My thoughts on this year so far

So I am in 3rd grade. The oldest group of students I’ve ever taught. I won’t lie, I’d still rather the little kids, but this is a good trade off.

Third graders know what they’re doing. Yes, they need to be taught a lot, but most of the house keeping is centered around reminding them of rules and procedures not helping them understand what “working cooperatively” means. I need to release the reigns more for this group. After we solidify them rules, though!

This group isn’t nearly as needy as I anticipated. I have a ton of support from the ESOL team. I have 8 ESOL students in a class of 20. But you know what? Everyone does put forth some effort and you can see/hear that they want to make a go at this year.

This might sound odd, but I think I’m over exposed to tech. We have so many websites that the District has provided, plus free sites that offer support, plus sites that you go to as a teacher. I feel my open tabs bar is over run. (I am sure there’s a percent of bookmarks that we actually use and I don’t use nearly all of them). In this area I think I feel swamped.

My team is great. They know what they’re doing and allow a lose cannon like myself to be myself. There are seven 3rd grade classes, which is a lot, but we all have a full compliment of students. We all get along and support one another. Help is just a quick email or yell down the hall away.

I am much different than I was even last year. I tend to be MUCH more forgiving. I am still prone to be rant-tastic, but it’s nothing like before. Not nearly as sarcastic and over all I think this group is going to pull off something great. I am quite optimistic about this year.

There’s a lot that needs to be done. Lots that hasn’t really be made clear, but overall I have high expectations of this being a fantastic school year.

A super school year must start off busy. I have been running and going so much this year. But I will say this. My class is by in far the absolute best I’ve ever written had. They have so much potential, that I feel the real pressure to lead them to deep learning. Also I have been paired with the best 3rd grade team in the world.  We have so many ideas and concepts.  We’re really going to rock this school year for sure.  

I will be back with a real summary of this year so far. 

Where did the Summer go?

Next week I report back to work to kick off the 2016-17 school year. And all I really have on my mind is “where did the summer go?” These last few weeks seem like a blur.

Though the Summer was quick I am thankful for this one particularly. This Summer I spent more time than I have ever have reading, praying, relaxing and getting myself prepared inwardly for this coming school year. As everyone knows 2016 has been very interesting. (We still have 4 months left!) 2016 is kind of a draining year. I can’t really verbalize it, but I am sure you all know what I mean. I am thankful for so much about this Summer and this year.

It may sound odd and even crazy, but I am looking forward to this new school year. For some reason I have a quiet expectation of opening this school year.  I don’t know anything specific. I don’t have an inside scoop. However, I just am looking towards this being a school year like none other.

What about you? Are you ready for another school year?

What are we to do? 

2016 has been already made itself a doozie of a year. What’s sad, shocking and sobering is that we still have 5 months to go. What do we do? 

Lots of folk are just raw. They’re emotions are exposed.  They’re at a slow boil and they’re scared. They’re at their What’s End.  The future doesn’t look sunshine and rainbows.  

And I have to say that I fully and completely understand.  However, I want to add perspective and hopefully be helpful to those very passionate, upset, angry who may come across this post. 

No matter what we’ve come to accept, mankind is wicked.  That includes the most precious infant born today all the way to the most vile and blatantly wicked person who ever lived.  We’re messed up. 

That being said, we do wicked, evil and depraved things to one another, the world and even to God.  The passage I posted before was penned by one who knew his own state, but wanted to do differently.  He knew just how wretched he was and that if God didn’t guard his mouth he’d only foul up the situation more. He also knew just how deceptive wicked actions were.  He called them delicacies (I’m thinking of some kind of baked goodie topped with goodness and filled with splendor) Just like that cake, pie or whatever he wanted to stay away from it. 

Maybe, I need to take that into account before my slacks don’t fit anymore.  😂

The actions seem good for a while, but they never satisfy and sadly we need more and more to get us there and they never will.  We’ll just keep going and going gobbling down these tastiest only to regret it.  Then we start over again! 

It’s quite clear that whatever the author wanted to say wasn’t on par with his new life going after righteousness.  It can also be seen that the relationship between what’s in the heart and what’s spoken can’t be denied. Our words and deeds follow our hearts. 

So our hearts are the problem.  All the external things, though horrible and wicked are just outcroppings of our desperately wicked hearts.  Badge, t-shirt, expensive pant suit, uniform or just a pair of jeans, we all are dastardly wicked and it’s only a matter of time until we show out. 

There isn’t anything we can do. We’re lost. 

Unless…. 

The Whitaker Park Crawl recap

This year’s Park Crawl was a ton of fun. A lot worked out just like we expected. There were some hiccups, but nothing to report.

Before

  • We scoped out parks that we wanted to creep by in advance. We also had our tried and true few near our house. So we had a solid plan to hit out goal.
  • Talk it up and talk it up right. The girls jumped out of bed this AM. There was no prodding and fussing. They were ready to get it going.
  • Start early. The afternoon would have been a horrible event if we hadn’t stopped early to run home.
  • Planning lunch spot was perfect.
  • Bring lots of bug spray and sun block.

During

  • Be willing to veer off plan. Traffic was a mess this morning so we couldn’t get to our 1st park and that threw off our plan. However, we found 3 parks that we wouldn’t have it we had stuck to our plan.
  • The girls are the right ages now. They understand that we’re doing something silly and fun. They know that this is supposed to be a Dine and Dash. I even heard them say “oh this is a 10 minute park” or “I’m going to get my full 15 minutes here.”
  • Even with a slight deviation to our trip we landed at our lunch spot on time and had a great time.

After

  • Don’t be surprised if they don’t fall asleep! WHY ARE THEY STILL AWAKE?!

Change

  • The girls wanted to do a video review of each park. That would have taken much longer than our expected 101-15 minutes. However, I think we could do this sometime soon. They had some excellent/thoughtful reasons for why they liked some parks and didn’t like others.
  • The girls were supposed to rate each park between 0-10. Well, needless to say that didn’t go just right.

Pictures forth coming.

 

The Whitaker Park Crawl

Today is the most epic foolishness that me and the girls do during the Summer, the Whitaker Park Crawl. Simply, we try to hit as many parks as we can in one day. This year since the girls are able we went and scoped out out route, planned our parks and determined where we’re getting lunch. I’ll report back with pics and shenanigans.

My First Year in MCS

wpid-20151002_111731.jpgThis was my first year in MCS and it was eye opening. Here’s my observations from this past school year.

The Sunny Side

  • I totally love my team! I didn’t think I’d bond with a team as much as I did with my last group at my last school. Thank God I met this group. They made my year of teaching fruitful and exciting.
  • I had a fantastic group of students. We all struggled and in some areas we were clearly grasping for a life line, but they were never horrible. Just kids who need direction.
  • Being close to home was really fun.
  • Working in a more diverse school was insightful. It’s very, very easy to get into a mental rut when every person in the building is of the same ethnic group.
  • Supplies and “school stuff” was in abundance.
  • I had tons of volunteers come to read, visit and add to my class this year. Probably because I was only 6 miles from home.
  • Bowties were on point!
  • Jeans passes are a miracle from on High.
  • Meal Prep was on and popping!

Slightly Cloudy

  • I didn’t like my classroom theme. Thinking that I may not do a theme next year, more on that later.
  • Lots of transition. I believe that the last 2 months of school were the most stable. From Day 1 until the late April I had more than 9 students come in and leave from my class.
  • Though my kiddos were sweet they needed a lot more hugs and coddling than I dole out. Sorry kids, Whitaker doesn’t hug.
  • Where did all the grey in my beard come from?

Rainy Days

  • I feel as if I didn’t get a full grasp of the new to me 1st grade content. Coming from 2nd grade I could see where 1st grade was going, but I just don’t think I got it down.
  • I can’t find 1 picture that clearly embodies this year. Augh!

This was a fantastic school year and I can’t think of much that would have made it better. I’m enjoying my vacation and quietly looking forward to another solid school year.

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