Thursday, September 21, 2017

Magical Fixes

Yesterday morning, I hadn't slept very well, and when I got to school, I just knew I had to finish doing my goals. Does everyone else have to do these? We have to write a student achievement goal {that can be measured} and also a personal goal; and our principal writes a building goal for us. Well, yesterday was the deadline. 
I was emailing back and forth with my principal to finish up. I entered my student achievement goal. And then I had the momentous moment where I clicked submit. And then there's a big scary screen that says, this is forever and permanent - or you know, something like that. And I clicked it. 

And then I went to enter my personal goal --- and realized I had put my student achievement goal under my personal goal! Argh!!! 

I didn't want to, but I emailed my principal. And guess what? She didn't yell at me, or say why did I do that, or huff at me. She had the magical powers to fix it. And she just did that, and sent me an email to try again. 

So later that day, when my first grade friends were cutting, and one of them accidentally cut on the wrong line, I was able to say, "accidents happen," and put some tape on it. 

I'll admit, I'm not always so good at magically fixing what I'm able to magical fix. Sometimes, I huff. Or I say "why did you do that?" Or... well, I don't yell. 
I sure was glad to get a little grace yesterday. Now I want to try harder to pass that grace on to others. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Did anyone else watch the eclipse? I really enjoyed it. We were already back in school, so spent a couple days learning about what an eclipse is AND how to safely watch one. On the big day, we had sack lunches, special glasses and a little music. It was a fun couple hours.
I really thought it would get darker -- we were 90% of the sun blocked by the moon. We had told the kids that it would get dark, we'd be able to see stars and the street lights would come on. Well, nope. So a good chance to talk about scientists making predictions and having to revise those.

So this was a fun way to start the 2nd week of school!

Monday, July 17, 2017


This post starts with a vent and ends with reflection. Just so you know going in!

You might have read that this past school year, was not my favorite. {If not, and you're interested - see here -- and I won't bore you with all the other links.} 
I had a class that was.... interesting... challenging.... different than I'd ever had before. And this was compounded by the fact that we got a new literacy coach and a new math coach. The literacy coach's room was right across the hall from me. Yikes! And there were a couple times that I wanted to say to both of them -- this isn't normal for me. I'm trying to figure this out! I'm doing the best I can right now. 

And to be honest, I felt a little judged. 

So now, after I can look back a little better -- I wonder about a couple of my little friends in my room last year {and maybe from other years, also}. Do they feel judged? Do they feel like they just can't get it right? Do they feel like they make one misstep after another and oops, again? 

I hope not. 

But as I go forward, I want to do a better job of being inclusive; of reminding that we all make mistakes; that it is worth it to try again; and I accept you, and you, and you. Really, truly, I do. 

{Sometimes it's scary to write things like this. I end up feeling like I'm the only one who had that kid that just rubs me the wrong way; or can get under my skin without me even realizing what's happening.} 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

There goes another.....

I had these shoes that were very comfortable -- Ecco's -- but in my humble little teacher's opinion, they are a little expensive - over $100. But man, were they comfortable! Yes! 

But then they started not being so comfortable. And every time I'd wear them, I'd just wonder why they weren't as great as they used to be. 

And one day I came home and noticed this:

If you can't tell, the whole heel has split in two - sideways. {And I have no idea what the water stain is about???}

{This is not the first time this has happened -- other story! I must be hard on shoes; or teachers do a lot of walking/standing. I'm not sure. :)}

I thought this would be a funny little story to tell my students, so I shared it with them. And one of them says, "I saw that your shoe was doing that." And another said, "Me, too." And I'm thinking, ummm, why didn't you tell me? 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Vacation

Is anybody else like this? Every year, I try to have the perfect summer vacation. One year, I didn't do any school work for the whole month of June - I mean, none! Another year, I dedicated the last two weeks of June and the first two weeks of July to school stuff. I think that ended up being the whole month of July, but whatever. Last year, I did a two week professional development deal during June - that summer went by pretty quickly.

This year, I have another new plan. My idea is to spend one afternoon - a couple hours - once a week on school stuff. My thought is to not overwhelm myself, but to also do some thinking throughout the summer. I spent yesterday afternoon - I had planned an hour, that stretched to about 3 -- on looking at my new curriculum and getting some ideas on classroom management. 

I'm not sure this is perfect -- maybe there isn't such a thing. But I'm really hoping for a relaxing summer, where I can 1) catch up on all the things I didn't get to in the last 10 months; and 2) catch up on my sleep! My body still thinks it needs to wake up about 5am. Ummm, no thanks on that!

So, what are you doing this summer? 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Graduation Weekend

A couple weekends ago was graduation weekend here in my town....

*** Let me take a little space to say -- this was also College Girl's graduation. So darn proud of her. As her dad said, she did better than both of us, She went to the University of Kansas and they have a wonderful tradition where the graduates walk "down the Hill" and the spectators line the sidewalk and cheer them on. Her dad and I were standing there, waiting, waiting, waiting... and all of the sudden he said, "There she is!" I got a couple of nice pictures and she was off. {Kind of like in real life, if you know what I mean.} Anyway, back to the regularly schedule blog post....

So when we got home from College Girl's graduation, we got a bundle of newspapers from when we had been gone. One night, when I couldn't get to sleep, I started looking through them. 

And inside one of them, were pictures of all the graduates from our high school. Our newspaper is nice enough to do this. So I was looking through all those faces and names -- and all of the sudden, I thought, I know this one! I know her! And I realized these students that were graduating were my very first class. I started at semester, teaching 3rd grade. And here were those little babies. 

Some of them, I thought "hi you." And some, I thought "yay you!" or "good for you" and then I looked through our elementary school yearbook for that year, and realized some were missing, and wondered what happened to them.

And of course, like any teacher looking back at their first year, I wanted to apologize to those little 3rd graders - there was so much that I didn't know what I was doing.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


So, it's been awhile. There are cobwebs in the corners of this blog site. I've thought of different ways I wanted to start a post -- but haven't actually taken the time to type it out. 

I'm a little afraid -- afraid I'll post today, and then... not again. And if I make this start, I want to be more consistent. 

So here goes today: 

We've got 10 days of school left, and I want a do-over. 
This has definitely been the most challenging year I've had. I've had 3 that have challenged my thoughts on behavior management, and then 3 others that ran a close second on that. One boy, in particular, really affects the mood of the classroom. That's compounded by the fact that I have the largest class I've ever had. 

I've started most every morning thinking: I want to do better. I want to meet them where they are. I want to look for the positive. I want to give the grace that I'd like. 

And I come home thinking: argh - not the way I wanted. So frustrated. 

My do-over would involve me really taking time to get to know my students. I try - but I'm not as successful as I'd like to be. My do-over would have me asking "why" more - and hopefully have students think about the reason behind the behavior that makes it hard for me to teach, and students to learn. 

Well, I won't get a do-over. And I can't even say next year will be better. I'm changing positions and will only be teaching science next year -- it's a special in my district. The desire to have a do-over is fighting with my desire to try something new. I'm not sure how much I'll miss having my own little class of 23 or whatever. We shall see.