Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Accidental EPIC Moment

You can not possibly make up what happened in my classroom today. It's one for the record books. 

Mr. Principal told us that he would be doing internal learning walks today. This basically just means short pop-in observations, checking our writing portfolios, that we have our learning targets posted, etc. He had told us that they would be done from 8:30-11:30. Well he's all by himself, we have several "special" friends in 3rd grade and he often has them in his office and we're a big school. So 11:30 came and went and I just moved on with my day, not too worried about what was or wasn't being looked at in my room.

When he finally made it into my room, it was about 12:15 so we were just getting set for read aloud. Even though I teach big kids, I still have them come sit on the carpet with me when I read. We've been reading the "My Weirder School" series and are on Mrs. Lilly is Silly. Basically the premise of the book is that the kids are going to make a newspaper and they come up with a lot of sensational headlines, one being "Mr. Klutz Doesn't Wear Underpants" (Mr. Klutz is the principal). Well it just so happened that we were on the chapter where Mr. Klutz realizes that the kids wrote this headline and needless to say, he is really ticked!

So we're reading and Mr. Principal was sitting over by my desk area making some notes and as I read, I'm watching him out of the corner of my eye because I knew what was coming but the kids didn't (and he didn't). First of all, these books are hilarious because they have so many plays on words and you have to really pay attention to get them all. They are just hilarious--my kids practically pee their pants laughing. In this story, when Mr. Klutz realizes that the kids said he doesn't wear underpants, he decides to prove them wrong and pulls his pants down to show them he DOES wear underpants....and his underpants are PINK boxers with RED hearts on them.

As I read that and my 4th graders were roaring with laughter, I peek up to see Mr. Principal with his hand over his eyes and his shoulders shaking SO hard, trying desperately not to just burst out laughing. So I whispered to my class, just loud enough for Mr. Principal to hear, "And Mr. Principal is kind of embarrassed because he thinks its tacky to show your students  your underpants!" 

Everyone started laughing, even me, even Mr. Principal. It was freaking epic. It was HILARIOUS. 

Later, Mr. Principal and I were talking about it and he said, "you know, you couldn't have planned that moment better if you had tried." Exactly. Those are the best moments when someone is in your room--when something authentic and real happens that will make the kids remember the day for a long time.

God I love my job.

The Caffeinated Teacher

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Blahs

I've seen a lot of posts on FB today that teacher friends are still trying to tackle their "piles". My piles have barely made it out of my cart. Ugh. 

I am not digging the work at home on school stuff thing. I haven't found my rhythm yet this year and it's annoying. I'm hopeful that with the start to next week being kid-free that I will finally be able to get a bit ahead. It's really a matter right now of catching up on what I'm behind on so I can be ready for my weekend in West Virginia (doesn't that sound funny? Who is like "woo hoo! I'm off to West Virginia for a weekend!" lol).

I just want to not be drowning in paper. I feel busier than ever with school stuff despite having ONE grade this year instead of two. It's ridiculous.
The Caffeinated Teacher

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Planning and Fundraising Favor

Happy Saturday bloggers!

Why do my weeks seem to simultaneously FLY and DRAG? How is that even a possibility? :) One minute it feels like the morning or day will never end and then when its FINALLY time for lunch or we're packing up to go home, I'm left wondering where the heck my day went. Maybe I'm just losing my mind :)

Yesterday my team and I had the whole day to plan, look at our data and make a plan. It was FABULOUS. It was hard on our kids to all have subs but they survived. I purposely made the day easy for my class because they are little chatterboxes all the time and I knew on a Friday it wouldn't be any different. They had to finish up their reading story, take their math homework quiz and pretty much the rest of the day was a fun but educational packet. My sub did tell me that the kiddos wouldn't stop talking but said otherwise they were great. I knew that would be the issue. It always is and has been since I've taught in this building.

We got so much done yesterday. Now I have a ton of work to do on my own to get myself lined up where our team decided to go but that's okay. I want to feel like I'm maximizing my time in the classroom while pushing my class to be responsible learners who are accountable for what they are expected to do. I also need to catch up on the grading I feel like I've been behind on all week but that's fine. It will be great to FINALLY feel like I'm back on track and

This next week is going to be insane....it's the end of the marking period and this year our district has put together end of MP tests for almost all subjects. We did our math test last week but a few kids were absent or out for whatever pull outs (which I have SO.MANY.OF.) so they are going to have to make them up next week. But we also have our regular weekly test in reading plus the end of marking period test AND a big test in social studies. Ugh! Plus Halloween is in there and I'll be gone yet again this coming Friday (that's three in a row!) because we're going to West Virginia to see The Oldest whom I haven't seen (except via Skype) since August 18th! I can't wait for that. (It's even better because we have a full day of Records on Nov 4 so no kiddos and a day off on Nov 5 so it will be a great little break for us all.)

Finally today I will leave you with a favor to ask. It is not my intention to use this blog as a "selling platform". For this particular cause, I am making an exception.

My very, very dear friend lost her stepson to Leukemia earlier this year. He was only 19. She asked me to do a Thirty-One Fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphomic Society and of course I agreed. We're shy on our goal so if you were already planning to order something from Thirty-One, please consider ordering from this fundraiser. I am donating 100% of my commission to the society so I'm not even making any money on this. I just want to do it because its the right thing to do. You definitely don't have to order but if you were already planning to, please consider helping out this cause. You can shop direct for this fundraiser here. Thanks for your consideration :)
The Caffeinated Teacher

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I took the day off last Friday to go to an appointment for The Youngest. I have felt entirely off balance, behind and just not myself since. 

I don't know what it is. I haven't wanted to do ANYTHING school-related. I don't want to say I'm losing my spark because I love being there and with my kids when I am there. But I'm not digging the outside work expectations. I really want to institute a set work time and forget bringing things home. I get to school at 7 a.m. most days (kiddos start at 8:30) and I leave between 4-5:30 depending upon the day. There is plenty of time for me to be more productive at work....but I feel like I'm not.

It's almost like burn-out....but its not. I don't know. I think the changes from the start of the year, the shifting around, the MEAP testing...has just all added up and I'm drained. I would love to spend my entire weekend sleeping. Not kidding. I'm that tired.

I even wondered if I had been forgetting my meds and if that was affecting where I'm currently sitting. But that's not it either. I always take them at night with my leg pills and since I haven't been dancing all over my bed at night....I know it isn't that.

The Husband is going out of town for the weekend and I'm hopeful to catch up on everything tomorrow night because he'll be gone. Then I can spend my weekend doing what I want to do and having fun with Thirty-One. (And don't think adding Thirty-One onto my docket has caused this--its more fun than work and actually is a nice escape from the crap in my life I don't want to face at the moment.) 

Maybe I'll just spend all day Saturday in bed :)

The Caffeinated Teacher

Sunday, October 20, 2013

31: Fail

Ugh, EPIC FAIL as my 18 year old would say. (Or would have said a couple of years ago, I think this term is now "old".)

A very good friend of mine and former colleague left our district two years ago for greener pastures. She really, REALLY wanted to have a Thirty-One party with me but she works full time as a teacher and part time at a boutique in the mall so meshing my schedule with hers was tough. So we agreed to do a catalog party. 

Everyone totally snubbed her :( She got ONE order! I had an outside order from my principal (he's buying a wristlet for his wife--probably more so I'd stop bugging him hehe) so I added that to her party but it doesn't even qualify as a party. I feel bad because I wanted SO MUCH to do a in-person party for her because seeing the stuff for real can make a difference....but we couldn't make it work. 

It really makes me sad for her because she said she ALWAYS buys from their parties for jewelry or anything else. And they totally snubbed her. How rude. :(

I really feel bad so she is picking something she wants to buy and I'm going to give her free shipping on it because I really feed bad. This is my first experience where no one ordered. I don't get how anyone doesn't like Thirty-One. Usually the people who don't haven't ever used their products or seen them before. (I can spot them a mile away now, it's kind of funny but also kind of ridiculous!)

I shouldn't feel bad because I did everything I could do to help but apparently the people she associates with are snobby :(
The Caffeinated Teacher

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Eye Opener

Holy crud. Yesterday I got an eye opener that a) explained a TON and b) really made me upset!

On Thursday, I posted about my Data Woes. (And they aren't really woes because 99.8% of the time, I really don't mind looking at the data and working with it.) My frustration the past two years has come from the fact that our 4th graders are coming to us UNGODLY LOW in both math and reading. The third grade team were Mrs. Principal's pets and therefore they never were held accountable for this data.

On Friday I had the day off because I had a follow up appointment for The Youngest for an ADHD evaluation we had done. I had totally forgotten we had the data meeting on the 18th when I scheduled the appointment. So I told Mr. New Principal that if he put 4th grade first, I would come in for the meeting because Miss 4/5 split is only a 2nd year teacher and still intimidated by the data review process and Miss Long Term 4th Grade is a sub whose only been with us for about three weeks. It would be TOTALLY unfair to leave the two of them hanging! So I went in for this meeting and HOLY CRUD. What was revealed to us makes all of our data make total sense but also really pissed me off. I shall explain.

A few years ago, our district partnered with the Institute for Learning out of the University of Pittsburgh. Our former superintendent had connections there and blah blah. Well their job was to streamline our writing curriculum and provide resources and units of study for the whole K-5 system. Which they did. But the units were written by researchers who had obviously never been in a classroom with actual children before. The "mini-lessons" were not mini....they often would take 45 minutes of TEACHER TALKING before the kids did any writing. And the writing was something like "make a list of three things about _______". It was terrible.

Third grade had back-to-back units of study. They literally only did these units of study there was no directive regarding any other type of writing. So the writing ability of these kids was majorly stilted because they did not authentic writing. Mr. New Principal helped proctor the MEAP in Miss Long Term 4th Grade's class because she had only been there a week when the MEAP started. He told us he was FLOORED walking around monitoring at how these kids can't even write a paragraph. I mentioned that some can barely write a sentence, let alone a paragraph!

So Miss 2nd Grade, my former team mate, who is our school improvement chair was in the meeting to and dropped a bomb on us all. The third grade team took those units of study to heart....and they taught them exactly as prescribed in the lessons. All of the other grades had units of study as well but we knew better--we taught the concept but tweaked the lessons to be kid friendly, provide the scaffolding needed and most important, have the kiddos put pen to paper! The third grade team did not do this. Therefore, they talked AT the kids for up to 40 minutes a day for writing and because something had to give, they only taught math for 30 minutes a day. 30 MINUTES A DAY?! (Sorry for shouting...) 

For the last two years the directive has been 60 minutes for math. I have been known to teach math for TWO HOURS because of the calendar math that I do, homework review, the lesson and then intervention/games. They taught math for 30 freaking minutes and expected these kids to make gains. So they come to us barely knowing how to add or subtract with regrouping and its MY NAME on their MEAP, not the teacher they had last year. I was so pissed! 

Moreso because I have had AH-MAZE-ING growth for my kids every year that I have been at my current school and the third grade team has had the worst data for all of the years I've been there. They were never split up. They were not displaced. But I was?? What a joke.

We pointed this out to Mr. New Principal and he said "well that isn't going to happen again." I even told him how I feel like its unfair to judge US by this current data because if they only had 30 minutes of math a day, compared to an hour or more that everyone else got, we now have to catch them up on 3rd grade concepts but also teach them 4th grade concepts. No wonder they don't know their math facts! 

It really burns me up that I have always busted my butt to do the best for the kids--which sometimes means NOT following the curriculum they give us to a T because I'm wise enough to know it isn't kid friendly. But they just taught it as given. No wonder my kids hate writing. They think it means I yak at them for 45 minutes (and I don't -- we do a ton of writing in my room). I'm so mad for my kids but also mad for my 4th grade team. We have our work cut out for us because of someone else's stupidity. Not cool.

The silver lining? When Mr. New Principal saw the data, heard about the third grade team's crap and realized we were up a creek without the proverbial paddle, he said, "what do you ladies need from me?" And since I'm the big mouth of the team who isn't afraid to stand up for us, I said, "we need a day--a day where all three of us have a sub and we can just WORK. Work on this data, work on groupings, work on getting our interventions in place so these kids don't go to 5th grade not knowing what they need to know." Bless that man's heart because no sooner than those words left my lips, he said, "Done. How about next Friday?" 

It's a dawn of a new era at my school and I'm so grateful to Mr. New Principal for giving us the support we need. I can guarantee it wouldn't have happened last year.
The Caffeinated Teacher

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Data, Data, Data

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with data. It has its purpose for sure...and most of the time, I really kind of geek out about data. I like playing with it, looking at it, and figuring out how to use it to better my instruction, my groupings and more.

The problem is that everyone that I team with knows this about me....and I end up being the "Data Girl". I don't really mind because it gives me control over how the data is presented to anyone else because I'm the one putting it all together and then sharing it with my team. 

It's depressing to look at the current data, however. These kids are SO low this year. Miss 4/5 split got a stacked class--no real low kids, no real behavior issues. It's really kind of bullshit because no one bent over backwards like that for me. Yes, I WANT her to have a class where most of the kids are on the same level between her two grades...because it makes sense to then be able to teach to the majority level (in this case, 4th grade). Not like my split last year where I had high and low kids in both grades and was beating my head against the wall all year.

I don't understand how our kids are this low. If I'm being honest...I do know. It's because the 3rd grade team has consistently had crap data for years but they were Mrs. Principal's pets so she never split them up. But last year and this year the 4th graders are coming to us collectively a year or more behind (right now, on average our kids are at a late 2nd grade level....in the first quarter of 4th grade! Unacceptable). 

It's frustrating. It can be good for us because we're going to be able to show awesome growth for these kids this year....but it also sucks because it means we have to bust our butts to reteach what they should have learned last year AND this year's goals. It's overwhelming. :(

Plus....while I usually don't mind doing the data....sometimes I wish someone else would step in and say "hey I should learn how to do this too" and pitch in. Don't just rely on me. That's not fair. Then it causes me to get overwhelmed and feel bitter and that's really not okay. I like to help and pitch in...but when others don't pick up their end of the bargain, it's really frustrating.
The Caffeinated Teacher

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

31: My first delivery

Excuse me while I geek out about Thirty-One. Feel free to skip if you aren't interested. 

As I mentioned previously, I just became a Thirty-One Consultant at the end of September. Funny thing is, a year ago had you told me I'd be a direct seller, I would have laughed my head off. What-ever. "I'm not a sales girl," I would have said. Apparently I am. One of my colleagues said I was relentless. I am....but I'm not annoying relentless. I just know how to pick up on something that someone wanted but isn't sure they want to splurge on. So I bring samples. I provide uses, I give discounts. I can because it comes out of MY pocket, not Thirty-One's so they don't mind. It gives me a lot of leeway and I'm having a lot of fun with it.

My sponsor, Holly, had me come and watch a party that she did to give me some ideas. I've also trolled the internet and gotten some other great ideas. I can't wait to have my first in-person party that isn't my own! :) I am having a party at my house for a friend because her house is too small and I can't wait. It will be such a blast!

Today when I got home, I had two big boxes of Thirty-One goodness to play with sort and pack for distribution!
What awaits inside these boxes??

Look at this goodness! ♥

Packed and ready to deliver the pink bags to my colleagues! :)

The Oldest got this bag on special....but I'm not sure I like the color choice of her font because its barely readable. But I like the purple bag :)

The best picture of them all!
This is all of the loot I got for hosting my Kick-Off Party! Everything here was either free, half price or available to me exclusively because I hosted. Look at all of that! I cost me $160 for all of it (its worth about $450). LOVE!

Really yucky lighting in this one but this is my Suite Success Tote. You can only get it if you host a party. I am SO glad I bought it. It's freaking huge and I LOVE that red on it. This shall be my traveling office. :)

Ultimately, I decided it's my blog, I'm gonna blog about whatever I want. I will try (but can't guarantee it'll always happen) to put a 31: in front of any post that really blabs about my Thirty-One stuff so you can skip it if you want.

A friend of mine was like "gosh I don't know if I want to have a party"....and then she saw these picks and has changed her mind. Ha!

The Caffeinated Teacher

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Firstly, thank you ladies who commented on my last post. I didn't write it because I wanted people to tell me how great they think I am, simply writing how I feel.

Second, I don't know how I really feel about giving up the blog. I think that so much of what my readers said rings true. I didn't start this blog to run contests and beg for followers. You either read me because you want to....or you don't. Not really my issue, you know?

I have to remember that along with a healing place, I also began writing here to reflect. To give voice to who I am, want to become and am glad I no longer am. I'm not just Raye, the weird sarcastic lady who can't break her caffeine habit (I am convinced that Diet Coke is crack in a can, just sayin'!). I'm a momma, a teacher, a wife, a spiritualist, a survivor, a dreamer, a believer, a go-getter, I throw tantrums (yes even at age 35), I'm not afraid to "show my ghetto" even though I am so not from one.

I need to remind myself that I DON'T CARE if someone doesn't want to read my blabber about my new venture with Thirty-One or talk about my books, my own kids or how annoyed I am with whomever is on my crap-list of the moment. 

This blog is for me. This blog is to share MY life....and quite honestly, my life is not simply about teaching. It never was...but I focused my attention on the blog about that aspect of me, which was working for me. Now it isn't. Yay for people who spend every waking second creating for their classrooms. Burn out is gonna come knockin--I don't care who you are. It will happen if you never slow down.

I guess I have. I want to write about more than teaching. I want to share my success with my new Thirty-One business and brag a bit when I finally publish my next book under my publishing house (in case you lost track amongst my rambling--yes I really do own two businesses AND teach). I want to just bitch if I want to sometimes (although there are other places for that!).

In short, I just want to be. And if you want to hang on for the ride, I'm glad to have ya. If not, don't let the door hit ya as they say.

The Caffeinated Teacher

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Losing It

I'm losing my interest in the blog...whenever I try to do the "normal stuff" other people do where they get 8 billion likes/entries/whatevers, I get nothing. I guess it just isn't my cup of tea to be that person who lives only to create things for others to buy and giveaway. I am so much more than a blogger and a teacher. I would much rather spend time with my family than creating tons of stuff for TpT and TN. Even when I do try giveaways of really awesome things....I get nothing. And it's lame.

Plus, I'm so involved in other things right now, I don't blog much. Seems like a waste to me these days. 372 followers but I'll have maybe 20-30 page views. 

I didn't start this blog because I wanted people to read it. I started it to give myself a place to heal from a really crappy school year and my desire to share how things were going once I changed schools. I don't think that is so necessary anymore. I'm not that person by any means. I have other interests. I have many other things I'd rather do than blog-stalk. I guess it has just lost its appeal for me.

I'd much rather spend my spare time working on my Thirty-One business than be here on the blog. Or reading other blogs. 

It may be time to hang up my hat as The Caffeinated Teacher.
The Caffeinated Teacher

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's that time of year.....

As I have been so preoccupied with the shenanigans and goings-on at school, it just occurred to me that the National Board results should be due out soon. I would imagine with the online process they rolled out this year, the results could be out even sooner than they traditionally are. Otherwise, in just over a month, right around Thanksgiving, I will find out if I finally achieved my certification after two years of back-breaking work and blood, sweat and tears.

I was so sure I would certify on my first try. SO.SURE. And I didn't. By a mere 0.375 of a point before the weighting. Less than half a point! I retook only Entry 1. In all honesty, when push came to shove, I didn't even push to have all 13 pages when I turned in my 2nd attempt. I just didn't have it in me. If I don't make it this time....I'm not sure that I will keep at it. I just don't think I want it THAT much.

I prefer not to be pessimistic. I prefer to be positive and hope for the best. However, I also know that I need to be realistic. I put everything I had into that entry--both times that I attempted it. If I don't make it....well, then it just isn't my time. Of course, if I'm being positive, I know that there is no way in the world that I didn't score that extra 0.375 point to get my score up to that magic 275 mark. 

Alas, I'm nervous. I think that's normal....especially after such a devastating blow last year. Realizing I was SO CLOSE and had worked my butt off but fallen short. Barely. But still short. It's weird to me how easily the process can fall away from you once you aren't fully immersed in it. When it isn't what you're working on every spare second of every day....it's so easy to forget it, to not remember how many times you wrote, rewrote, swore, cried, deleted and rewrote again because it just wasn't cutting it for you.

I do think its a worthwhile process. I learned a lot about myself as a teacher and about my students as learners....but I also know that if I don't make it this time, I'm likely going to wash my hands of it. I want it. I do. But I don't want it so badly that I will put myself on that emotional train again right now. Nope. I need to move on to bigger and better things as they say.

It's hard to say that, if I'm being 100% honest. (And I strive to be.) I DO want it...and I hope like heck that I made it. But I don't know if I can live and breathe National Board for a third year in a row. I never want to be someone who "gives up" but I also never want to be someone who tries to be something they aren't.

Food for thought, I guess. Suppose that weekend comes, results come out and I see "Congratulations!" on my screen like I wanted so badly to last year. I will feel relieved, overjoyed, absolutely full of pride in myself that I made it....but a tiny part of me is so afraid that, for the second year in a row, I won't see that word. And that scares me. It scares me a lot...because I'm at a point in my personal and professional life that National Board can't be the end-all-be-all. There is more to me than wanting four extra letters behind my name. I just hope that when the time comes....I have the courage to do what I need to do, regardless of what direction that is.

The Caffeinated Teacher

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Truth about Sunday and a Surprise!

Oh Sunday. The least favorite day of my week. Sunday should, in theory, be all about worship and enjoying the day with family and whatnot. However, while I certainly ascertain myself as a Christian girl, I'm not a church girl and never have been. (Don't judge me--God doesn't ♥ ) So my Sundays tend to be full of busy--full of school planning and more.

This doesn't have to be this way of course. However, due to the jacked up-ness of our schedule fiasco, it is how it is this weekend. Originally we had planned to go to our cabin this weekend. A last hoorah. Close it up for winter and just enjoy the downtime there. Alas, The Husband was out of town all last week (everything seems to just go down the tubes when he's gone!), one of Middle Child's hamster's just randomly died and then the crap hit the fan at school. PLUS trying to get my Thirty-One business off the ground.

Needless to say, I came home pretty much every day this past week and just collapsed and stared at the wall. (Okay, not literally but I might as well have for as productive was I wasn't.) I knew I was going to have a ton of things I needed to sort out and get through this weekend....because I just hadn't done it last week. And this coming week starts the MEAP (aka my least favorite two weeks of the year) so schedules will be even weirder. My poor kids!

I came home Friday in total anticipation of The Husband finally getting home. I cleaned the house, made dinner and waited for him. Every time that he has been gone or that I've been away from him for longer than a night or two, I realize that God was looking out for me with that West Virginia college job. I just would have missed my husband's face too much to be away from him that long! (It would have been an awesome job but I'm not sad I didn't get it.) I spent Friday night through this morning not doing anything school-related. Can I just admit how nice that felt?? I just pushed the negativity from this week aside and enjoyed being Raye. Not a teacher, just a momma and a wife. And I realized I need to do that more often.

Perhaps that's where this Thirty-One venture comes in for me. It gives me a chance to be more than a teacher. More than a momma and a wife. Those things mean the world to me, don't get me wrong....BUT I want something that is just for me. Something has serves more purpose too. I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out when that little party I had in August became so important to me.
That said, The Youngest and I spent some time this morning making binders for my shows and I organized a bunch of stuff for my new side-show. (That sounds not nice doesn't it? haha) Now it is time for me to push up the sleeves and get down to business. I don't know why *I* feel so overwhelmed since I'm only trading two kids...but its like getting two new kids on the same day. I have to train them in everything that the rest of my class already knows how to do. Namely our vocabulary notebooks and the new math notebooks we just started. 
I emailed my colleague and told her that I'll give our weekly test tomorrow (normally we do them Tuesday but that's test day and that would just be mean) and then I'm taking the next week off from Reading Street so the kids can focus on the MEAP and we can throw in some fun stuff to help them with the transition to the new classes and whatnot. It doesn't affect my kids that much but it does hers and I think its the least we can do.
Finally.....I have a lil surprise up my sleeve that I will be revealing for you on Tuesday so stay tuned! 

The Caffeinated Teacher

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I'm alive, I promise :)

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I haven't wanted to bring my negativity to the blog so I just haven't posted. Monday will be a big transition day for our school as we are finally adding a classroom. This is VERY good as we have needed an extra body since we started school. However, there will be a lot of transitioning and changing. One of our teachers will basically have only 3 of the kids she's had all year and will get 22 new students. Another teacher will keep 11 and gain 13. It's been really overwhelming and crazy.

There have been some tears, yelling and downright anger rolled into an already emotional situation. Therefore, in order to protect myself, my school and the students there, I have stayed away from the blog because it has been a very emotional journey for us all and emotions have run very high. Hopefully Monday is a smooth day for everyone involved. It's unfortunate timing because the MEAP starts on Tuesday and we're making this huge change the day before. (Trust me, none of us wanted to wait this long, the district has delayed it happening a couple of times for reasons unknown to the school staff.)

Alas, we will smile and persevere and everything will work out. It just stinks in the moment. And it stinks big time.

I did end up having my Kick-Off Thirty-One Party at work--immediately following a VERY emotionally charged staff meeting. So that was a bit awkward but we had fun and my colleagues helped me kick off this new venture of mine with a great start. I'm super excited. A very, very dear friend of mine lost her stepson to Leukemia earlier this year. He was only 19 years old. Thirty-One just began selling care ribbons as a personalization option so we are going to do a Team Kasey fundraiser with those ribbons on select products. Since I am not doing this as a full-time career but more for fun and free Thirty-One products, I am going to donate my entire commission from that fundraiser to support Team Kasey. As far as I know we are having that around Thanksgiving. She wants me to set up a table which I can definitely do.

I shared this at my Kick-Off Party too but one of the things Thirty-One encourages their consultant to do is really spread the message of the company. Its named after Proverbs 31 which talks about a virtuous woman. Their goal is to empower, celebrate and encourage girls and women. I told my colleagues that for ME Thirty-One provides me a way to celebrate myself, the hardships I have endured and give faith and hope to someone else who may be suffering or struggling, either with abuse, neglect or anything else. It makes me feel powerful to know that I can reach out to others to make a difference just by spreading this message.

In fact, I just ordered myself some business cards and added a quote from Proverbs 31 to my card.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

My super power and mission in life is to  be a Phoenix. Rise above whatever adversity life throws at me and make a difference for someone else in the process. In fact, my logo is going to end up being a Phoenix and some of my products I am getting free for my display will say "Phoenix" on them. It's going to become my mascot. I'm even going to splurge with my first commission check and finally get my Phoenix tattoo on my foot. A friend of mine found it online and I love it!

The Caffeinated Teacher