Saturday, September 24, 2016

Overwhelmed

You know that point where you really don't know what to do anymore?

I'm there.

So much about this year has just straight up been overwhelming.  I'm grateful for friends and family that support me, because without them, I don't know where I'd be right now.

But, then something happens to make you realize why we do what we do.

After school, yesterday, a friend convinced me to leave school for a bit and go relax, chat, and share a plate of fried pickles (YUM).  While there, I received a phone call asking when I'd be back at school because a former student was looking for me.

Long story short, a student that graduated 7 years ago came to track me down at the restaurant to personally deliver a wedding invitation.  I felt so honored that this young lady, whom I've only kept up with via social media, wanted me to share in her special day so many years after the fact.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it is all worth it.

#OneGoodThing


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ups and Downs

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)



Ups and Downs

This was the first full week of school with kids and it was definitely full of ups and downs.  I knew throughout the week that I needed to blog but I'm already falling into a habit of typing and erasing because I don't want to be a downer.  Then as I was scrolling on Facebook, I ran across Rebecka Peterson's "One Good Thing" posts and it just made me smile.

It was a challenging week.  I have almost 200 students this year, the most I've ever had in my career.  I'm no where close to knowing names.  I have 3 preps, with 1.5 being new this year.  We have a new gradebook program that is creating a lot of chaos.  Our campus is undergoing some massive construction and other technology changes.  And to top it off, the a/c in my building is dead.  As in 83 degree air temperature plus 35 sweaty bodies equals 90 degree heat index type of dead.

But through it all, we are persevering.  Through it all, there were positive moments to be had.  Lots of laughter with my colleagues as we enjoyed being together again.  Ice cream from our admin team to end a hot and sweaty Friday.  Light bulb moments with my students as we built the unit circle in Pre-Calc, talked about eyewitness reports in Forensics, or talked about sampling methods in Stat.  Kids that made my day with positive comments, thoughtful questions, and overall great attitudes.  Opportunities to connect with students as we visited between classes.  Correspondence from previous students that said "My brother/sister has you this year and loves you already!".  The first "High Five Friday" of the year.  Kids from last year coming by and saying they miss my class.  Those moments are the ones that make it all worth it.

Thank you to Sam, and Rachel, and Elissa, and Rebecka, and all of the others that post on the One Good Thing blog.  Thank you for reminding us that "Not every day is a good day, but there is one good thing in every day!"  Thank you for being willing to share those tidbits of positivity with all of us.  Thank you for putting yourselves out there, being honest and raw and emotional, and truly showing how awesome this job can be.  

In the words of our morning announcements... Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Week in Review

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)



A Week In Review - Sunday Summary


Oh my, what a whirlwind week!!!  We had "Teacher Days" on Monday-Thursday and kids came on Friday.  We had a lot of time in our rooms, which was great, especially since about 40 teachers were coming back to brand new renovated rooms with brand new technology! :)

My goal this year is to blog at least my Sunday Summary with a look back over the week.  :)

Where I Was:
This past week was a bit crazy.  We have a new principal, lots of new technology, and construction on campus.  Change is one of those things that most people struggle with and I'm no exception!  However, we made it through.  We were all grateful for 2 days (Wed / Thurs) with no meetings and time to just work in our rooms.  Friday was the first day with kids and to be honest, when I originally saw that on the calendar, I had my doubts about starting on a Friday, but it turns out that I loved it!  We all wore our spirit wear, including our new THRIVE theme t-shirts and it was a great day to meet the kids, tell them what school supplies to purchase, and start out our year with some learning!

In Pre-Calc, we start with trig, so we decided to see what they remembered about SOHCAHTOA.  I had found this activity earlier in the summer and adapted it for the INB.  It really was awesome to hear the conversations about "Now which one is the opposite side?" 

In Stat, we started with my favorite Kristen Gilbert story, but this time when we got to the graph of deaths, I had them complete a poster about their Noticings and Wonderings.  I meant to snap a photo of them, but forgot! :(  Again, great conversations were had all around!  My favorite comment was "This is like a Serial podcast!"

Where I Am:
I left on Friday night around 7pm totally exhausted.  Three preps plus new shoes that rubbed a blister made for a rough day.  I had a to-do list with 22 items on it, so I decided to go up this weekend to work on it.  I was there from 10am - 6pm and knocked out most of the items!  Go me!  I have the next week mostly mapped out with copies already made.  Today's goal is to run to the store to pick up a few items, but spend most of the day on the patio enjoying the beautiful weather and hopefully get in some fun reading time.  All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about where I am!

Where I'm Going:
This next week will be a challenge.  Five whole days of kids will zap the energy! :)  On block day, we'll see our Advisory classes and I will get to meet about 12 new Advisory kiddos.  One of those days will be our Welcome Back Assembly, but I'm not sure which one yet.  In Pre-Calc, we'll be building the Unit Circle.  That class is the toughest for me because I have to practice my lessons the night before since it's the first time I've taught it.  I've not had a trig class since 1992-93, so I'm a bit rusty! :)  In Stat, we'll jump on into sample surveys and sampling methods.  Thankfully, this is year 17 for teaching that, so little prep is required!  In Forensics, we'll be working on observation skills and I do need to spend some time working on my lesson plans in there.  I want to remember to take a photo each day to re-start my 180 blog, so we'll see how that goes! :)

Have a great week, y'all!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ready for a New Year!!

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

Ready for a New Year!!

The room is done, the lessons are planned, and kids are coming tomorrow whether I'm ready or not!


A few things to remind myself when I'm trying to remember later :)
  • I love the "What should my answer look like" from @mathequalslove
  • Table Folders rock!!!  (This is how I pass out papers)
  • The posters for the student feedback ask the following questions:
    • What are qualities of a good student?
    • What are qualities of a good teacher?
    • How do you learn best?  (Specifics please!)
    • What are you excited about this year?
    • What are you worried about this year?
  • Be Joyful Always!
Sorry for a short post, but I got home around 8:30 and kids come tomorrow!!!  EEKKKKKK!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What does it take to Thrive?

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

What does it take to Thrive?


I have been blessed to teach at an amazing school for the past 16 years.  Yesterday, as I started another year at this school, we were introduced to our theme for the year.  Starting back in the early 2000s, our administrative team would come up with a school wide theme.  For example, one year the theme was Mission:Possible and during our back to school assembly, the principals all rappelled down from the PAC ceiling while the Mission Impossible theme song played.  Often our theme played off of a current movie or some other pop culture idea, such as the Incredibles or the Olympics.  During the Olympics year, the theme was "Go for the Gold" and we all were given gold medals as we came in for our all-staff meeting. :)

This year, the theme is Thrive.

Today, we met with our evaluating principal and to start off our meeting, he asked us what it takes for us to Thrive personally, professionally, and for others in our lives.

Oh man... that's a tough question!

Personally
For me to thrive as a person, I need to do the following:

  • Find balance between work and home.  This is hard.
  • Take care of me.  This is hard too.  I need to set aside quiet devotional time, time with family and friends, time to laugh and be joyful, time to relax.  I need to take the time to exercise and eat right.  
Professionally
For me to thrive as a professional, I need to do the following:
  • Commit to being involved in the #MTBoS.  This involves blogging on a regular basis, spending time on twitter, and participating in the #EduRead book studies.  I grow professionally because of the amazing people of the #MTBoS and I need that in my life.
  • Learn to say "no".  I'm getting better than I've been in the past, but I need to say "no" and focus on the #BigRocks.
Students/Colleagues/Family
For me to help those around me thrive, I need to do the following:
  • Be Joyful Always.  It's hard to always have a positive attitude, especially when you aren't feeling very positive.  But, I know that attitudes are contagious, so I need to work on having an attitude worth catching!  I need to look for the bright side and find ways to build up the people around me.
  • Be present.  In a world of technology, it is easy for the screens to take away from our in-person time.  When I'm with others, I need to put away the screen and focus on being present in the moment.  

What does it take for you to Thrive?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Special Right Triangles

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

Special Right Triangles


Today was the first day back for the teachers and I'm exhausted!  It's not like I wasted away my summer, but being on my feet just about wore me plum out! :)

Anyway, last week, I was working on lesson plans for Pre-Calc and I created a foldable for Special Right Triangles  Of course, after I made it, I found all sorts of better stuff from the MTBoS, so it's not great, but it's what I have to share today given how tired I am! :)


This is one of my favorite foldable templates because you print them two to a page.  Here's what the Word document looks like:


My thought was to connect the dots from the square / equilateral triangle and try to make connections that we will use with the unit circle as well.  However, after working through it and then looking at some of the awesome stuff out there (like Sarah Carter's poof booklet), I realize how lackluster this one is.   However, it's what I've already sent to the copy shop, so I learn to deal with it and make it better next year!  :) :)

Here's the file if you want it.  You will need the font KG What does the Fox Say?

Is it bed time yet? :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Analysis Paralysis

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

Analysis Paralysis


Does anyone else suffer from this?  When you have so much to do or so many options to choose from, that absolutely nothing gets done or accomplished?

I suffer from Analysis Paralysis on a regular basis, but back to school time seems to be the worst.  The to-do list is always growing and my time is always shrinking.  Instead of actually getting things done, I sit and stare at the wall for hours on end.  Yesterday is a prime example of this.  I had plans of all the things I would accomplish and then zero ended up getting done.  Of course, part of that is hubby and I ran errands and had some bad Chinese for lunch, so that pretty much ruined the rest of the day, but I should have - could have - gotten a lot done in the morning hours and I didn't.

So now it's the Sunday before school starts and there's that last minute rush of what all can I accomplish???  Thankfully the kids don't come until Friday and we'll have some time to work in our rooms, which is good because I still don't know where I'm going to fit in 2 more desks! :)

Honestly, my to-do list is shorter than in previous years but a lot of the items are details such as "decide which activity to use for Day 1".  There are so many great ideas out there from the #MTBoS that my Analysis Paralysis goes into overdrive.  What if I pick the wrong one?  What if I don't give enough time?  What supplies do I need?  Which one fits my style best?  UGH!

The time has come for decisions to be made.  Even more than that, once the decisions are made, stick with them.

In the words of Dr. Seuss:
"Today is YOUR day!  Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!"

It's time for me to face the reality of the 2016-17 school year.  Let's go move that mountain!!!