Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Day 20 - Just barely under the wire

I had heard others talking. I knew it was potentially coming my way.

But really.

I had no idea.

I had no idea that this would be my life.

Wake and shower, catch the weather on the morning news
Wake kid three and four, encourage/threaten/bribe them to get out of bed ;)
Make breakfast for kid three and four, hug and send kid one and two out the door for school with hubby
Hubby drops kid one and two at school and drives to work
I drive kid three and four to school, hugs for kid three who hops a bus to the middle school
Turn on computer, get ready for the day while kid four entertains herself drawing on the white board
Parent meeting to share report card
Hugs for kid four who heads down the hall first grade bound
Bell rings, students arrive, day begins
News, attendance, ELA block, Writing block (publishing today!)
Lunch/recess for kids, eye drops for kid four before lunch, lunch/relax for me
Kids return from recess, drinks, bathroom, story time
Math block, high school helper dips her toe in the teaching waters and teaches a math game to class
Specials for students, chat "how do you think it went" with high school helper, correct/return math papers that have been piling up for three days (yes! finally!)
Classroom prep - switch out books on bookshelves to spring/easter themes, add non-fiction tubs to the library for the next reading and writing unit...coming soon! Must. Get. Ready.
Kid two calls - oops forgot about Girl Scout meeting, can I go, yes, see you at 5, hang up
Kid one arrives just in time to help room prep, book sorting, two extra hands :)
Pick up students from special, get ready for home, deliver kiddos to end of day destinations
Greet kid three and four, hear highlights of the day, settle in to get to work
Stay after school 45 minutes getting ready for tomorrow, sub plans for an observation, copies
Kid one, three and four hanging out, drawing, reading, phones, "being bored"
Kid two at Girl Scouts
Hubby leaves work at 4:30, a half-hour late, has to stop and get kid one's baseball hat for practice
Leave school with kid one, three, and four, pick up kid two at Girl Scout meeting
Drive to town pizza place with kids, arrive at 5:00
Hubby arrives at 5:15
Eat pizza, discuss day, review evening line-up
5:45 I leave for kindergarten round up meeting for school
Hubby drives kid one to baseball practice at 6:15
Hubby drives kids two, three and four home
Kids shower and do homework
7:15 I drive to the store for birthday treat ingredients
8:00 put gas in car
8:30 I return to pick up kid one from baseball practice
9:00 Home, pick out clothes, give meds, share hugs and kisses, tuck in kids
9:15 Wrap gifts for tomorrow's birthday celebration
9:30 Make and bake a yellow cake
10:00 Whip up some coveted peanut butter frosting
10:30 Still waiting for cake to cool, clean up kitchen, read report card for kid three, smile :)
11:00 pray cake is cooled enough, be disappointed
11:15 open the computer and finally type the slice for today
11:30 frost the cake, it no longer matters if it is cool enough or not
11:45 bed, essential oils on feet for immunity and sleep (not taking ANY chances), sigh, pull covers up to chin, pray my eyes will close and my brain will shut off long enough to go to sleep
12:00 with any luck...zzzzzzz

Yep. It's here. This hectic life. It arrived before I was ready. It isn't going anywhere. All I can do is hold on for the ride and try to smell the roses as much as possible.

I may not have been ready.  I may not have welcomed the stress of hectic-ness.
I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I'm blessed with a wonderful hubby of 17 years...
                                         ...four happy, healthy, amazing kiddos...
                                                                  ....a job that I enjoy and appreciate...
                                                                                      ...and the understanding of how good I have it.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Day 19 - It Was a Good Day

I just had the privilege of typing/publishing my student's first opinion piece books.

We have a literacy night at school this week and I published them for the kids so that they can illustrate them and show them to their parents.

These pieces are so cool! I gave them a bit more support that I will for the next opinion book but the ideas and supporting reasons they came up with literally blew me out of the water.

Today was a good teaching day and this was the perfect wrap for it.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Day 18 - Please stop, Father Time!

I love that my girls can enjoy each other's company.  They spent the whole day together today and rarely came up for air.

Their morning started by eating breakfast together and watching a cartoon. 

And then the real fun began...


They played Barbies in the basement play space for the whole morning. Came upstairs for lunch. Then immediately went back down to play until I called them up for dinner.

I realize it won't always be this way. There are days now when they aren't so happy to be together.

But, for today, I love it. Because let's face it...

when the girls are happy, everyone is happy.


My 12-year-old is basically a teenager these days.

She sleeps in any chance she can get. She likes to talk to her friends in some format on her phone or computer.  She's suddenly interested in clothes and shoes.  She has opinions and likes to share them.

She also hibernates.

She would spent entire days in her room with her:
   - drawing notebooks
   - books
   - movies
   - talking to her friends
   - did I mention drawing notebooks?

But even though she likes to hibernate, we like to see her smiling face. So, we require some downstairs time from her as well. Sometimes she enjoys this. Sometimes it's an exercise in patience...for us. ;)


I have an actual teenager as well. He's 14...for 12 more days.

I'm not sure when he went and grew up?

I don't remember giving him permission for that. I don't remember being ok with him growing taller than me. I don't remember being ok with him taking driver's training this summer? I don't remember any of these things, and yet, they happened in a heartbeat. They happened without my permission.

I need to find a way to stop this thing called time.

Anyone have a suggestion?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Day 17 - Sick Day

I'm sick. I hate being sick. It was conference week last week so that means I get sick. Every. Year.

And so...
My day in a nutshell:

Soccer game - first win of the season

Girl Scout Cookie booth - drop off daughter

Grocery store - pick up dinner

Home - put away dinner items, empty dishwasher, return a few messages

Cookie booth - pick up daughter, celebrate surpassing a 600 box sales goal for the year

Home - lay on the couch


Wake for dinner and some basketball game watching from the couch

Ice cream run with the kiddos

Order groceries for the week online and schedule pick up from the couch

couch/basketball watching/sleep until bed

bed - sleep until morning grocery pick up

I barely have the energy to climb Mt. Everest/stairs to get my pajamas on.  This slice was a push. So now, it's back to sleep I go.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Day 15 - Unexpected

I expected to be teaching today.
I did not expect to take a nap.

I expected to be finishing conferences today.
I did not expect to spend the day watching movies with my youngest sweetie pie.

I expected to have to rush to make it to my dinner plans on time.
I did not expect to have extra time on my hands before dinner.

I expected my hubby to cook a nutrish and delish dinner of mac and cheese with chicken nuggets.
I did not expect to make it myself in my newly found extra time.

I expected to scarf down my lunch in the teacher's lounge while picking and choosing which conversations I wanted to associate with.
I did not expect to eat lunch curled up on the couch laughing at an episode of Friends.

The unexpected wonder of a broken water main led to an unexpected wonder of a day off.

Yes, I will have to reschedule some conferences.
Yes, I will *possibly* regret that nap later.
Yes, hubby got out of cooking. Again.

Yes, I so enjoyed and needed this day off. Even better that I got to spend it with my favorite 6 year old.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Day 13 - The Visitor

I had a visitor today. A friend, a mentor, a woman I adore. She has all the pep and spark of a woman half her age with the wisdom and kindness of a grandmother.  I was excited to see her, to say the least. It's been a few years and talking online just isn't the same.

After a brief chat at lunch, she dropped into my classroom right at the beginning of my math block. My experiences with her mentoring has all been in the area of writing.  I know what she is looking for in a writing lesson, in a writer's workshop, in a coaching setting, and in all realms writing related. I didn't know what to expect in this new area except enthusiasm.

What I saw was my classroom through her eyes.

I saw a VERY young five year old who is learning to write his numbers absolutely light up when she said she was proud of his hard work.

I saw a young boy who has a hard time forming relationships want to show off for this woman I called my friend instead of laying on the floor and making baby noises as he did for the science teacher minutes later.

I saw a young girl lean over and coach a friend on how to make the number 5 after listening to the "grandma" show her how.

I saw my mentor smile as I talked with my students.

I saw her laugh at the silly things they said to me as we began to talk about math.

I saw her snap pictures of moments of my history that passed almost without my notice because she saw something in those moments that struck her.

I saw the delight on her face when she talked to my kiddos and the love of learning and teaching that she still holds so near and dear after so very many years in the world of education.

I saw a person who can lead and guide with more kindness and gentleness than I can wrap my head around some days.

I saw a person I want to be like when I grow up.

I saw just how lucky I am to have a person like this as a mentor, but more importantly, as a friend.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Day 12 - Conferences

Welcome to Parent-Teacher Conference Week!

Roughly, what that means is...

a week of assessments
a week of report card prep
a week of a dirty house
a week of a dishwasher not being emptied
a week of dishes piling up in the sink (see above)
a week of fast-prep food or eating on the run
a week of late nights
a week of extra coffee
and a couple snuggles missed

But also...

a week of handshakes
a week of smiles
a week of sharing good news and progress
a week of reconnecting
a week of proud kids
a week of growth
and a couple hard conversations

This is the week I both enjoy and dread all at once. It's exhausting to prepare for, exhausting to schedule, and exhausting to carry out. It's hard to miss my own children's after school activities. It's hard to get to my own children's conferences. It's hard to miss dinner. ;)

But, it's rewarding to sit and share all the good news with parents. It's rewarding to see their child smile. It's rewarding to see the satisfaction on parent's faces when they see how much their child has grown over the last couple of months.

So far...
I've completed 2/22 conferences.
The tunnel still looks long.
I'm pretty sure there is a light at the end.
I'm mostly sure it will get brighter each day.
I think I can. I think I can.