Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"This Is Me, Giving 100%"

Last year was not my finest as a teacher.
I taught like a short-timer.
Everything I did was just "good enough".
I let negative thoughts about certain kids color my connections with them.

A wonderful thing happened--an amazing student teacher entered my classroom and it rejuvenated me. She reminded me of the excitement of teaching.

And I realized, I didn't want to be done yet, but if I was going to keep going, I needed an attitude adjustment. I didn't want to retire after my worst year, I want to leave on top of my game. To quote Phelps again, "I never wanted to look back 20 years down the road and say 'what if I did this differently, what if I did that differently'. This is me giving 100 percent."

So, mentally I am ready. I'm looking forward to classes and kids. I have long range plans for a couple of classes I've been less than enthusiastic about. I'm ready to make new?  better? improved connections with students. I have a new mindset.

This is me. Giving 100%

Monday, March 28, 2016

{solsc} 28/31 #sol16 Currently

Listening: The gentle snores of Chloe sleeping on the couch. She loved visiting my family and our kids this weekend, but it made for a couple of long days, with no naps for her.  Today, she seldom left the couch, even as nice as it was outside.

Loving: This new season of "Dancing With the Stars" (and now my Monday nights are complete again. Aside from a couple, this season's stars have great potential and have already danced some amazing performances.

Thinking: School starts back up tomorrow. I keep thinking of what I have to do when I get there in the morning. But the truth is, my student teacher is in charge. We talked about her plans and what she'll be doing with the kids this week. I plan to work on a new unit for after she's gone.  

Wanting: A hot fudge sundae, with peanuts. That's what I really want. But I settled for Greek yogurt.

Needing: Honestly. Nothing. My life is pretty great right now (well, aside from other people's health issues). I guess my need is for those I love to be healthy.

Pet Peeve: When my husband makes a phone call right as I call him for dinner.  I understand why he was calling...it just bugs me :)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

{solsc} 26/31 #sol16 Even This Week

Discover. Play. Build.

You've had those weeks, haven't you?
This week we've found out that my husbands twin brothers will both be having major surgery a day apart. One will have a quadruple bypass and the other will be having surgery to remove cancer on his tongue. And then we found out that one of our very best friends was told surgery wasn't possible and he has maybe a year to live.

This all sucks.  And it's hard to celebrate. 

But I will.

Because both my mom and sister (cancer survivors) received clean bills of health. We went to my hometown on Friday to visit and enjoyed the time we got to spend with everyone. We then drove north and spent time with our boys and their families. It was just the thing we needed--to laugh and love with our kids and grandkids. :)

My husband and I are both healthy. And trust me. We have been making sure of that. 

We hit fourth quarter at school, so summer is right around the corner. As much as I've enjoyed this year, summer will be welcomed.  

Even though we received 5 or 6 inches of snow, plus ice, on Thursday, it really wasn't so bad. If you have to have a late snow day, having it the day before Easter break is a good time to have it. 5 day weekend! And, it's melting pretty quickly. 

My resolution for the last five days is to write posts worth reading and not rush them before bed!  Let's hope I can do it!

Friday, March 25, 2016

{solsc} 25/31 #sol16 Cancer sucks

We moved to the area about the same time and met when our oldest sons joined the local Cub Scout pack.  I volunteered to be a leader, Tom was willing to help. Little did we know almost 30 years later, the four of us would still be friends.

We've helped raise each other's kids, celebrated holidays, birthdays, and graduations together. We've been neighbors both in town and the lake. We go to concerts together and enjoy each others company in the quiet of a campfire. 

We've supported each other through the deaths of parents, kids getting in trouble and health issues. Only now, this latest health issue will separate us, will rip apart a friendship strong enough to survive anything. Anything except this.

Cancer sucks.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

{solsc} 24/31 #sol16 Tonight

Your world seems to
out from under you

This has been one of 
those weeks

The words won't come
I don't want them to yet

Tomorrow will be better
Tonight I will wallow in

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

{solsc} 23/31 #sol16 What Did I Do Today?

I did it!
I left my room today.
It's not that I don't trust my student teacher--I do. But I like chatting with her and the kids. I just knew I had to get out of there and let her do her thing.

But was does a teacher who isn't teaching do all day?

I left this note on the board for my students--just so they don't forget me. We're in a Winter Storm Warning, so I know the questions on all of their minds is "Will we get out early?" and "Will we have
school tomorrow?" My note answers both questions!

First hour, I said hello to my independent writing students and reminded them of deadlines and then went to the art room and gushed over the painting of her walls. I reminded her that when she got done having kids paint her walls, I do have one rather large one they could use for a canvas.

Second hour is our prep period. Since I didn't really have work to do, I mostly checked the radar to see how the storm was doing. I forwarded a couple of important emails to Amanda.

Third hour was exciting! I was sitting in the lounge watching this great TedTalk about Procrastination  (there's more below the video)

Just as I finished, the art teacher came in with her student observer. She needed some graphic novels to look at to use for mentor texts in a lesson she was designing combining art and literacy!  WooHoo! Someone needed me.

That lasted for about five minutes.

And I'm back. Writing a blog post.

Fourth-sixth hours found me in the support services room so I could try and get a little work done. I slipped a bit after lunch and spent some time in my room talking to kids. But I realized I was interfering in what Amanda was doing and left to work.  And I did. A little. I started looking at resources for the digital storytelling unit I do in Creative Writing. I've moved it to the last few weeks of school and want to expand it a bit. I took a few notes and tried to concentrate, but man, it was tough!

Seventh hour found me back in the lounge, trying to accomplish something. People kept coming in and chatting, so finally I gave up on the work and just spent time talking with those I don't get to see all that often. And you know what? It was nice. And I'm not going to feel guilty!

Eighth hour I finally gave up and went into my room. The weather was getting bad. The lights were flickering on and off. Excuses, yes. But it was nice to be back. And get caught up on the happenings of the day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

{solsc} 22/31 #sol16 Why I Stayed

I fully intended to turn in my application a few weeks ago for one of the instructional coaching positions being offered in our district.  I worked on my resume, my cover letter and the application itself. I looked back on my career, thought about ways I've been a leader in our district, and ways I've been not so great.

I completed question after question. Aside from a little wordsmithing, it was ready to turn in. Well, editing work and one question

Why do you want this job?

I looked over my pros and cons list. I talked with peers about the job. I reread my answers.
But none of what I read and heard seemed like reasons to leave what I love.

My kids.

I thought about my pixie, who almost took her cutting too far
And A, who always needs to talk on Mondays after a weekend with her mother
And then there's the new boy. So angry when he first started, but now he's fitting in and wanting to raise his grades so he can go out for football in the fall.
They all need someone who cares.

I thought about my credit recovery class--the class that makes me thing about every assignment I make as an English teacher. I can do better for them and I want another shot at doing just that.

So I trashed the application and will stay in my room at the back of the school, working hard to do what's best for kids----MY kids.