It Takes a Village
*Students at our bake sale fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey victims*
September 28, 2017
Today, I had a scary moment. I woke up like usual, had my protein pancakes and cold brew coffee and was plugging along in my lesson. A coworker knocked on my door and we discussed strategies to make a more effective home to school connection with particular students. During this conversation I could feel myself become overwhelmed with weakness. I had a pain in my lower abdomen but I thought it would ease up. Well, during this conversation the pain took over and clearly my body reacted. Again, I thought it would pass so I went in the restroom and hoped splashing a little water on my face may help. I looked at myself and instantly realized all color had been lost in my face. My coworker told me to immediately go to the nurse. I asked a parent volunteer to go to my classroom so they could have adult supervision. I went to the nurse to which I was shown so much love as I sat like a big ole baby balled up and laying down. I sat there for close to an hour to which the pain subsided enough that I decided to “tough it out” and finish the day. As I returned to my classroom I was informed that two of my fellow 2nd grade teachers had split up my class and was monitoring their classwork. Once I returned to class BOTH my parent volunteers offered further assistance both in manpower and in getting me personally squared away.
I say all this to say that we often think of children when we hear the phrase “It takes a village”. Well, today my village consisted of a bunch of adults that have one major thing in common: love of our children! And while I am totally appreciative of all of their help, I think of the impact this series of events had on our little people. It showed we don’t just talk about teamwork, empathy, and love, we LIVE it! When I decided to teach I didn’t realize just what I was signing up for. Little people are watching. They’re always watching picking up on more than just academics. They’re learning what it means to be people, hopefully, good people by the adults that surround them.
*side note* At least I was fashionable in my struggles! lol
Lions, Tigers, and Bears. Oh My!
June 20, 2017
For those that follow my blog you know my current struggle. I’m attempting to change my blog so that it’s more aligned with my vision. With all things, there’s a learning curve. Unfortunately, even with the curved grade, I’m still failing. Hahaha. Worry not, I think I’ve found the solution I just have to wait for the dust I kicked up to settle before I start making the moves I want. I am the worst when it comes to patience. I MUST be doing something with myself so yesterday after I finished my workout I trekked it to the public library. Walking into those doors made me flashback to my childhood summers. I was engulfed in excitement. I used to walk to the public library across from my uncle’s house and be in heaven for hours. I’d read everything I could get my hands on then take home the rest. It truly was the beginning of my love affair with books and reading. I walked up and down every aisle yesterday taking in as much as I could. It then dawned on me that I was a little bit sweaty and maybe a little bit stinky too (lol) and still had blog technical details to work out, so I needed to cut my affair short and get focused. I picked up four books two fiction, two nonfiction in an effort for balance. I cracked open my first as soon as I got home “Necessary Lies” by Diane Chamberlain. My hope is it’s as wonderful as the summary makes it appear to be. Either way check back because I will be reviewing my choices and letting you know if they’re worthy reads!
Just Like That
September 2, 2016
This morning I sit in my classroom alone. Alone because Hurricane Hermine forced us to cancel school. Knowing a work day would likely be taken away due to this cancellation I decided to have my own work day today. I am the only one in the building. I kind of like it. I turn my music up, close my door, and open my teacher manuals. As I start to plan I look at my desk calendar. Wait. Really? Is it already September?! Where did those first weeks go? I smiled. Without much notice, I conquered my initial fear of 2nd grade. It’s not so scary after all. I’m still bigger than them. My teacher side eye is still intimidating. I’m still smartest person in the room. I still have their best intentions at my core. I’m alright! Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say it was easy, it hasn’t been. I’ve spent hours upon hours in my classroom and at home creating the wheel. What I AM saying is that it’s September and a new season is upon us. This is when the meat of the learning starts to get seasoned, cured, and marinated. I’m excited about the changes to come. Leaves turning from green to orange and red. The gaps in my scholars’ mouths filling with the first signs of adulthood. Small reading groups starting and giving them more personalized time with me. Posting and hoping my first Donorschoose.com project gets fully funded. Halloween. Thanksgiving. The beginning is gone but the best is yet to come……
One and Done
I made it! I made it through a FULL week in 2nd grade. It’s not that I ever questioned I could, it’s just I questioned whether or not I’d be a walking zombie by Friday’s dismissal. Monday met me with a few surprises…. like how apparently when students “graduate” to upstairs classes parents don’t linger on the first day. I saw several of my scholars politely “shoo” their parents off. I mean they ARE 2nd graders now! Shortly after announcements I was given a gift of a new student. This caused me a chuckle because the running joke was about how my roster had changed 3 times in 24 hours. No biggie. I’ve got this. We were skating along learning routines, silent hand signals, how morning meeting works, each other’s names, the general lay of the land. Then Thursday happened. I pick up my scholars from Spanish and march them right over to P.E. To my surprise there was another class waiting. I paused. I whispered to the students, “Have we already had P.E. twice this week?’ to which they all answered, “No”. For the first time all week I was dumbfounded… Until the P.E. teacher kindly let me know, the day was right but the time was all wrong. Yeah, I was 2.5 hours early. Oops. We finished the day strong and I was confident and proud. I only went to bed once before 10pm. Hello, Friyay! Things were great. Coworker brought some homemade chocolate cake which was delightful to eat for breakfast. The day proved a little trickier, 3 fire alarms (one planned, one brought the firemen, another a computer glitch). Who needs a planning period. I’m good. At the end of the day I stubbed my toe, broke my sandal, and taught a mini lesson on McGuyver as I safety pinned it together. Sure I took a nap at 6pm, but I survived with a smile on my face and joy in my heart! Bring it 2nd grade! I am truly the Queen bee!
July 29, 2016
Last night, I found myself tossing and turning. Impossible it was to turn my brain off. Everything became so real. “What are you talking about?” I hear you wonder. In order to understand last night, you must know my life for the past two months. Some time in May was the first time I realized my world, my teaching career, was fragile. I heard due to budget cuts there might be major changes coming down the pipe. I’m not talking the annoying ones like unplugging appliances at the end of the day either. I’m talking teachers not getting contracts and those that do, being forced to teach out of their current grade level comfort zone. Naively, I thought I was safe. First grade, was my sweet spot. My kids were happy and based on their test scores, they were amazing scholars! Yeah, well there’s a thing called seniority that trumps achievement. I was a low man on the totem pole, and therefore I wasn’t guaranteed another year in the grade that had my heart. I cried. Like a LOT. The thought of starting over all over broke my heart. It made me flashback to my first year and the ten plus hour work days I’d spend trying to understand and master the curriculum. I remembered the many Saturday and Sunday mornings I’d be in my classroom doing the leg work for a successful week. Looking back, I’m not sure why I paid rent because my classroom was where I spent the majority of my awake time. Well, as much as I wanted to pout, scream, and debate how unfair it was, I prayed. (Now don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means a saint and I definitely had an adult tantrum or two with my friends. lol)
My prayers have brought me to now. Yesterday it was official. I am the newest SECOND grade teacher. I’d be lying if I said this is what I wanted. What I wanted was to be in first grade, but after talking with my principal (who was incredible during this chaotic and emotionally charged time) I knew it was the right thing to do. After talking educational practices, it was also decided that I would loop with my students. (This is simply when a teacher has a class for two consecutive years.) I was happy to get my scholars back, but was a little apprehensive about the parent reaction. Did they want to try out another teacher or would they be happy with what they’ve come to know in me? Well, I got my answer shortly after an informational email was sent to the parents. My phone was dinging from text messages and emails from my parents overwhelmed and happy to spend another year as part of my classroom community. I cried again. This time from the all encompassing feeling…. bittersweet joy…..