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 teacherspayteachers.com 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 teacherspayteachers.com 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 anyway.......my 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 digress........surgery 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.