Friday, March 30, 2018

SPRING BREAK 2018


Hello There!

So, today I have a day off and I decided I'd come visit the old neighborhood and catch up on what's happening.

Just recently we looked underneath our bathroom vanity which of course was dated, but still functional. Uh yeah! To our horror, we found extensive water damage.  Not sure where the fault lied, we thought it was due to cracked tile.  So, the project began to tear out the vanity and fix the tile.  
With such limited time, this project could not take months and months.  We found a guy and set the date for Spring Break week.  We had no idea how we wanted the bathroom to look or where to look.  So, the weekend before demo, we ran out to make all of these decisions.  

We were overwhelmed with so many options. We knew we wanted a simple, white bathroom.  Well, at least, I knew.  Let's just say, I'm a little country and my hubby is a little rock and roll.  But, I had already settled before the search began that having a dry bathroom was more important to me than getting my way.  Therefore, I resolved to go with whatever my husband wanted.  Well, it turns out he thought the same.  This helped.

We had some obstacles.  One was the vanity.  Who knew vanities were so expensive?  But, that wasn't our biggest issue, our biggest issue was that our space was not a standard space.  Most vanities are built to 60 or 48 inches.  Our space was 58 inches.  A built-in was not an option with our time constraint.  So, we hunted.  We finally found a little hole in the wall in a neighboring town.  A place we would have never considered.  That's where they had my vanity.  On sale.  I believe it was an answer to prayer because we were panicking.  This guy had the very style I wanted, the color and it was 56 inches wide.  Hello?!


Another hurdle was the floor tile. We have tile in the bedroom area.  Our bathroom is open to our bedroom.  We did not want to replace the floor of our bedroom as it is still in great condition.  So, we had to find a floor that did not clash with the bedroom tile.  We chose this bohemian style floor.  The colors are pretty.  We are planning to gloss it, we'll see if that actually happens.  My little area there has a cute french country look and I couldn't be more thrilled.  It's the little things.  


 After taking down the shower walls, we found the water damage was actually coming from a broken pipe.  Thank the Lord we got it in time. I had imagined subway tile for my little shower area.  What we chose was a compromise, it turned out fine, not perfect, but fine. I'm happy the pipe is fixed.  

Certain things I wanted to fix were not able to be fixed at this time.  The process was not a smooth one, but it got done.  Lesson learned, even new things don't end up perfectly, but gratitude is what brings happiness, not things.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My One Little School Word

Happy New Year, Friends 😀
It's 2018. Could you believe it?

Have you heard of the "One Little Word" thing?

Watch this video by Ali Edwards to learn more.


I started choosing my OLW in January 2014.  
This year will hold my fifth OLW.
My 2018 OLW for my non-teaching life is "arise".
This year I chose to use this same word for my professional life, as well.  I chose "arise" for several reasons, but mostly, 
I think this word is a vivid reminder for me to pick myself up when circumstances appear to weigh me down.  

This 2017-2018 school year has come with some added obligations that I haven't had before.  I'm the ELA Professional Learning Community Facilitator.  This position in itself has proven to have a very sharp learning curve.  Then, we've had some personnel transitions in our department, requiring me to fill in where needed in order to keep everything running smoothly.  Then, of course, I have my regular teaching duties that come with its own set of obligations.  

With so much coming towards me, it was very easy to just crawl inside a cocoon and check out whenever absolutely necessary.  Checking out and living in a cocoon is not what I want, nor does it provide inspiration and excitement that is vital to enduring in our profession.  

So this year, just like the butterfly, I hope to arise from that cocoon, move upward when circumstances get heavy.  

How?

 I think I often worry that the worse scenario is going to happen, therefore I try to be as proactive as possible.  But, if I've learned one thing I've learned this, I can't prepare for everything.  And, even when the worse thing has happened, things have a way of working themselves out anyway. So, one way to ARISE is to remember everything is going to be ok.  Relax.

Also, I plan to "arise" by coming out of my classroom more often and find time to connect with others more.  Teaching can become a lonely profession. There's so much to do and so little time to get it all done.  So, we use every minute of every day to cram one more thing in.  Before we know it, we've been shut in our rooms and haven't lived the day.  This word "arise" is a reminder that I need to come out and 
live a little during the day.

Another way I plan to "arise" this year in the classroom is to make more time for "fun" and not be chained to all the requirements, and testing, and data, and . . .  I think we need to find time to laugh, to create, to chat, and to enjoy our time with the kids and with our colleagues.  That should be in the scope and sequence. 😀  

One last way I plan to "arise" to allow new, unexpected, and unsolicited obligations to help me grow and increase my skills and craft.  I have to admit, learning curves are not fun, and the first thing that comes to mind is, "I don't need this!"  But, what if I do need it?  What if the struggle is exactly what I need to refine who I am as a person and as a teacher?  Quitting is not an option in 2018.  I plan to "arise" and keep moving upward. 



Well, that's it for now.  God Bless!  
I hope 2018 brings you love, happiness and peace.  

Friday, September 29, 2017

Whats In My Teacher Bag


Happy Fall, Everyone!

CONFESSION

I'm becoming a YouTube fanatic.  

I admire YouTubers who have the courage to put themselves out there and share their ideas and expertise with complete strangers. I sometimes wonder if I would have the guts to start my own "A Day In the Life of a Teacher" channel.  I'm not there yet. Nonetheless, I still enjoy watching them.  I've gotten savvy ideas, inspiration, and energy watching teachers share what they do with such enthusiasm.  Kudos to all of you.  (In my last blog post, I hyperlinked some of my favorite channels.)  

"What's In My Teacher Bag" is a popular YouTube topic that many teachers post.  I'm fascinated by them. Go figure.
 So, here's my version of "What's In My Teacher Bag".

MY TEACHER BAG REQUIREMENTS

My bag has to be cute, of course, functional and different from the one I used the year before.  Yes, every year I kind of, sort of use a different bag.  Why?  Because I'm easily bored.  I don't always buy a new one, sometimes I revive old ones. My teacher bag must have ample space to fit all of my stuff, but not too big where it's difficult to carry.  And, one more requirement, my school bag keeps my school stuff and my personal bag keeps my personal stuff.  I've tried combining everything making my school bag multi-functional.  It seems like the logical thing to do.  I mean, who likes to carry two bags?  I don't either.  However, merging the two didn't work for me.  often take care of personal errands after school and I don't need to bring all of my school items into the supermarket.  
So, I do in fact carry two bags.

I usually don't purchase bags for myself.  
My husband enjoys buying me bags for special days.  
Last year, I asked for a Charming Charlie's bag for Mother's Day. When I saw it, I thought it was darling.  
And, the price was, well, you couldn't beat it.

My intention was to use it for school, but then I didn't.  
I just continued using the bag I had been using prior to Mother's Day.  This summer I decided to take the Charming Charlie's bag with me on our trip to Jamaica and I loved it.  That's when I decided I'd use it for school this year.  


The best feature of this bag is that it's a bag in a bag. 


The inside bag has snaps on either side that get attached to the larger tote.  This is why it makes a great traveling bag.  Important items are secured inside and the open tote provides easy access to other less important ones.


For school, I keep my tablet, electronic accessories and other items I need to secure.  


This little black and gold zipper pouch holds my electronic accessories.  


I keep a little stash of "stress relievers" in my private compartment for 2pm slumps.  Vital.


My teacher binder goes in the larger tote for easy access.
This binder is used for lesson planning, student information, and my class procedures' manual.


My school gives teachers a copy of the student agendas and many of us use it as a monthly planner.  This year the planners were back ordered and they wouldn't arrive until 4 weeks later. I couldn't wait, so I purchased an inexpensive one at TJMaxx to get me through the first few weeks. I'm just going to use it this entire year.  It's not fancy, but it does the job and was budget friendly. 


Another confession, I'm a pen and office supply hoarder.  
I've noticed, however, I'm not the only one.   It fits the profile of many teachers. I picked up this cute little silver pouch at Target for less than $2.  It holds some of my pens and I just throw it into the tote part of my bag.  


This little pencil pouch keeps tape, Washis, clips, glue sticks, etc.


I do have another old Clinique pouch that keeps items, 
such as, hand sanitizer, band-aids, eyeglass cloths, vaseline, etc.  Just in case.  I'll be honest, I rarely use anything in here, 
but I carry it anyway.  


I love this bag.  There's a good possibility, if it holds up well,
I might give it a second run next year.  We'll see. . .

What's in your teacher bag?