Friday, July 13, 2012

Feels like the first time...again!

This isn't my first year teaching, not my first year in this grade, not my first year with our principal, not my first year with the people on my team.  So, why do I feel like a first year all over again?  Perhaps it's because it will be my first year without my teammate, Brandy, *tear*.  Perhaps it's because it is my darling child's first year in school.  Perhaps it's because it will be my first time with a new class in two years (I looped last year).  I just can't put my finger on exactly what is causing it, but I feel this undercurrent of panic every single time I think about school.  I feel lost.

Now that, that's off my chest, I'm going to run through some ideas I've been toying with for this Feels-Like-My-First-Year-After-Three-Years school year.   I am really excited about some of these ideas.  The Homework Bingo, for instance, I think is going to be great.  Kids have a lot of demands on them that we don't understand.  We can't be sure what their home life is like.  Working in a school district with such a low socio-economic status has opened my eyes.  Parents can't always be there to help with homework.  Sure, some of them just won't take the time.  However, many others have to work.  Many also just can't help with the homework because they don't understand it.  Homework is meant to be for practice, right?  Yet, what point is there in practicing the wrong way?  So, I thought about the other idea behind homework, purpose.  It is meant to be purposeful.  Not everything that has purpose is academic.  There is purpose in exercise, which our youth undoubtedly need today.  There is purpose in family time.  There is purpose in just showing kindness.  So, I devised this unconventional Homework Bingo.
Homework Bingo

Every year, I start out by telling the kiddos about me. Who doesn't?  As much as they enjoy it, I've found that my presentation is lacking.  So, after searching on Pinterest one night, I realized I was bombarded by those "Keep Calm" posters.

I also realized that I found myself giggling at certain ones because they totally describe me or someone I know.  Enter genius idea!  Why not introduce myself through those "Keep Calm" posters?  So, I put together this presentation (please note than many of the images didn't transfer when I uploaded it to my Google Docs, so use your imagination).  Then, I thought I could let the kids make their own poster (one to three) to introduce themselves.  If the world were perfect, I would take them to the computer lab to get on this site, make their own poster, and upload them to our Moodle page to share.  However, I doubt their internet permissions forms will have been processed by that time.  :(

Many more ideas, but that's all I have energy for now.  I have to start working in my room soon!  Perhaps that's another reason I feel like a first year.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I'm not a woman of many names.  I've never had a nickname that stuck, though my mom has often tried.  I like things simple and plain.  Classic Lays potato chips are the BEST and vanilla ice cream ROCKS!  For all my simplicity, I find words and their power astounding, nothing simple about them.  I mean, really, how many different ways can you analyze the way a person says, "Okay"?  The possibilities are endless!  Because I have such a love affair with words, I find they often seem to fill up my mind with no where else to really flow.  Since I am such a quiet and reserved person, I don't often expel my mental ramblings for fear I will bore or scare people away.  Who would really care what I have to say anyway?  I've been married to my husband for 8 years now, and I very briefly become overly chatty around him.  I like to let others do the talking while I soak it in.  The people I'm closest to can carry on a conversation all by themselves.  Without knowing it, that trait sort of became a prerequisite to becoming an acquaintance of mine. 

 I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."  I live by this, and I am deeply regretful when I slip up.  I am scared to death of looking like a bumbling idiot (see below) no matter how endearing it can sometimes be.

 I must admit; life in the corner spent people watching can become a tad boring.  Yet, life of the party I am not, nor can I force myself to be.  So, how else to take a few steps from the corner and join a bit of the party?  Pair my affection for words with the sheer joy I gather from typing (the subtle sounds of the keyboard clicking away as I barely move my fingers are quite calming and helps me to focus), and a blog seems only natural.  How long will it be before I share this with others?  No telling.  May be never.  It's like mingling with the crowd giving only slight smiles and never actually engaging in conversation.  That's a step, and we'll see how much my cowardice decreases as time goes by.