Time to “Get My Life”!

Well, yes…it is another Back to Work post.  Yes,  It is only July 13th.  Yes, some of you just went on summer break less than a month ago.  And, YES, it’s HOT!

One week from today I will greet my new 2015-2016 6th graders for their first day in their last year of elementary school.  I am still fortunate enough to be a pairing teacher, meaning I only teach half the required subjects, and my partner teaches the rest.  So I will challenge two new groups of readers and writers and historians beginning next week.

IMG_2142 But it’s also a new adventure for me personally as I usher my son into his educational career (10,ooo hours folks).  I have a four year old that will start kindergarten this year.  (I can’t believe that is true!!!!)  Having children does change you as a teacher. I like to think for the better.  But today I signed up to access his grades online, and the rest of this week will be spent fulfilling the school supply and classroom donation request of his new teacher and shopping for school uniforms after I spend my days preparing for the new year for my new students.  I know that she will be doing the same for him and that makes it a little easier to swallow.  So it will be an exciting new school year on many levels.

So, YES! It is time for me to get my life.  My little one is growing up.  I have let some things go to be with him and take care of him because nothing is more important than that.  But that is all changing now.  Homework after school, practice, dinner, and then bedtime.  If that all goes as planned it will be an early bedtime, which means more time for Mommy to get her life.  No promises, but folks, it’s that time.

What time is it for you?



Many good things can come out of conflict.  I am currently in conflict.  I have conflict with what I am currently doing professionally and where I see what I want to be doing.  There is such a divide between the two, I’m not sure how to cross it.

My current position is teaching an ELD classroom that is full of more restrictions than it is creativity and varied opportunities for learning.  There is sooo much pressure for students to perform on AIMS there isn’t room for anything besides teaching to the test.  I hate it.  I understand where it is coming from and why, but surely there has to be a middle ground somewhere.

Where I see myself professionally (today, that is) is teaching writing to middle schoolers.  I am inspired by storytelling and the creativity and voice that we all have, if we just learn how to share it.  Which really is a place I never thought I would want to be at. I have been greatly inspired by fellow ELD teacher, Ms. Gonzalez, who is a GREAT writing teacher.  She gets it.  She is so knowledgeable about children’s literature.  What’s more important is that she honors students’ voices.  I think that technology provides an avenue for students to share their voices in a way that is natural to them.  If only we let them, monitor and advise them.

So with that, I must get to where the rubber meets the road.  What am I going to do about it?  It took me three years to get this site up and running, and I have let it just sit here.  I want to teach writing, but really have not honored it for myself.  I don’t write everyday more than a Facebook update, and even that has been sporadic lately.  I haven’t read an adult book in over a year.  REALLY!!  Yikes!  I am embarrassed to share that.  But it is what it is.  And it is where I am at.  But it is not where I want to be.

Post update(11/10): I don’t hate teaching.  I actually enjoy my class this year.  (I haven’t said that in two years.)  They are a great group.  I do hate the testing pressure.  Just felt I should clarify.

Getting Into the Swing of Things

This is week 3 of school, officially week 3 and 3 days.  But really, academic full press on, this is week 3.  I am just getting oriented to the new curriculum and pacing and such.  We have lots of help this year with pull-out interventionists.  It has been pretty hard to get scheduled and instruction focused while the majority of my class is out.  I am hesitant to teach new material for having to re-teach it in 30 minutes.  I am still trying to maximize that time with the students I have left.  One thing that I have found this year is that I am always questioning how I could have done a lesson better.  That is definitely something I have to credit to the National Boards process.  Hopefully one I can just continue on my own rather than in pursuit of something.  We’ll see…

Here we are…

Well, the school year is only a month into it, and my classroom has already undergone many changes. My class started out at 18 students. Perfection if there ever was one. Then 10 day leveling happened and my class blossomed to 32, and at one point 34 students. Not perfection, but we managed. Then thanks to the suggestion of Ms. Houser, I was able to settle down to 24 students. WHEW!
So we are making our way to progress report time and I am just getting into a rhythm.

So I have chosen now to start keeping up here because I think everything has settled down to a state I can call normal. More to come…