The End

I put in my resignation Monday morning. Not because I wanted to leave, but it happened anyway. I commute over 2 hours a day (round trip) at this point and my daughter deserves more play time with less car sitting time. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway, but it’s little comfort when I look at my other kids. The 76 I’ll be shepherding off to the Middle School in 12 days…and the 200 who keep telling me that it’s 3 months or 3 years until they’ll be publishing a book in my class. Do you know how difficult it is to look at those sweet faces and tell them that I won’t be there for them?

I know that the good Lord is preparing me for something amazing and that this step needed to be taken…but HE never promised that it wouldn’t hurt or that I wouldn’t feel guilty for it.

Oh well, you better get your fill of my classroom related posts over the next couple of weeks because May 20th officially completes my first year of experience being the teacher on record…and I officially become unemployed on the 21st! Don’t worry, I’ll try to squeeze in one or two more classroom centric posts for you, I know how much you depend on reading them 😉

May your week’s end be as great as a weekend!

Political Views…Or Control Issues?

I took advantage of a provided work day today and organized a few areas of my classroom that have sorely needed it. The entire day was spent relatively alone, with music or internet episodes filling the silence while I cleaned, rearranged, and organized. Overall, I loved having the day to get caught up and ready for the final 8 weeks of school! However, the reason we had it has really upset several of my co-workers across all 6 schools in our ISD.

You see, there was a gathering of teachers and educational administration at the state capitol today, protesting and making their voices heard about a few different propositions concerning our profession. Anyone who went came to work at 8:30, had breakfast and lunch provided, and if they had to stop somewhere for supper that would be taken care of too. Those of us who stayed home were made to arrive at the normal 7:45 time, sign in, and could not leave except for lunch time (although my school did give us an hour for lunch). On top of that, anyone who WENT to the capitol will be allowed to wear jeans anytime for the rest of the school year, the rest of us will have to continue to wear professional attire. I don’t really care for jeans and kind of have my own dress code, that usually matches up pretty well with the casual professional dress code our school has (I’m jut quirky…not ill-dressed) so that part doesn’t bother me…but the implications do.

The ‘if you aren’t with us and on our agenda totally you get punished’ vibe that this demonstration sent out has people up in arms about the way it was all handled. So here is my question to you…is this a group of people showing passion for their beliefs and political views, or is this a set of people with control issues looking to force ‘their’ employees into falling in step behind them?

Either way, I got my work done and don’t mind the dress code staying the same. Honestly, I’m not even sure what side of the issue we were supposed to be on…

PHEW! One Down…

I want to thank everyone for showing such patience and restraint (Or just ignoring me) while I have been mostly absent from the blog the past several weeks. As I’ve mentioned once or twice, my students and I have been madly reviewing and preparing for the State Writing Test…which happened this morning.

I am incredibly proud of all the hard work and obvious thought that my kids have put in to preparing for, and partaking in, today’s test.

Now we are moving forward with

A) MORE SCIENCE! I am super excited to get into more hands on science work with these guys. Their curiosity and creativity pushes us all to new heights.

and

B) Publishing our own book of Short Stories, written by the Highland Park 5th Grade of 2015 and edited by Tyree Tomes. Its a great thing!

Thank you again, I hope to bring more non-school related posts to you soon! Have a Whimsical Wednesday!

Dream Dissertation

I have been diagnosed with strep throat and told to stay home and rest as much as possible until Monday (when I’ll be allowed to go back to my classroom). So this morning, just like yesterday morning, I silenced my 5:23 am alarm and went back to sleep. That’s when my ‘dissertation’ dream started up again.

Now I usually dream odd dreams with bright colors and friends. Sometimes I am a character that has been pushing at my mind, other times I’m just me working through daily issues or having a drink at the local coffee house while my friends and I geek out. But I do, rarely, have a dream in which I’ve followed my heart and returned to school. Though I have not yet even begun my Master’s program, last night’s dream had me dissertating on a doctoral level. The basis of my dissertation?

The impact of J. R. R. Tolkien vs. Albert Einstein in the evolution of Children’s Literature.

Let that soak in for a minute…my sub-concious is apparently much smarter than I am. J.R.R. Tolkien vs. Albert Einstein in Children’s Lit—there were Orcs and the 1st law of Motion being tossed around in the mix as if I was only talking about whether red or blue is better for kitchen cabinets.

ALAS! That’s all I can remember because I began to cough so hard that even dream Beth had trouble concentrating. Which is not good, she’s a lot meaner than I am when it comes to interrupted writing. I’m sure to be hearing about it during nap time!

Have you ever dreamed of writing? Or maybe pursuing your waking dreams? Tell me about it! I would LOVE to hear from you!

how much force would an orc carry in travel? These are the questions my sleep self asked...

how much force would an orc carry in travel? These are the questions my sleep self asked…

Frustrations and Blessings

*Warning – Christian Spiritual Post Starting Now!*

There are some days that drain every last bit of energy, caring, and hope from my being (or so it seems). Days in which every student is on a crazy attitude bender, my child is exhibiting both the terrible twos of lore AND the clinginess associated with a sick toddler (third round of antibiotics and 4th of cough medicine for my 2 year old…NO FUN!), and no one seems to feel as though I can make my own decisions about anything.

This past week I have had people, NOT TEACHERS, telling me my lesson plans need to be looked over because I’m doing them incorrectly, people trying to take over my lessons or classroom, and well meaning family members telling me everything that is wrong with my parenting style, my daughter, and even my fashion sense (If they remembered what I used to wear 5 years ago, they would applaud my current style!). I have been stressed out, at the end of my tether, and left with no time to breath, let alone write. In short, I’ve been drowning. Oh the pleasures of being a teacher and single mother during the “Holidays.”

But these are also the days that I look back on and Praise God. Even as near by as 3 years ago, I would have either walked out or been so abrasive to these (hopefully) well meaning yet mostly un-helpful and under-educated or un-informed (at least about my classroom and lessons) people that I would have lost my job, had students removed, and probably lost the ability to be a teacher. My reputation would have been ruined because I was physically and mentally exhausted. However, God and The Monkey have helped me change my outlook drastically and I am more patient and less defensive (at least on the outside) than I was then.

It doesn’t stop there, however. You see, when God changes things and shows you what there is to be grateful for even the seemingly worst days can bring little blessings through your sad and frustrated outlook.

Take Friday for instance. I had teachers trying to give me advice that I cannot understand and which doesn’t really have much bearing on what I’m teaching (I’m Writing and Science and the only tech I have is a Smart Board that was just fixed a few days ago…so telling me about a great Apple TV MATH app is no help at all). I had a sick child and grandparents coming that night and I was NOT in a great mood. With all of the progress monitoring and practices for programs my students are not getting enough time in my class and it is now only one week to break…craziness ensues daily. But I bought a copy of my series for the classroom and my students were so sweetly excited that I couldn’t help but smile. Then a student who has been a big whirlwind of trouble since the beginning of school was withdrawn to move back to his home state. Though excited to see his mother soon, this young man was tearing up at leaving us. He hugged me tight and I gave him the new class copy of Dragon on My Neck, which he proudly showed off to every person he saw on the way out the door. The class will never be the same without him and, though they will be a lot quieter and a bit more on task, I know that he has left his mark on us all. He may have been trouble, but he was a blessing as well.

Then yesterday, on Short Story Sunday, as I was spending a lazy morning not going to church because the rainy weather was messing with both of us, I wrote a little whimsical poem about sheep on the bathroom wall…and within a couple hours I had 4 new followers for the blog. It astounds me how that happens. I am humbled and blessed beyond measure to have this outlet for my writings both short and not so short (like today!)

So even though I know that this week will be INSANE and FRUSTRATING and CRAZY…I also know that it will be full of hidden blessings and chances to realize just how amazing the life God has given me is. For the record, the week after this is reserved for naps and long writing sessions!

Have a not-too-manic Monday and a HAPPY Pre-Holiday Week!photo

Thankful Thursday

This should be Writing Wednesday but I forgot my computer yesterday so here we are, yet another week with a wonky schedule and no discernible organization. *Sigh* welcome to my life.

So here we are, a chilly Thursday in November wherein I should be writing feverishly. Instead, I am kind of sort of writing during the ten minute journaling sprints my students do in each class each day (5 days of 4 5-10 minute journaling times a day..but my students are not independent enough to allow me to just WRITE). My two stories are coming together nicely, which is pretty awesome since there are details in the second that I haven’t found out yet because of the first. *Another Sigh*

And reading, did I mention reading yet? No, well here it is. Our school principal has challenged the elementary as a whole to read a combined 45,000,000 pages. If we reach that goal by December 18th, she will kiss a pig. We are all excited about this prospect! To further their chances of seeing this happen, we are about to start reading in class again. I am planning on reading aloud Tim Tingle’s “How I Became a Ghost.” If you haven’t read any of his stuff…DO IT! He is an amazing author and wonderful man…did I mention that its National Native American Month and he writes about Choctaw Folk Tales? Yeah Buddy!

That’s my little slice of the pie for the moment…tell me about yours! I look forward to hearing about NaNo word counts, plot bunnies, new reading experiences, and the random ice cream headaches.

Have A Blessed and WARM day!

Writing Wednesday

I know, I know…it should be “What are you Reading?” and there should be a post from Sunday with a short story…I’ll bring it soon, I swear! But this week has seen some major changes for me. Including the fact that NaNoWriMo has begun AND I have changed our classroom around so that MWF is writing and TT is all Science. Hopefully this will help my students really learn their work instead of rushing through to get to something else.

That being said…I’m barely able to read my lesson plans right now. We walk, we hit it hard, we write, we NaNo, we switch classes and do it all again. When I go home, I’m working with my daughter, grading, or collapsing half asleep in front of the television. Is it good for me? No…do I enjoy it? YES!

Now then I want to know what you are WRITING this week! Are you a NaNoWriMo(er)? what is your novel about? Do you need a buddy? You can add me for funsies and see what a slow loser I am this year…I am writerbaby13 (woot woot!)

If you are not a writer, but love to read, then give me that! What are you READING? What suggestions do you have for me? If I have some time I’ll be reading “Rump” By Liesel Shurtliff. It is billed as the “True story of Rumpstiltskin” so I’m sure its going to be good!

Whether you are a writer, a reader, or a procrastinator (or all three like me!) this week is marking a lot of changes and differences across the board. Weather is suddenly turning moody and strange, students and friends are doing the same, and we all of the sudden (In America anyway) feel the need to proclaim a daily thankfulness.

So here is one for you to take home with you: I am thankful for each and every one of you. If you regularly read my blog, have just begun to follow me, or randomly ran across this on your way to someone else: I am thankful for you! I hope that you have a Blessed and wonderful day.

Haunted Boneyard

Last week I told you a little about our upcoming lesson plan involving skeletons and an anchor chart of a haunted house. We did those activities at the beginning of this week and I was (and still am!) jazzed by how well it turned out!

Each class activated their prior knowledge, got excited, and created some scenes that will translate amazingly into their short stories next week. I think we might do more of these types of things! Hands on seems to be working best for my guys (and gals).

Here is a peek at what they got done…

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Thrashin’ Thursday

This week has been an odd one. With teacher work days on Monday (no school for students) and a sick child, it doesn’t seem as if it should be Thursday today…but I’m not sure if it should be earlier or later in the week! All afternoon I felt as if it were Friday, only to be sadly disappointed when I realized otherwise. Every student has been cranked up and crazy, and there are 2 new ones this week too!

According to friends and relatives (who lead real lives and go outside once in a while) this oddness has stretched out to non-school related places like eateries, shopping places, and extra-special road rage. So now I am curious, is this just our area? Is it just the result of odd weather changes and the extra super moon last week? Or is something more sinister afoot? (Or ahead, or a-hand, or perhaps an-ear?)

Should I chalk it up to the excessive amount of adhd and uneducated people that are piling into our area and perhaps write a story centering around it…or should I worry?

How are things in your neck of the woods?

What are YOU reading??

I am sitting at home today, my child sick with a fever, an upper respiratory infection and a stomach virus. I wish I could that I am reading the books I’ve been trying to read for the past week or two…instead I am working on trying to get the Science text lined out for lesson plans in between wiping short stuff’s leaky nose.

That is also what I’ve been able to write so far today, but the day is young so I’m hoping for a few minutes in the world of the Stone Dragons (Maybe in my writer’s loft?? I haven’t been up there in a month!) The good news is that I did write the week’s short story this weekend…I just didn’t get it typed up and published for you, so that should happen sometime today too. *phew* I have more to do than if I had gone to school!

What about you? Are you reading anything this week or is life seeming to overcome all of the reading and writing time you so desperately crave? Can’t wait to hear from you all!

Have a blessed Wednesday!