Monday, August 24, 2015

Motivate Me Monday with From the Pond

Frog Spot Blog

It's a new linky party created by Frog Spot: A Blog From the Pond with the purpose of motivating each other and starting off the week positively.


Overplanning, something I find myself doing sometimes.  All my plans are not always physically feasible.  My goal each time is to "SIMPLIFY".  
Good ideas are not always good ideas.  

((Picture from Country Lane Home Decor Etsy Store))

Johanna is a former 7th grade math teacher extraordinaire.  She was part of our eagle family even before I was.  She has a gift to make Math fun and easy.  A few years ago doors opened for her to walk into a new career path.  Today she is the children's minister of her church.  While we worked at the same school, she and I lead the Encouragement Group at our school.  It was our job to encourage, pray and just lend an ear to any and every person who needed it.  Johanna continues to be a source of inspration and support to me.

"We Can Do This"

My school has classroom pods.  I share my pod with the Art and Culinary Careers teacher.  Although our subject areas are completely different, we have become a great source of support for each other.  Whenever we are given projects and assignments to do, we rally ourselves and do it togther and
get it done.

"Ohhh Child, things are gonna get easier."

The beginning of the year is always the most difficult for, not just me, but my students.  I have to remind myself that things do eventually settle down.

Smileys make me smile.
I have smileys all over my classroom.

My classroom morning view ~

 Back to Back 3 - Day Weekends 
No explanation needed.

 Stop by Frog Spot: A Blog From the Pond to join the much needed, Motivate Me Monday fun.  

Wishing you a productive, fun and peaceful week.

UPDATE:  Motivate Me Monday prompts change from week to week.  I didn't know.  I used last week's prompt for today.  I decided not to link my post to today's link up because my prompts would be different from everyone else's.  If you have a minute, take a look at this Monday's prompts from Frog Spot.  They're a lot of fun.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

This Week's Reflections: Week 1

My First Week ~ School Year 2016

Imagine starting middle school in a country where you don't understand, read or write the language.  You have six to seven classes a day, and every class gets increasingly confusing as each minute passes.  Your mind is hungry to hear someone, anyone that speaks your language.  Finally, you find someone that understands you, that sounds like you.  So, you grab onto him or her as if your very survival is dependent on their every word.  

Every year I specifically pray for strength the first week of school. It has been predictable since my very first week and my first ESOL class.  Fear, frustration, and hope all mixed into one experience, 
the first week of school in a new country.  

My heart breaks; 
my mind gets tired;
my voice disappears. 
And, regardless of how carefully I choose my shoes, 
by the end of the week, my legs refuse to move.

By January, my kids will own the school.  
By January, they will have been immersed in our academic customs and they will thrive.  
By June, they'll already want to know, 
"How long do I have to stay in ESOL?"
And, in two years, they won't even have time to visit my hallway.  

However, before we get there, we must resolve 
to work through the struggle.  

Your struggle may not be the same, but you certainly have one.  Whatever it may be, remember, 
we did it before, we'll do it again.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Reflections of Summer 2015

Count Down to School Year 2016 

1 Day

The best day of summer break for me is always the last day of school. The expectation of enjoying summer mornings, slow sipping, piping hot coffee, freedom to go and come and do and not to do . . . Ahhh . . .

Now I'm sitting here reflecting on how quickly it's gone, but how grateful I am, nonetheless.

Summer Reading

I love a good story.  I don't follow any reading trends or anything similar.  I just go to my local book store, find the sale rack, and look for covers that call my name. My favorite summer pick this year was "The American Heiress" by Daisy Goodwin.  Loved it! I learned so much about the British culture in the 1800's.  I just received the sequel, "My Last Duchess"

It will be my next weekend read after I finish,
"A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" by Betty Smith.
This one is a biography written in fiction fashion.

Part of this story describes the public school system in the early 1900's through the eyes of a student.  I guess the  "good ole days" may not have been that good for everyone. Perhaps every generation has had its struggles and challenges. 

Our goal should be to do better with each new opportunity.

Take a peek at my "Once Upon A Time" Pinterest board for more of my favorite stories.

Colombia, South America Trip

A Different Kind Of Summer

We see the seasons of life play out through our parents and family, but it's immensely surreal when one's own seasons change. This was our first official empty-nested summer, just my hubby and me. Simple. Quiet. Nostalgic.

To all the young teachers, juggling kids, career, marriage, friendships, the house, family and everything else, know this, it's a season, and seasons change. The best tip I can give is to learn to say 'no' to things that do not line up with your priorities. It's very easy to exert all of our energy and effort at school and find ourselves a little bankrupt when we get home. Establish your own limits and stop signs. We have the potential and skills to do so many things, but at the end of the day, we're only human. The body and mind need to 
repose and recharge.

 There will come a time, real soon I might add, that you will be able to say 'yes' to everything if you want to. Your kids will not stay small forever. They will become more and more independent. 
 And, as you miss their little-ness, you'll have your kids at school to fill that space.

An Office for Me

I'm joining 4th Grade Frolics with my home Made It.  This summer we were able to re-arrange some things around the house and make over a little room we have. For the first time ever, I have my very own home office. (Big, big, smile)



 I'm looking forward to lots of hours of creating, learning, and growing here. So grateful.


And, lastly, but certainly not least, my husband surprised me by taking me to an end of the summer "rest-cation".

Naples/Marco Island, Florida
 Breathtakingly Beautiful

I think this might become a new tradition.

Summer Break of 2015 has officially ended.
Now it's time to put on our batteries and get rolling.
I wish you all a fabulous school year.
'Til next time.  God Bless :)

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Pick 3 for August, 2015 ~ Pinterest Linky Party

Hi!  So glad you stopped by.
Time really does fly by quickly, doesn't it?
Already August ! ? ! 

Today we're joining our August Pick 3 Linky Party hosted by
This is where we post our 3 best Pinterest Picks 
for the month.

This month's theme:  
Things We Can Use In the Classroom for the Month of August

The best way to really get to know your middle schoolers is to have them write about themselves. They may not be willing to say too much in August, but they might be willing to write. This is a great pin with tons of prompt ideas for journal writing.

(Click on image to view original Pinterest link.)

Great idea for teachers with multiple classes, and it would be helpful, I think, for subs, as well.  
(Click on image to view original Pinterest link.)

These are lanyards with all the names of the students in each class, per period.  I assign numbers to my students, so I would add their numbers, as well.  
I think this would be useful on fire or emergency drills, computer labs, picture day, media center, book fairs, or wherever else we take our classes.  


A Coffee Thermos 
because one cup will just not be enough!  
(Click on image to view original Pinterest link.)

By all means, please join in the fun!

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