a wheel...just running and running and running and running and not getting anywhere.  

I have been working out like a crazy person, I've been meal prepping, and watching what I eat and yet my weight loss has stalled.  I haven't gained, but I haven't lost either.  The only thing all my hard work has gotten me lately is lots of dishes to wash and a sore right knee.  It's just so frustrating!

At school, I have been working my tail off trying to find ways to help my students learn the concepts they need to be successful on their end of grade tests.  I am feeling the pressure, why do they seem to be slowing down?  I'm pretty sure my head is gonna explode!

I am just so tired and want to just give up!

So I whined a little bit and then some more and maybe a little more.  And during a pause between whining sessions, the hits started coming.  

First there was this one..."Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." ~Galatians 6:9
Then there was this one..."Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men." ~Colossians 3:23
Finally, he hit me with this one..."Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation in which you shine like stars in the universe." ~Philippians 2:14-15

WOOF!!! Boy does God know just the right thing to hit me with to help pull me out of a funk! I mean, I'm still tired, but I'm ready for a new week! I'm going to get back on that wheel and run my heart out!

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

April Currently

I can't believe that it is April already!  This year is humming right along!  As usual, I haven't posted in quite awhile...some things never change!  LOL
Anyway, I'm linking up with Farley for her Currently linky party!  Here's what I have for ya!

See ya later,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Oh My Goodness!!!!!

Whoa...I just realized that I haven’t posted here since February!!!!  Apparently I go through spurts with my blogging!  I have definitely noticed that I keep promising that I’ll do better and I do for awhile...then life and school kind of takes over!  All I can say is that it is what it is...LOL! that it’s summa-time I find myself with a little more time on my hands.  At least until July 28th when I go back to school!  So I decided that participating in Farley’s Currently is a great way to get back in the game!  Here goes…

Listening: I’ve got HGTV on as background noise.
Loving:  I love summer, period!  I get to spend time at home just doing nothing if I want.  I get that it feeds the whole, “It must be great to have summers off” thing, but I don’t care!  It is nice...I don’t care what anyone says!

Thinking:  I definitely have a hard time getting my brain to shut off.  I am constantly thinking about the things I need/want to do!  Just today I was thinking about renaming this blog.  I was texting my BFF about ideas and said…”I think I just need something to fret over”.  That would be the downside to summertime!  LOL!

Wanting:  A mani-pedi is definitely in my future.  I have to take the dogs to the groomer tomorrow morning.  It might be a day of beauty for their mama as well!

Needing:  With all the things I’ve been thinking about you’d think that motivation wouldn’t be necessary!  Wrong!  I think that I’m overwhelmed at all I need/want to do!  I just need to make a list and start checking off items...right after I finish this!

4th Plans:  Super Dave and I are hanging out with friends this year for the 4th!  We are also contemplating a day trip to the beach on Saturday.  We’ll see if Hurricane Arthur cooperates and gets on out of here!

Well, that’s it.  I’m not going to leave you with any promises this time.  Just a I’ll talk to you soon!