Happy Topics

We’re in the midst of Thanksgiving break. I’ve unplugged in a major way. I didn’t bring any work home. I’ve only been on Pinterest a few times for school stuff and I’ve been to the gym more times than I’ve even thought about work. I’m on vacation and enjoying it big time.

This time around I’m preparing a pretty nice Thanksgiving spread. We have a lot to be thankful for this year. My big challenge is spacing out the cooks. I’m going to use the BGE as well as the oven and slow cooker. Turkey and pork shoulder will get the Green Egg treatment. Roast will be treated to several hours in the slow cooker. Everything else is going in the oven. I have it mapped out in my mind. We’ll see if that’s a good place tomorrow when I fire up the egg.

Crossfit has been excellent. I’ve been in there a lot. I feel stronger. Actually, I am stronger. My numbers are going up. If I can stay on task I should be able to get my body to show the improvements. I’ve been getting adjustments from our in house chiropractor. That was a great investment. Over all I’m very excited about my results.

Speaking of results. I need to see more with my eating. I’m doing great with the meal prep. This coming epic meal prep I’m going to make sure my portions are right as well as my basic nutrients. I ended the last meal prep by having a much bigger breakfast. That certainly made me feel full longer than when I had a small breakfast and relied on a snack to take the edge off. I’m getting all the water I’m supposed to. That’s strong.

I’m going also do a better job of preparing meals for dinner. No reason to save time making lunch everyday and squander that time having to make dinner when I get home. Might even look into crock pot meals or freezer meals.

Returning to work doing a much better job counting my macros so I have what I need and am not feeding what I don’t want. I should enter 2015 with a slightly smaller waist line.

How’s everyone’s break going?

 

 

Let’s retie last week

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Last week was busy. Lots of fun activities, but at the end of the day this stuff has to stick. Somehow I need to cover each lesson in gobs & gobs of honey so it sticks. Maybe peanut butter. Whatever the analogy, I got to get as much info to stick in these little minds as I can.

Doing great with my daily filing and grading. I’m a little slack writing my plans for the next week, though.

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Meal prep has been on point. It really has transformed my daily routine for the better.  My portions are good and I’m not starving all day.

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The wife is liking the selections. I’m slowly getting rid of all plasticware for our warm meals. Glass just seems to be a much better choice. Holds up in the microwave and dishwasher better.

Got a new “student” Friday

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I got a smart board and it was a breath of fresh air to a tough week. Watching the kids get amped up about all the new things we can do was cool. It’s touch screen so just know that we’re going to go all kinds of crazy with it.

Yeah,  that’s Kool and the Gang playing “Celebration” .

Lots of other really neat things happening, too.

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I don’t have to wonder where my smartboard is any longer.  Owwww!

Great CrossFit experiences this week. Excellent meal prep. My portions have been almost spot on. Now the cut my snacking. I can truly see my overall health improving, less stress and more energy. I think it’s also helping me get ready for the day. No stress in the morning cause I have a lunch prep routine. When I pack my lunch I usually go and lay out my clothes for the next day. Not hours, but both of them shave a few minutes off my morning run around.

I promise I’ll talk about teaching, I promise.

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I truly appreciate my CrossFit experience. I particularly LOVE our coaches at CrossFit South Cobb. For whatever reason I’ve been blessed with very, very poor mobility in my shoulders. This tends for my elbows to not move fast enough in Cleans. If you don’t fully know what that means put it like this. Slam 200 lbs on your up right wrists 2 or 3 times and you’re now in my world. I’ve done a lot to improve and I’m getting there. The winds aren’t in my favor. I’m 40 years old, I don’t have hours to work on this particular skill (I could take hours to stretch)

This week we had a guy come in and do some shots of us working out. Very nice guy. Took some amazing shots. Everyone talks about how this picture is great of me cause I look intense. My wife even said I look “Hot”. For me this makes me kind of tear up. MY ELBOWS ARE UP! I can’t get them up any other time, but thank God I got them up in this pic. I 100% attribute this to my coach team and friends in the gym. So many people have given me ideas to stretch my bear yoke shoulders to get them limber. So many ideas has been shared to free up my hands so that the weight will land in my open hand rather than crash down on my wrists.  I can’t even count how many demonstrations, practices and encouraging words have been shared while I’m killing myself to get my “elbows up”.

As a teacher we need this kind of support just as much. Our jobs are lovely. We are able to shape future, doctors, lawyers, business execs and countless other professions. Future generations are in our classrooms and we’re about to touch each and every one. But this job is equally hard. Day in and day out we have to make sure our technique is sharp and we follow through with every move. There’s room for error, but not much. We have to be on our game a whole lot more than we’re off.

When we as teachers supported by great coaching staff, we can do amazing things. It’s almost like someone is taking the weight of this job and lightening out load. Our community is strengthened when we’re supported by piers who see us struggling even when we don’t know we are in bad shape.

This year I made it my personal goal to show the CFSC level of support to my co-workers that I get from my coach team. I’ve been able to help a few people “get their elbows up” in my own little part of the world. Not sure if it’s a BIG deal. They may not even realize it. I do see the impact and I’m thankful that I’m able to do this. Can you imagine how this fellow feels? What kind of coaching do you think he gets?

Day 2 of Operation Write, Grade and File.

Meal Prepping has been amazing. This coming week will be all about weighing and measuring. No over eating. Even good food.

A very busy week

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Skip counting line. Anyone have any other good outside methods to practice skip counting?

 

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We went out this week to practice moving along with our skip counting. There are a lot of parts to skip counting that I believe as we get it we just take for granted. These babies are really trying their best. I just have to keep it engaging for them. There’s so much that needs to be done. So much that must be caught up on. So much to lay at the feet of Christ and just let Him deal with. All I can do is clock in and give it my best every second.

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They’ve started to process of replacing my “faux” smart board with a legit smart board. I’m going to keep my faith out there they’ll be able to do it over the weekend so Monday I will have a real smart board up. It will really give me a lot more room. Since, I’m supposed to get 3 more students room is a premium. No matter what teaching must and will continue.

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I enjoy meal preping so much. It does add a little normalcy to my lunch routine. Now as I get my portions in line I hope to get better and better at selecting the right kinds of food. I’m making the switch from plastic to glass containers. I’m going to do a little video about some of the issues I’ve found, but the most obvious is that microwaving plastic can be rather nasty. I found these at Kroger for $3 a piece. Can’t be that with a bat!

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If you get the hint, I got the charcoal!

Let’s review and retie this week

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This school year has been amazing.  A real turn around has been that they’ve squashed meeting during our planning times. My trams planning is Friday afternoon.  Also we’ve moved from weekly lesson plans to 4 week plans. So that means I’m planning for the future weeks by pulling anchor charts, centers, assessments and the such.

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This system is outstanding for me. I was able to get so much done today. Even with a few hiccups, I still got a ton done. 
My last post was about Meal Prepping.  It has been fantastic. I’d suggest everyone give it a shot if you want to control portions and your overeating. It’s so much easier to eat clean, do the whole30 or just paleo by meal prepping. 

CrossFit has been great. I’m glad I returned to CrossFit South Cobb. There’s been some uphevala at the gym and all I can say is I am so proud of this community.  There’s something about CF and how they build community.  Can’t imagine the support we see in other gyms.

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It was a good tie week as well. 

This has ZERO to do with teaching

You know that recently I finished my CrossFit level 1 cert. That was so much fun and it took a huge thing off my “to do” list. Now I’m focusing on a much healthier Jason. I really, truly do my best to be an easy going guy. I’m not as successful as I’d like to be, but I’m getting there. One thing that keeps me sane is prepaing my food. I know it’s a small thing for most of us. I can’t eat school lunch under any circumstances. I’ve gone an entire day sans food, because I just can’t bring myself to get food from the cafe. I have been known to eat cole slaw from there in years past, but we’ll talk about that later.

For the last month I’ve been doing a major “meal prep” on Saturday or Sunday night. (This week I’m going to do it while cooking out for Labor Day.) This is a serious undertaking. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself for 5 days and my wife lunch for 5 days. It’s much easier than it sounds. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned.

  • Follow Meal prep blogs. You can get a ton of neat ideas from Instagram.
  • Buy a good set of plastic wear or glassware for carrying your lunch in. Plastic isn’t the choice, but if you’re on a budget it’s what you may have. Glass is better of course. But it’s more expensive.
  • Incorporate your MP in with your normal cooking. I adore my Big Green Egg and it obliges me to cook all my meal prep every weekend. Cooking outside has also kept my house cool.
  • When you’re grocery shopping, look for deals. I’ve been known to hit up the market multiple times a week to get all my fixings for my meal prep.
  • Also don’t be afraid to store things in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Chicken is on sale? Buy it ALL. Put some in the freezer and you’ll be happy you did.
  • Variety, variety, variety. My wife hates my bacon wrapped chicken thighs. I just keep finding bacon and chicken on sale. (I need to stop making bacon wrapped chicken thighs for a while)

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Not sure if everyone does it, but I’m all in for meal prepping. Now if I were all in for prepping my lesson plans.

Week in review

imageHow was your week? Well, week 3 is in the books. I wore black today in honor of putting another week out to pasture. 33 more to go. Do I need to say that this week had bow ties? Well, that goes without saying. No theme ties this week.

 

image  We mixed some CrossFit in with our math drills. The kids are getting so much better at the basics. Ready for something tougher? Surprised how much they liked Tabata Math Drills.

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I am going to be known as the Centers Teacher. I’ve been having great success with centers this year. I feel that I’m managing centers time well and the kids are getting some good practice as well as remediation time.

 

 

 

We’re jumping off on science. We haven’t started doing any experiments. Maybe we’ll do an ALS ice challenge. No.

 

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imageWe are doing our own Flat Stanley projects. We’re going to be sending our Flat Stans off to friends and/or pen pals soon. The kids do like the writing process. More are working on the basics than I thought would. I’m making a much better effort on my social studies. Let’s see how we do throughout the year.

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This weekend

I was able to sit for my CrossFit Level 1 this weekend at Crossfit Atlanta. It’s a 2 day seminar and skills training that’s capped off with a written test. When you get into CF it’s easy to just think it’s about lifting heavy things fast and often. CFL1 really laid that misnomer to rest this weekend. I’m so glad I took the course. Not just because now I can call myself a trainer, but I learned a TON of valuable skills and tweaks to my own lifting. There were so many amazing teachable moments. Many videos are posted on their Youtube page, but it’s not really the same. Let’s talk about the details. 8 seminars. A lot. A lot of skill work over the 9 essential movements (can’t wait to work on them) and a few bonus moves. Fantastically funny and well spoken trainers from all over the CF universe came in to dole out some knowledge and ideas.

The good

  • I can’t say enough about the crew that came in to train us. AMAZING!
  • Crossfit Atlanta housed the event and it is a spectacular gym.
  • The participants!
  • The CF community. Say what you want about CF, but you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better community of fanatic supporters outside of organized sports.
  • Just how much we don’t know. It was refreshing to see that EVERYONE had a teachable moment.

The bad

  • I wanted to be able to take pics. There were some great moments that would have made this blog really pop. *I understand why 100%.
  • I wouldn’t mind a Friday night meet and greet just to get to know everyone before the Saturday seminar kicks off.

The ugly

  • The build up to the test kind of sucked. It put a slight damper on the end of the day. My mind kept searching for key words I’ve heard all weekend, attempting to imprint ideas in my mind and so on rather than really take in the last two seminars fully.
  • I also wouldn’t mind more time to work on skills. We had a lot of time, but I wouldn’t mind more.

There’s so many transferable elements between CF and my daily grind. I hope that one day I’ll be able to find a solid means to link the two together.

I’ll be back to my usual bow tie shenanigans tomorrow.