Saturday, December 29, 2012


It's been over 2 months since my doctor sent me home to rest.  The graft I had this summer isn't healing.(I had a spinal fusion with bone marrow graft and hardware) So for over 2 months I've stayed home. Most of my day is spent in bed reading, taking naps, and watching movies. I know that this has been hard on my students. It's been tough to find a certified teacher to take over too. I miss my students just as if they were truly my family. I guess they really are in some way. Most of them were with me last year and again the first part of this school year. It broke my heart to leave them to someone else. Although I know they were in good hands with a wonderful teacher, it was like turning a stranger loose in my home to care for my own children. I cried, I threw fits, I cried some more. Finally, I am beginning to see the light at the end of an otherwise dark tunnel.

I know I will be able to return to my school family. I've prayed, my students even put me on their prayer list, my family and friends are praying. I believe that God put the love to teach in me when I was too young to even go to school. When I was barely old enough to attend Sunday school, I wanted to be a teacher. I love what I do. I feel it is an honor to be paid (poorly but I am paid) to do something I love so much. It's like a gnawing inside of me that gets stronger every day. Seldom are there days that I don't want to teach, sometimes my urge to be there gets a little vague, but it doesn't take much to bring it back to full force. God gave me the drive and desire to teach. I truly believe that. I do it because I love it, not because it's my job. So for now I'll continue my healing and know that soon I will be back with my school family.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Brain Freeze

Have you ever loved someone so much that even just a few days away from them caused you to lose sleep? That's pretty much what I'm experiencing...except it's not just one someone. It's 23. That's right, 23. Unbelievable that you can miss that many people. If the truth be known it's way more than 23. But I digress....

After spending most of my summer in bed, I just knew I'd be ready and all healed up to go back to school in August. I did make it back to school...unfortunately I battled pain, pain, more pain, and the most compassionate doctor ever. After months at school, countless bottles of pain medication, my doctor finally took matters out of my hands.  He enforced a 6 week leave of absence. Now most of you are asking  yourself, "who in their right mind would have to have an ENFORCED leave?". If you teach for the love and not the summers off, you understand where I'm coming from.

It's been almost 5 weeks. While I know this time off has been necessary for the health of my spine, it grows more and more frustrating every day. I will know next week if my doctor is letting me off leave. I spend my days lying in bed, in the recliner or walking from one end of the house to the other. It's not quite as exciting as it sounds, believe me. I actually thought while I was off that I'd amass this large collection of units to use in my classroom. Ha! I pinned madly, created shortcuts and favorites. That's pretty much the extend of my efforts. I quickly found  that the more time I spent on educational sights, the more tears I cried. So hear I am, with one week of leave before I hear yay or nay. This is where the brain freeze comes in. Any mention of or viewing of educational sights sends my brain into a total freeze. Only mindless web surfing will melt this freeze.....
Oh did I mention the awesomeness of Christmas shopping online?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Flabby Brain

I tell my students that their brain is a muscle. Just like those "guns" all the guys like to show off and kiss, your brain is a muscle you should be able to show off. Use it, kiss it, and keep it in shape. Naturally, this caused a major panic to set in. Why? I began to spazz wonder how in the world I was going to fit everything into those flabby  wonderful brains of theirs. Since I keep my brain in tip top physical condition (my brain looks hot right?) I had an epiphany. A pack of index cards and a Sharpie! (I'm obsessed with Sharpies and pens) Every time we cover something new, make a note card and chunk it in our brain box! I even went so far as to think I can color code my box, index cards and the color of Sharpie I use! (I told you it was an epiphany!)

So here I sit....without my colored index cards, no coordinating boxes to put the as yet started completed note cards. My principal thinks it's an awesome idea. I have to agree with her. Repetition may get boring repetitive, but it certainly reinforces the skill.

My Christmas wish list to Santa now consists of new Sharpies, index cards and coordinating boxes. I wonder if I should just go ahead and add those new boots, belt, and ring I want too?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pinning Has Me Worn Out

I'm a collector. Or a pack rat. I'm not sure which. When I figure it out, I'll let you know. I collect just about anything. Shoes, t-shirts, sweaters, idea books, teaching help books, cookbooks, and the list could go on forever. I've realized in the past few months that it's time get rid of all the junk great stuff I have horded collected over the years. I'm doing it little by little. Wouldn't dream of overloading my poor little heart by becoming totally organized over night. It's not going to happen. I'm a procrastinator, I'm ADHD, blonde, scatterbrained, and somewhat possessive of my stuff. But being the smart brilliant person that I am, I have come to the realization that in order to not only become a better teacher, but to become a better person, I must downsize. Ultimately, for me anyway, this is a very daunting task.

I've always laughed at my mom. She saves everything. But then I had a cerebral moment and bam! I'm just as bad, if not worse. So I'm saying goodbye to the clothing that I haven't worn in a 2 (or more) years. I'm downsizing my classroom. Seriously? If you haven't touched it in years and thought your principal stumbled upon a virtual goldmine.......until you realize you made her a copy of YOUR nifty collection, it's time to donate to the resource room, the single mother, the new teacher, and the good old dumpster.

So if you are reading this, you probably know me and are eagerly anticipating me dropping a trash bag full of junk great stuff outside your door. Stay tuned for the emotional scarring newly organized me.

Friday, October 5, 2012

No Shame

I love books. The smell, the feel, their ability to help me escape. I love to jump ahead to the last few pages...because face it, I hate knowing there is a surprise if I can't peek. Books change your dreams, they sharpen your vision, and expand your mind. They give me a high that lasts slightly longer than the one I get from buying a new pair of shoes. I'm like an addict - give me a book, I need my fix.
I love being a teacher. That moment of watching their faces lift when they finally "get it". It's addictive, it drives me, and I thrive on it. I know what I want to teach, I know how I want to teach it. I simply lack the get up to get up and make my own products. If you are a teacher you understand when I say that the textbooks we have are pretty much useless because they don't offer enough information. If the state tells me I have to teach x amount of material, then I want it right there where I can access it.  This is why I love This is an amazing place for teachers like me. I find no shame in paying money to teach what I want to teach. Someday when I'm old and have no life outside of school, kids, and grandkids, I'll have an account on and be saving for that retirement I'll more than likely never see.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just another brick in the wall

I've searched the internet and picked so many people's brains. Blogs and educational sites have begun to blur together......still I'm faced with the inevitable - my summer next year will be spent working on school stuff. I wasn't able to accomplish what I wanted this summer due to my surgery. It's really hard to put together units when you are lying in bed and groggy from narcotics.

But my brain and body are slowely getting well and I've once again realized I want to do things my way......well technically the way the state of Oklahoma says I have to but with my twist on things. In the mean time I'm doing everything I can to ensure my lovelies are getting the very best education that I can provide for them. Have I mentioned how much I love my job? Children are so much more fun to work with than adults!! They even like my goofy, klutzy, and forgetful personality. They coolest thing of all is that they know I genuinely love them and they love me in return. God certainly blessed me the day he allowed me to take this job.

Here's the fun part for all of you that stumble upon my blog...if you find any awesome blogs, teacher sites, or fun ways to teach that follow Oklahoma (or any state for that matter) standards, please let me know. It's pretty tough putting all of this together all by my little self! I will even give credit where credit is due! ♥

Traumatic Experiences leave the best scars

Here I am after being prodded to write some more. I have been on a schedule of hectic, more hectic and busy. I finally gave in and had back surgery in May. It's been one thing after another. My husband beat me to the punch and filed for divorce in March. Even knowing that what we had shared was nothing but a fractured fairy tale, I just couldn't make myself take that step. He did it for me. So here we are in Oct. and we are still married. Legally heart went out of the marriage business a few years before the divorce was filed. It's hard to stay in love when you realize you married someone that doesn't exist. I have met someone. While I don't think T is "the one" he is a joy to be with and makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. I'm not in any hurry to jump back into a real honest to goodness relationship. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy my life and the company of a good man. But I went well. I never knew that one person could experience, let alone survive, that kind of hell. Then in late July I fractured one of the vertebrae that I had surgery on. I'm slowly healing, but continue to  have pain on a daily basis. I'm not complaining. I'm thankful that God was loving enough to send me to a wonderful doctor.

5th grade is kicking my butt. I love it, but I have to confess that I often wonder if I'm doing enough. Before you panic and start calling my bosses, let me tell you....I have always been like this. I never feel like I'm doing enough to educate my students. I push, push and  then push some more. I never let them have it easy, and always try to challenge my darlings. I know what junior high and high school will be like for them. I wish that I could keep them forever, but unfortunately it doesn't work like that. So every day I try to find something new, something challenging that will not only teach them but will give them an edge for the future. The state dept. certainly makes things tough for teachers everywhere. If you haven't seen an achievement test lately, you may be in for a shock. While I don't believe in making it easy enough to just sail through, I also don't believe in setting my kids up for failure. I get the distinct impression that that is what state testing is all about. How can you judge a child on one day and one test? Who knows what is going on in their little minds/hearts that day? While I do understand the need for a score card for our little darlings, I can't help but think that there has to be a better way........I'm open for suggestions if you have any you want to share.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Movin' On Up!

I received work last night that our school board had approved the hire of a new elementary teacher and a reading intervention teacher. ( Really excited about the reading intervention!) So today I broke the news to the 3rd graders that I would not be their teacher next year. Which really left the 3rd grade and my 4th grade students puzzled.  I told them that Mrs. F (whom they loved because she has been a sub at our school) would be their 4th grade teacher next year.....which puzzled and frightened my 4th graders.  THEN  I reminded them that Mrs. S was retiring from 5th grade and that I would be following them into 5th grade this fall.  The applause was overwhelming! Made my day! Then several of my former students who are in 5th grade found out.  I seriously thought that they were going to cry because they felt it severely unjust that I hadn't followed them to the 5th grade the previous year. 

I must say that it did my heart good to let the last of my 4th grade experience be with these children.  Because the story goes back much further than August of last year when they first stepped into my 4th grade class.  85% of these children were also in the last group of students I taught in Kindergarten (and some of those I had retained from the previous year).  So now I get to see what it's like to follow my students into one of the toughest and most challenging grades in their elementary years.  We go from taking 2 State Tests - Reading & Math, to taking 5, yes FIVE, state tests in Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies & Writing. I'd be lying if I said I'm not exceedingly nervous! But I am excited also.  I feel incredibly rushed for time to prepare for the new school year with my 5th grade babies.  I'm having back surgery in May just after school lets out for the summer.  That means I have just a few weeks of working like a crazed lunchroom lady to prepare for next year while moving all of my things down the hall to the 5th grade room.  It will be mid- to late-July before I am physically able to do much more than look.

With all of that being said, I have a wonderful friend, Penny, who is ready and willing to help me out.  She began as a substitute/certified teacher for our 6th grade teacher who was out on maternity leave.  I observed her in progress, ask for tips and anything she could and would teach me. Later she was brought aboard as a curriculum advisor and then principal.  I forgot to mention she just turned 63 and loves education.  I have learned so much from her in such a short time it's amazing.  Might I add that this is my 8th year teaching.  I feel like a 1st time teacher with all the excitement and eagerness I feel everyday! Everyone should have a Penny!

I have rattled on long enough! I'm sure you've gotten the idea from this post that I'm still in love with teaching.  I'm sure there is a lot more on this subject that you'll see very soon!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Novel Studies

I don't care much for our reading series. Thank goodness Oklahoma is changing to the Common Core Standards and we should be adopting new Reading and Math books for next year. In the mean time, I decided to try out a DIFFERENT novel study this year.  I've used "Charlotte's Web" once before and it was a tough one for some of my kiddos.  So this year, with the help of our librarian & Scholastic for having $1 books, I began reading the "Fudge" books by Judy Blume.  Wonderful!!! I can't say enough about this series of books.  The characters, events, and the language are things my students can really interact with.  They are so excited about ending one book and beginning another.  They have even "cheated" and finished the book and started on another before some of their classmates.

I am excited for them, but even more, I'm excited that state testing will be over with in a little over a month and we can all take a much needed breath of air! Please don't misunderstand, we have fun and interact everyday.  I try not to be a nose to grindstone teacher.  I don't give homework.  What? Yes you heard correctly.  They are responsible for taking their reader home on Tuesdays and re-read their chapters or story along with studying spelling words and vocabulary. They spend enough of the day learning without having homework.  I know I don't like homework either! :)

I hope everyone has a blessed week.  I know I will!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yeah me!

I see so many blogs....I'm not sure if I have what it takes to be a blogger, but I'm certainly going to try! :) Stay tuned for ????