I’m still here

I’ve been having a horrible time loading pics to WP. I’m not sure if it’s me, my phone, or WP. But I have this nagging feeling that I should’ve swith blog hosting this Summer when I had time. Sure hope whatever funky mood WordPress is in that it gets out of it quickly.

This week was BUSY. I got a lot done. The kids are in the routine, but I still feel it could use some tuning. We’re chugging along on the content. Now just to make sure they’re getting it. Lord, please.

Meal prepping has been great. I have some new revelations about it and I’ll talk about it WHENEVERWORDPRESSTAKEMYPICTURES! Augh!

CrossFit is my mental release. It really doesn’t matter how funky the day is. If I can get a good workout in or build on some weak skills I feel SO much better.

Another great 5 days in a row

We had another outstanding 5 days. This group is really special. We laugh a lot and we work hard. I’m expecting to have some great stories about this group as the year goes on.

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We were doing school uniforms for teachers for the 1st 2 weeks of school. Let’s just say Thank God that’s over! I couldn’t find any more white shirts. When I launder them I just don’t feel like I can iron them like the dry cleaner does and I wasn’t taking a shirt to the cleaners this week. If you look closely You may see that a couple of days I just gave up.

 

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We’ve been working on graphing, taking info and using tally marks as well as reading a graph. I hope I’m teaching this in a way that the kiddos get it. I guess this would be the Training phase, where I’m working to get in info into the their minds. Later they practice and use the skills.

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Well, someone got it! I only need to repeat this in 11 other students and make sure they all can read a graph and we’re on Easy St.

 

 

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We read “Flat Stanley” for our read aloud this week. Just some fun modeling for the students. We also have to do writings about ourselves.  So we thought it would be cool to do a letter and get a Flat Stanley off to a friend. So far so good. It’s taking them a LONG time to get any writing worth anything, but it’s a learning process. I think the final project will show just how far they’ve come.

Week 1 has been great

1st of many great weeks is in the books. I had a fantastic time getting to know my students. I feel they understand me and what I want them to know by the end of the year. Every parent I met raves that I’m what their child needs. I always counter that they are what they’re child needs, but that’s another story.  Here’s my week in pictures.

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Days 1- 5 have been outstanding. I made a major mental shift that I think has helped me not be so frustrated, but I’ll talk about it as the year wears on.

 

I’m not sure, but this is a real game changing drink. Take a cup of fresh watermelon. Crush is up pretty good and top it off with a can of Kill Cliff. Again, I’m not sure, but I’m sure this is a game changer for sure. Fantastic mid day pick me up. Might try other mixes one day, too.

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I had a debate with two good teachers. The discussion was around me putting up pre-made charts in my class. I was obviously pro-charts and they were con. Both made really good points. Here’s my issue.

  • With no class theme my room would be REALLY bare sans my charts.
  • I like my charts and made them for the purpose of using them again as decor.
  • I don’t like making them on the fly, because often they’re not as neat as when I take my time and make them.
  • Most of the charts I put up for Day 1 are really there for the kids to glean from right off the bat. It would take a few weeks to teach ALL the subjects that I have charts for.

Anyway, it’s always good to hear opposing ideas and thoughts.

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These little magnet people came from my 2nd grade yard sale angel this Summer. I haven’t moved my students to legitimately doing centers in groups, but I think this will work perfectly. I pinned the chart to the AC unit. The magnet people have each kid’s name on them. I can easily discuss the plan for the day and what group each student is in. This will make it super easy to change groups, condense groups or just not have a team. I was thinking of moving the names round so they’ll be color coded, but either way will be good for my use.

  • IR- Independent reading/work
  • PR- Partner Reading/Work
  • GR- Guided Reading/Work
  • LC- Listening Center
  • Skill- Independent work time working on specific skill

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The mailboxes have started off excellent. I did take for granted that each student understood where I wanted each book to go. Just a little fine tuning and I think  they’ll be right on the button.

Other little things that have started out better than I planned

Table caddies– last year’s group was just special. A lot of the drama that happened in years past was just drama. (Haven’t sharpened a pencil yet.)

Time management-I seem to be on pace. I will know more perfectly as I start breaking them up into groups and running centers like a boss.

Class size– I can’t and won’t complain. I have a very nice sized group. Even if they level the 2nd grade I’ll be thankful.

 

The next couple of posts maybe all about CrossFit since I’m going to get my Level 1 certification this weekend.

 

I sense that this year is going to be unique for a lot of great reasons.  Ready to see how I can change the world. One bowtie at a time.

 

It’s almost here!

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It’s almost show time. My shoes are shined. Shirts and laundered and my bowties are pressed. I have to say that I’m very excited to tackle this school year. There’s a lot that I’m going to change up from previous years. Though I’m ready I’m not in a hurry. I’ll just take my time and  enjoy these last couple of days. You do the same.  

24 hours of “what ifs”

Creativity is an area I feel I can build, grow and expand in. I don’t think that I’m horrible, but I don’t think I create stuff like I should. So I’m reading a book on nurturing the creative mind. An activity in the book is asking “what if”. The more ridiculous the better. I sat down for 24 hours and came up with 200 What if scenarios. I have more, but I stopped myself at 24 hours. I then sorted out the absolute insane time travel, flying and invisible ones. Leaving only the ones that could, maybe possibly happen. Then I threw out the ones that were only about me. I was left with those that dealt with a large group of people, my neighborhood, my family. Then I excluded all the ones that I needed A LOT of help to do. Then I said “Stop”. I went back and put them all back in the list. Here’s my little list of my favorite what if questions. I may go back and ask some follow up questions since each of them requires probably 4-5 follow ups.

  • What if we moved out of state?
  • What if we moved out of the country?
  • What if I could meet with a mentor for 1 hour a week?
  • What if we had four kids?
  • What if every house in my neighborhood had a garden?
  • What if we all had solar panels on our houses?
  • What if I get all the really low students this year?
  • What if I get all the really well behaved students this year?
  • What if we read a book in order to be able to watch TV?
  • What if we worked 4 10 hours days?
  • What if we all took off for the Sabbath?
  • What if we could record our dreams?
  • What if the Church was persecuted globally, right now?
  • What if no one tithed?
  • What if everyone did 3 missions trips by the time they were out of college or turned 25?
  • What if every HS student had work experience in 3-4 different areas?
  • What if my entire community composted and recycled?
  • What if we were paid $50 for every lbs of fat lost and $10 for every year we maintained?
  • What if Christians were 100% confident Christ was with them, right now?
  • What if Christians were as passionate against sin as they were politics?
  • What if everyone saved 10% of their income for 5 years?
  • What if I get 100% parent involvement this year?
  • What if I have a class of all girls this year?
  • What if I have a class of all boys this year?
  • What if every time you needed, you could call up a duplicate of yourself to do 60 minutes of work?
  • What if it were harder to get into college?
  • What if college was cheaper?
  • What if it were possible to communicate with other creatures?
  • What if we all rode bikes?
  • What if we were paid for the books we read?
  • What if we jettisoned our trash to the Sun?
  • What if we buried our trash deep in the earth?
  • What if I don’t get any supplies this year?
  • What if I have ZERO parent participation this year?
  • What if we created a ship to filter trash from the sea?
  • What if I did 12 30 day challenges?
  • What if my family/Small Group didn’t have any debt?
  • What if my family(s) moved closer/further?
  • What if I taught in an all white school?
  • What if you had to get a license to have kids?
  • What teachers were able to take off for a year, do another job/career and come back and explain how that year made them better teachers?
  • What if I have NO support this school year?
  • What if we did job swaps?
  • What if food trucks over took brick and mortar establishments?
  • What if food trucks did neighborhood deliveries?
  • What if all abandoned/empty properties were torn down after 2 years of being unoccupied?
  • What if everyone brought their lunch/homecooked for 30 days?
  • What if every family in my community created and lived on a zero based budget?
  • What if I could carpool whenever I wanted to?
  • What if I rode a cab to work everyday?
  • What if healthy, good food was cheaper than processed food?
  • What if certain companies got a tax break to help a city stay neat, clean and orderly?
  • What if Marietta City set a goal to save $ rather than spend?
  • What if woke up 1 hour earlier everyday and worked out?
  • What if we looked for leaders who served rather than those who wanted to be served?
  • What if I went and met all my social media “friends”?
  • What if no one wanted credit for the good done in the world?
  • What if the next 5 years were all we had left?
  • What if we saw ourselves as God does?
  • What if we were all able to live to our 200s?
  • What if churches collected membership dues rather than offerings?
  • What if my neighborhood saw a 25% increave/decrease in income?
  • What if we could really multitask?
  • What if teachers were paid by the hour?
  • What if we all spoke 3 languages from birth?
  • What if we could travel back in time only once?
  • What if we could write our futures?
  • What if Christians became passionate about sharing the Gospel?
  • What if half the human raced lived in space or on the moon?
  • What if we could create hydro electric power AND not disturb the environment?
  • What if we could create an engine to propel a space craft at light speed?
  • What if were possible to transform a desert?
  • What if we could make ourselves faster, thinner, prettier with a pill?
  • What if we stopped trying to do the last one?
  • What if…SELF DRIVING CARS!?
  • What if politicians got paid nothing?
  • What if we knew when we would die?
  • What if we got paid for our mistakes?
  • What if we NEVER forgot?
  • What if all schools went online?
  • What if we had a set % of success and it increased the amount of times we tried?
  • What if we could communicate with our younger and older selves?
  • What if we had a regular Bible study for a month?
  • What if we had to solve a problem before we could complain about one?
  • What if we didn’t have any regrets?
  • What if I found 6 non-crossfitters to agree to CF for 6 months with me?
  • What if all the businesses in Cobb county adopted one homeless person and gave them a job for 1 year?
  • What if my blog started getting 10k reads a day?
  • What if I didn’t send home any homework this year?
  • What if my students did 7 major projects in class and out that were worth their entire grade?
  • What if my small group became a house church?
  • What if we had to be quiet and think for at least 30 minutes but no more than 1 hour a day?

I got some great ideas from this exercise. I know some are whack-a-doodle, but some aren’t that bad. What are your thoughts? Do you have any crazy what if questions to add? Mind you I didn’t include all 200, but I’d like to see/read yours if you have any good ones. Even those not so good ones will be appreciated.

School starts back in 15 days and I have to say that I’m mentally ready. Now I just have to find where my dry cleaning ticket is.

 

I can’t believe I get paid for this vs Yall don’t pay me enough for this

We all join the teaching profession for a reason; for an idea. Sometimes it’s easy and other times it’s hard. Most of the time it’s just down right difficult and we give up and become normal.

The student teachers I had were in short, very upbeat and excited about teaching. They seemed to let nothing bother them. Back when most of us started teaching we thought that this was the easiest work we ever got paid to do. It might have been fun. We were optimistic. We thought that we were making a difference and that the world would be better because of us.

Years went on and slowly, but surely we started to realize that it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The world that we thought we’d be able to change isn’t so interested in being changed. Just making it through the day starts look more and more a viable strategy.

There more than likely has been a shift in the work. Kids aren’t the same as they were just a few years ago. Dealing with all the stuff that these kids bring can be a major drain.  What will it take for us to get that excitement and drive back. We certainly know more than we did back then. We know what will work. We know HOW, but now we need to fill our tanks with a whole lot of WHY and WHAT.

Let’s get at it. We have a few more weeks before we’re going to either love our profession or not so much.