Saturday, July 25, 2015

Teacher Confessions...

Rain!  We actually had rain fall last night!  Here in WA, we haven't had rain in months.  It's been d..r..y, ya'll!

 Crazy dry. 

My pitiful little yard is a not-so-nice shade of khaki. 

But, last night rain fell.  According to the weather man, we are supposed to have some more today and tomorrow.  This makes me excited.  When it rains, the world seems right in WA.  Don't get me wrong, I love sunshine.  As a transplanted southerner, sunshine is necessary.  But, part of the charm of the Pacific Northwest is the rain...drizzle, drizzle, drop!

Now, on to today's post...teacher confessions!

As a teacher, there are some days that feel like I have my shtick together and days where I wonder why what the heck I am doing.  I love those days where:
*  Lessons go as planned. 
*  Students are engaged. 
*  The copy machine plays nicely.
*  Student growth is palpable.
*  Something sold on TPT.
*  Appreciation flows from admin.
*  etc.....

Yeah, I kinda love those days!

Those days make the others bearable!

Unfortunately, I don't live in Pleasantville 24/7 and reality isn't always glamorous.  In an effort to keeping it real, I am going to share with you areas that I don't feel so good Struggle Street issues!

*  I am a perfectionist.  This is my worst enemy!  I am not a perfectionist in every way (Hello, extra poundage!), but I honestly think that I am insecure about so much of me that I try too hard to have some things seem perfect.  It drives me bonkers to have a messy classroom.  My skin crawls if I make a chart that isn't cute.  Symmetry is important.  Color coordination is a must.  Lesson plans are detailed (imagine hours of planning!).  I could go on and on, but let's just say that this consumes too much of my teacher brain.  I do plan to work on this during this coming school year.  It just causes stress.  I have to learn to let go and just "be"  more than not. 

*  I am an introvert.  Please know that this doesn't mean that I don't like people.  On the contrary!  I love people...well most people....ok, some people.  It does mean that I feel anxiety around a lot of new people.  I don't like to be put on the spot.  I love getting to know people, but I DON'T want to have to do that as a warm up activity at a meeting.  I would much rather sit and have lunch with someone and get to know them.  I love my co-workers and that really is what keeps me at my current school.  Being an introvert means that I crave/need/require time to chill to recharge.  I know that this isn't really something that I can change about myself, but it is something that I have to be aware of in order to work with others.  Know yourself!

*  Tracking data.....I know that this important.  I know this.  I just wish I was better and more consistent with this practice.  I *KNOW* where my kiddos are, but I struggle with a system of keeping track.  Every year, we have new curriculum requirement, testing methods, district mandates, Principal wishes, and what my heart says is best for kiddos.  With all of that, I sometimes get lost.  Honest!

*  Balancing home and school is difficult for me.  I tend to throw myself into one or the other.  During school, I am all about school.  During the summer, I am all about home.  This is something that I MUST work smarter at this year.  I work in an urban, low-socioeconomic, highly diverse, and transient school.  We have major behavior issues....EVERY YEAR!  My school has been considered low performing for several years.  My colleagues and I are only there because we 1)  Feel called there 2) Love our students and 3) Adore each other.  It's a hard place to teach.  Because of this, I invest myself.  I know that won't change.  Investing in my students is part of the reason I love teaching.  I need to practice leaving school at a decent hour most days.  Possibly dedicating one evening a week to stay later.  I also want to lesson plan during the week so that my weekends can be for my hubby.  He is so extremely patient and loving.  He deserves me on the weekend.

I hope that you all have a lovely Saturday.  I also pray that you find yourselves on Success Street more times than Struggle Street this coming school year.  I want to end by sharing my current favorite artist and song with you all.  Many times, I feel as if I don't understand things that are going on in my life.  I can't see the BIG picture.  I struggle with trusting God...I know it's sad and crazy to admit that....But it's true.  Hopefully this song can minister to your heart if you are in the same boat as me.

Blessings Friends,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sweet Summer

Sweet Summer, oh how I love you!  Let me count the ways:

1.  No alarm clock needed
2.  Bathroom privileges....all teachers know what I mean :)
3.  Movie matinees
4.  Lunch dates
5.  Big Brother, Food Network Star, and Rookie Blue
6.  Pajamas or comfy clothes ALL.DAY!
7.  Watching Periscopes from teachers that I adore..... @elementaryshenanigans
8.  Zero learning targets or criteria of success displayed, needed, or thought about
9.  Traveling
10.  Seeing my momma and daddy (I live in WA and they live in MS :(  )
11.  Watermelon, plums, cherries, and peaches
12.  Crafting
13.  Netflix marathons
14.  Reading for pleasure
15.  Lesson plans are not needed

As much as I love the sweet little ones that I teach, I can honestly say that summer break makes me a better teacher.  I tend to invest most of "ME" during the school year.  I have trouble with balance.

I am SO THANKFUL for summertime!