Monday, January 27, 2014

Dear Winter....

Dear Winter,
You have made your point. Isn't 90 inches of snow enough? Last year by this time, we had only 18. EIGHTEEN. Now we've had NINETY. I think you can turn off your snow machine. Please?? PRETTY FREAKING PLEASE?! 

My kids aren't going to get half of the stuff they need in their brains if this trend continues.

Sincerely,
A frustrated teacher who is sick of indoor recess!!


Yep, another snow day. It may actually be a record. I don't think my district has EVER had 4 snow days in one year. Chances are, tomorrow will be a "cold day" as well because its supposed to stay -18 with the windchill (and I believe the threshold is sustained -15). Not that I really mind the extra time off...we get 6 built in so we are still fine...but I'm over this winter. We haven't had outdoor recess in two weeks...and this week, whenever we end up back at school, will likely be the third. I may die. The kids have cabin fever. *I* have cabin fever!

It snowed so much this weekend I didn't even leave my house at all on Saturday. Not even once! I barely peeked out the door to let my dogs out (and you can believe they came racing right back in after they did their thing because it is SO cold). I was losing my mind from being stuck inside for weeks upon end it seems. So last night at 7:50 I went to the gym (thankfully it's less than a mile from my house). Man did it feel good to get some energy out! 

Alas, I am ready for spring. MORE.THAN.READY. And when its 100 degrees this summer, please remind me of this bitter cold and tell me to stifle it. 

I'm really worried about this week though because if they do close for tomorrow too, I am going to have to go in at some point. I have a sub on Wednesday due to an appointment for The Youngest that I can't reschedule. Two extra days off and then a sub? PLUS my new girl from Rwanda will be starting and I'd hate for her first day to be with anyone but me :( 

Maybe they'll just call it through Wednesday and I won't have to worry about it!


The Caffeinated Teacher

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tragedy + Something Positive

It was a roller coaster at school yesterday. Unless you have hidden yourself under a rock, you likely heard and saw multiple pictures of that horrible wreck on I-94. A couple was killed in that crash that happened to be from my area. Didn't really think much about it because what was the  likelihood that it would be anyone I knew?

The woman, Marilyn, was a teacher at my school. She retired in 2008 (so two years before I came there as a teacher) but she was there when I was a student teacher and most recently she had subbed for us when another colleague's mother passed away. She was a beautiful soul, truly the epitome of an amazingly selfless person. She would always accidentally call me Mrs. Woods with an S and when anyone else would do it, I would majorly correct them, "no S!" but I never had the heart to correct her because she was so sweet. Lots of tears and sadness at our school yesterday morning as the word spread that it had been our dear friend and colleague who passed in that tragic crash.

In the afternoon yesterday, I also learned that a current colleague of mine's mother passed away yesterday. I worked with this woman in 2nd grade two years ago and knew her mom was getting up there and was leaning toward senility but it was a bit unexpected. So sad for all of us. I text her last night with my condolences and said I would help any way I can. 

I am the Social Committee chair at my school and will be arranging for flower arrangements and/or a memorial donation from the staff for our friends and colleagues. I know in my heart that Marilyn, a very faithfilled woman, would have asked God to take her instead of someone else--she lived a full and happy life. For those of us left behind, however, it is so devastating because they were such good people and met such a sad end. Pray for their boys and grandchildren who are probably beside themselves to lose both parents at once.



Amidst the tragedy yesterday, I had a positive. On Monday evening, I got a phone call from a woman named Carol. She introduced herself to me and said she was a former teacher in my district who had earned National Board Certification in 2002. She didn't renew so is no longer on the books and therefore our new administration in the district didn't know about her and touted me as the "first" NBCT in our district...really I'm the 2nd.

She currently works at MSU as a facilitator for their interns. She said she wanted to come see me. She wanted to offer coaching services to me if I wanted them (for FREE!) and she wanted to form somewhat of an alliance to boost the numbers of NBCTs in our district.  Yes, please!

She came to see me yesterday morning. She and I hit it off immediately. We had a lot to talk about considering she retired from the high school where my students will eventually go. She is going to push the placement coordinator at MSU to place interns with me which would be so awesome. What I do like about how MSU does it as compared to my alma mater is that they are with you all year--half days at first and then full days. The kids truly get to see them as part of your classroom, which I think is so much better than the two different placements my university did (although I liked how we did it too because we got to be in more than one district and I learned I could never work in an affluent district around here--the teachers that I met were not friendly or helpful to us interns and there is very little diversity).

She also gave me a copy of her book which I can't wait to read! So despite some tragedy...good things are still on their way for me. I'm excited about it.
 
 
The Caffeinated Teacher

Sunday, January 19, 2014

31: The epitome of Celebrate, Encourage, Reward

Wow. 

I don't know how else to begin. Really. Just one word. 

Wow.

Firstly, I had several different people email me regarding my last post. I was told I was inspirational. I'm a hero. People look up to me. Honestly? I kind of scratch  my head and go "really? They look up to me?!" Then I mentally slap myself and say, "Gracefully accept this praise--you are that person's hero and inspiration in this moment and that is a blessing."
 
It may seem weird to have to have that little talk with myself. Alas, it happens frequently. People in real life sometimes think I'm really cocky and overconfident. Truth? I'm horribly insecure. I second guess things I do, things I say, decisions I've made, even to this day. My overconfidence is really a facade--I boost myself up because I no longer feel the need to rely on other people to do it for me.

Growing up...I didn't have the mother-daughter relationship I should have had. I was abused. I was abused in many ways, including the worst there is (which for the record, I believe is emotional abuse rather than sexual--I had both--because latter can be put behind you, the former lives within you, often forever). I lived with the secret of that life for a long, long time. Now? I'm not embarrassed to tell people. I don't advertise it obviously (I mean, how awkward would that be? "Hi, I'm Raye and guess what? I was emotionally and sexually abused growing up, how about you?"). I'm not ashamed of it like I used to be, however. When its warranted...I tell people. If it makes them uncomfortable, that says a lot more about them than about me.

The reason why I bring this up is very simple. You know (unless you've been in a cave for awhile *wink*) that I became an independent consultant for Thirty-One gifts at the end of September. It's a hobby for me really. I love the bags, the purses, the organizers and its fun to sell. I sell mostly to teacher friends but am beginning to branch out a bit. I love it. I get to get out of my house a couple of times per month, meet new ladies and just have fun. It's really quite cool. Getting paid to do it is just a bonus.

Thirty-One - based upon Proverbs 31 which talks about the virtuous woman -- has a very simple mission: Celebrate, Encourage and Reward women. They make good on their mission by celebrating and rewarding their consultants. I always have people marvel at my huge display, their eyes bugging out and say "holy cow, Raye, is all of that stuff really yours?" My answer? Yes. And about 85% of it I didn't pay a cent for. I earned it free by having parties. It's very awesome. My reason for joining Thirty-One was simply to help push that mission. Now that I am much more secure in who I am (not entirely but better than I ever have been), I have vowed to take C-E-R to the next level and bring that mission into other women's lives.

In November, our sweet social worker from my school had a party with me at her house. It was a small party but man, did we have a great time. I do my little show and then let them do their thing. If the ladies order, awesome. If they don't, awesome. It's really about just having a good time and making these ladies feel good about themselves. Through that party, I met my hostess for my party on Saturday, the 18th. This gal is a single mom, a social worker in my inner city district, who busts her butt to set a good example daily for her children.
 
I know that there is a huge reason this woman and I came together through our mutual friend. She has a set budget due to her situation. I worked hard to get her up to the magic number at her party because its a double hostess credit month. We got there by the grace of God. But I also knew that this woman was going to balk at paying for her half price and hostess exclusives because it wasn't going to be in her budget. I left her last night with some homework--select her hostess freebies and call me when she was ready to close.
 
I had another party tonight, with a student teacher from school, and called last night's hostess when I got home. As suspected, she spent her freebies but didn't want to take advantage of the hostess exclusives because she couldn't justify the expense. Well, I was not about to let these exclusives go because she couldn't afford to pay for them. At both parties I have been to with her -- our mutual friend we met through's party and her own -- she has admired my Suite Success Tote. I knew she really wanted it but didn't want to pay for it due to her budget.
 
So for about 5 seconds, I deliberated. I thought about the mission - Celebrate. Encourage. Reward. And I knew what I had to do. I had to reward this woman who is working hard for her children. Who has the right mindset to stick within her budget and not deter from that.  I said, "Well my dumplin', I know that you really want the Suite Success Tote because you have admired mine both times I have met you. You work hard and I want to reward you. So, I am going to buy your Suite Success Tote for you. Please consider it a gift from me to you." We were on the phone together but I heard her jaw drop. She was amazed. Shocked. In awe. I've met her twice and would do this for her?

It isn't because I'm a saint. Far from it. It's because it was the right thing to do. I will take it out of my commission. Not a big deal at all. She was so grateful and I knew in my heart I had done the right thing. I carried out the mission of Thirty-One by not thinking about myself, but by thinking of someone else. Someone who deserved to be treated well. To be rewarded for being a good example for her children.

A bonus will be that she will tell her friends about me. They will think I'm awesome and will call me when they want to order products. That's fine. Not necessary but again, just a bonus. I don't need the commission I make doing this....but I love doing it because I get to make someone's day. 

That's worth so much more than any commission or dollar amount could ever be worth. There are people, of course, who do not understand that. But I do. And I will teach that to my children. Money means nothing. You can't take money with you when your number is called. But you can leave behind a legacy of generosity. Of faith. Of doing good for other people simply because its the right thing to do.

To me, that is the absolute epitome of what Celebrate, Encourage and Reward means.


The Caffeinated Teacher

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Um...hello?!

Went back to work after nearly 3 weeks off and then kind of disappeared. Sorry! Busy, busy!

I have actually started and canned three separate posts since the one I wrote on January 8. I've had so much on my mind, so much going on and just haven't had the desire to air some of that so-called "dirty laundry". Like the fact that I've been teaching with clinical depression for the last 4 years (most of the time you'd never know that I have depression because I'm zany and happy....but when I get those episodes--oh Lord, they are bad!). Like the multiple, multiple hats I'm currently wearing for my job, my personal life and more. Like the absolute most tragic thing that has ever happened in my 8 years of teaching.

Some of those things really can't be elaborated upon too much without violating confidentiality type of things...but sometimes just typing them and then pushing "delete" help me process the event/situation and I can move on.

It's definitely been a weird start to 2014! I've kind of chuckled as my colleagues have complained about how off the wall their kids are. Mine have been just fine. I even had a sub this week (I was in the building just not my room) and she told me my classroom is like a well-oiled machine--the kids knew what to do, when to do it, how to do it and even told HER what SHE was supposed to be doing while they were doing whatever it was. Boy did that make me feel good because this group has struggled with procedures and such.

Wednesday the world ended. You've heard the news of school shootings and tragedies just like I have. I never, ever thought anything like that would happen in my neck of the woods. No shootings or anything that drastic....but a very real (and very scary) situation happened on Wednesday after lunch. I can't say a lot but I will say that its a very good thing we have intervention teachers so they could take my class while I handled the crisis. Crying in the office, hugging, freaked out teachers and staff. It was bad. The child involved is one I would give my left arm for in a heartbeat. I had her in 2nd grade and I LOVE that kid. She is my favorite. (Yeah, you aren't supposed to have favorites but she is mine...I would do anything for that kid.) It was so scary. At one point she said, "I always ask myself 'why would God give me this life'" and you better believe the minute those words escaped her lips, I started to cry. How many times in my young life did I think those thoughts?? Not at age 9...but most of my teen years. 

Alas, God is good and His presence was there. He guided me in the decisions that I made, that my principal made and we were able to do what we needed to do in order to protect and help this child and her family. I have never been so scared in my life. One of my colleagues came down to the office at recess and saw us all crying and went upstairs and told my other colleagues "I don't know what is going on but everyone, and I mean everyone, in the office is crying. Something bad happened." Even my principal teared up and was choking back tears. It was such an emotional day.

But I will tell you....I always wondered why I was put back at my school so abruptly this summer. Not that I didn't want to be there, but it was so sudden, you know? God was working His powers. He knew that this child needed me. To be quite frank, *I* need *her* in my life. She is such a blessing to me. I don't know what it is about her that just captured me from the minute I met her. She will go places and I will be damn sure that I'm there to watch her grow into an amazing young woman.

One of our intervention teachers told me that I was a special gift from God and that my life situation would so allow me to bring so many kids up out of dark places. I never really thought about it like that....and it made me cry when she said it because I realized how true that is. God didn't call me to teaching because I'm so good at it....no, He called me to save these kids. Its why I teach where I do. With my NBCT I could leave and pretty much get hired anywhere since its so rare in West Michigan...alas, I won't. I LOVE these kids and I need them as much as they need me.


The Caffeinated Teacher

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Are you SURE it wasn't Monday?!?!

We finally made it back to school today. woo hoo! (Well most of us did -- I had 6 kids absent so only 18 all day. Can you say glorious?!)

Let me preface this to say that my SCHOOL DAY was fabulous. Absolutely amazing. Truly. 18 kids, two "key absences" and several kids who didn't forget their brain over their 18 day break was really awesome. 

The events outside of the school day? Well, let's just say they were so bizarre/weird/crappy that I really wondered if it wasn't a Monday. You just can't make this crap up.

  • I walk Middle Child, age 12, to the bus at 6:30 in the morning. (Ungodly hour for a 12 year old!) She was being very sweet this morning and carried my gym bag and my Breakfast Smoothie. There was no lid on that smoothie. (You see where I'm going with this, don't you?) I turn around to close the door, my arms being full of Thirty-One bags full of all of the junk I needed to bring back to school, then turn back around to find her on her bottom on the bottom step. She had slipped and fell on the last step. She wasn't hurt which is good...but that whole smoothie thing? Yeah. She (and my gym bag) wore it. It was in her hair, all over the front of her coat, on her gloves, dripping down the straps of my bag and a few splotches on my gym clothes. Awesome. Not.
  • The Youngest, age 11, gets on the bus with The Husband at 7:30 because she is still in elementary school. They have a new bus driver. Who came to the stop 12 minutes early, thus ensuring that The Youngest missed the bus and The Husband had to take her to school. Where she was "too early" according to them and they tried to make her sit outside. (Um, no. It's freezing you idiots.)
  • Leave school at 4:10 when I'm supposed to be meeting someone at 4:15 who is 15 minutes away. Text to let her know I'm running late but on the way. All is fine. Until I get on the highway and a few flurries fly and everyone suddenly forgets how to drive in snow. Again. So my 15 minute travel time took nearly 30. (Thank goodness L was understanding about it!) Exchange the package, head home. A 20 minute trip turned into an hour and ten and by the time I finally got home, my toes were so cold (crap floor heater on the driver's side of my car--great timing, huh??) that I was practically crying when I got in the house because they hurt so bad.
  • I never even made it to the effing gym. I didn't have time to change before I left to meet my friend to exchange products and my gym is really small and I am not a fan of the so-called "locker room" area there (its the only thing I don't like about my gym) so I didn't want to change there because it just creeps me out for whatever reason. And I ate fast food on the way home (what diet?! >:( ) because I had a low blood sugar moment.
All that's left to end this fabulous pseudo Monday is someone actually vomiting on me or someone in the house randomly breaking a bone.  I really still want to get to the gym tonight....but I'm kind of afraid to leave my house at this point.


The Caffeinated Teacher

Monday, January 6, 2014

Weirdest Winter Break Ever!

This is definitely one for the record books. No school on December 20th due to a huge ice storm (my car was covered in about 2 inches of solid ice). So we started our winter break early. I waited, procrastinated, put off, avoided and just generally didn't do anything school related all of my break (except for looking at my vocab data for about 30 minutes one day before I decided playing Sims 3 was a much more productive use of my time). 

And then the weather reports say we're going to get hit with a foot of snow. And windchills in the arena of -20 to -30. Wha?! (Global warming, huh?) 

My district was the very LAST to close for today. They finally made the call at like 7:58 or something crazy last night. I was kind of glad that I didn't have to get up early on Monday. (Although I did...woke up all on my own at 5:30...How come I can't do that when I really have to go to work?? haha) I was bound and determined to get into my school today. We do not have free access to our schools being in the city. Lots of alarm systems, etc so we can't go in if the buildings haven't been opened and alarms turned off by the day custodians (who have to report at the unGodly hour of 6 a.m. every day). 

A couple of my colleagues (who have no children or whose children are all grown) get to work at 6:30 daily. In-sane. I knew, however, that they would be able to tell me if the building was accessible today. Sure enough, I got a text at 7 that the building was open. Yay! So against the advice of everyone, I packed up my car and drove down to school.

Thank goodness I did! I didn't get as much done as I would have liked (because a colleague came in and chatted my ear off for an hour or so) but I at least got to SEE my room, where I'm at and that all of my copies are, in fact, ready to go except for calendar math (which I didn't copy because I didn't know which day we'd be back). I left at 11:30 after about 3 hours...stopped to grab lunch for the girls and I and planned to hunker down at home. 
 
I wasn't even home an hour when I got a text that school is closed for tomorrow due to the wind chill! You have no idea how INSANE that is for my district. It very rarely ever happens. This is my 8th year there and we're lucky to get one snow day a year (if that) and three years ago we had such a bad storm we had snow days Wednesday-Friday in the same week. Now we're technically on our 3rd in a row if you count that we didn't have school the Friday before break too.

Absolutely crazy! I don't think any single district is open. A lot of businesses and government agencies also shut down which is unheard of. Two of our big colleges closed their campus too which is also almost unheard of. It's one for the record books.

The only thing that really stinks is that we can't really make our holiday ornaments that I had planned for the kids to make the last day because trees are put away and whatnot. :/ We are still going to have our party at least...we'll make the snacks and whatnot. 

The Youngest is really bummed because their principal called on the robocall and cancelled their holiday parties entirely. I think that's bogus. I'm glad I don't work there because I'd hold my party anyway cuz I'm a rebel like that :D

So tomorrow I will finish the last of my grading, rearrange my plans to make up for THREE days of missed school (!!!) and pray that we at least get to go back to a somewhat normal schedule again by Wednesday. My girls are practically begging to go back because I think they are sick of the four walls they see daily at home. (I am too--it was actually quite pleasant to be at school for a couple of hours today!)


The Caffeinated Teacher

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fabulous People + SLANT Surprise

Yesterday was an important day. Very. First, I was in the (online) paper because I am the only NBCT in my district (first one in many years too) and the story was tweeted all over the area. *blushing* As if I wasn't on cloud nine(teen) all day because of that...
I opened up the mailbox and found a lovely surprise. (Okay, okay, I knew the box was coming but didn't know what would be IN the box.)
Back in September, I signed up to do the SLANT box. I did what I was supposed to do. Mailed my box and even re-mailed my box when I got word that the first one had been damaged on the way and the contents scattered who knows where. I waited ever-so-patiently for my own box to arrive. The anticipation was intense. And I waited. And waited. And waited some more for my box to come.

It never did. (Let's point out that it's January and still no box from September. Lame aaaaaand lame.) My partner told me she had just gotten married so I was more than willing to be flexible about it....but all these months later and still no box.Very rude. Not to mention inconsiderate. (I mean, really? Who does that??)

Not long ago, the dear Amanda over at His and Her Hobbies posted about a SLANT box that she had received. I commented on her post sharing my woe regarding my own would-be SLANT box. Soon after, I had an email from her saying that her and Sean (the "His" in the blog title) wanted to send me a SLANT box since I never got mine. 

I was floored. I didn't share my woe because I wanted anyone to step up and rectify the issue (well, except maybe the person who should have done it in the first place). Amanda was so sweet, however, and insisted upon sending me a box.
And yesterday it came! First I was in mass anticipation because the box was a smaller flat rate box and I was intrigued by what could possibly have fit in there.
Look at this goodness! And holy moly, I have NO IDEA how they fit all of this into that lil ole box!! Overjoyed, enraptured...blessed beyond belief = me!


Isn't that the sweetest, nicest thing ever?? Firstly, Lindor truffles = Y.U.M. I even had to fend off The Oldest because she wanted some. No way, Jose! Mine, mine, mine! (Think Daffy Duck when he finds the riches in the cave and shoves Bugs Bunny back down into the hole....wait, am I dating myself here??) And get a load of those cozy socks with the little lamb face. Cuuutttteee! Who doesn't love sticky notes? I have an entire DRAWER full at school. Really!

See? (And this is nothing....its SO much more full now. The entire drawer is just sticky notes and note pads. I may need an intervention! haha) 

And finally, INK JOY Pens!! My FAVORITE. I have only used the capped version but oh my word...these are fab-u-lous. Hello Chevron! :D And they write so beautifully.
See?! Perfection in Pen form. I may be in Heaven. (I'm a tad bit easy to please. Is it obvious?)

Words can not possibly convey how grateful I am. Sure, it's just stuff BUT there was a lot of heart and thought put into this box and I'm so grateful that they thought of me when someone else flaked out. YOU ROCK LADY (AND DUDE)! :) 

Also, my dearest Kim (from Finding JOY in 6th Grade) asked me for my email the other day and I didn't think anything of it when I shared and that dear friend sent me a Starbucks card. ♥ Why would she do this for lil ole me? Because she said I was inspiring. Back in August when I got jerked around (more than once) regarding my position for this year, I didn't complain. I didn't gripe. I shared that I was just dealing with it as it came....because honestly, I knew it was just a head game. (And now...I honestly wonder if the HR folk are eating crow since I'm the sole NBCT in the district and the one who jerked me around all summer with my position is the one who had to announce my achievement to the BOE...ha!) The district was trying to flex some control/muscle and they failed miserably at it. I knew it would happen so I just sat back and took it all in. I didn't let myself get up-in-arms even when I really wanted to...because I knew I couldn't change it. I prayed about it and what do you know...when push came to shove, I ended up back where I belong, in my favorite grade to boot.

So really...thank you my bloggy friends. Sometimes I really wonder who even reads my drivel (and why they would want to haha!)...but the truth is, the bond I feel with many of my bloggy pals is so much stronger than with people I see every day. Probably because most of are truly honest in our blogs--there isn't as much fear of judgment from people you don't see face-to-face every day compared to if we spoke our minds about these things to our colleagues or bosses.

I know that when push comes to shove, it will be my turn to Pay it Forward as it were. And believe me, I won't forget this. I'm a firm believer in Karma and the old saying "what comes around goes around"...and that applies in both good and not-so-good situations. You will be blessed my friends. Guaranteed.
The Caffeinated Teacher

Thursday, January 2, 2014

OLW + Newspaper + Jan Goals {linky}

Well this just plans to be a busy beaver of a post! Sorry in advance (not really but its nicer to apologize, right?). :)

OLW 2014
I've been doing a ton of reading on Twitter lately. That's an oxymoron, isn't it? Since Twitter limits you to, what, 140 characters? Anyway, I read linked articles there. Not surprising that the past two days they have had a lot of articles about resolutions and whatnot. One article that I read says 2014 will be the year of mindfulness. {It's a good article - check it out.} I read it and reflected on it a bit and decided that's it. My OWL (one little word for those of you "not in the know") for 2014 is going to be Mindful

Having read Teach Like a PIRATE this summer....that's a big theme in the book. Be mindful in everything you are doing. On top of that, I read another article and decided to Get a Divorce in 2014 (not that kind, silly). It's all about mindfulness.

I can sum it up like this: Live in the moment -- you don't get any "do-overs". Take control of what you're doing while you're doing it. Mindful. Live.In.The.Moment.

Newspaper
This morning I had the pleasure of chatting with a local reporter for about an hour. I am going to be in the paper (well, really just in an online article but still). It isn't simply because I am fabulous. It is, quite honestly, because I am the one and only NBCT in my entire district. I'm also the only EMC-Literacy certified NBCT on my side of the entire state of Michigan. It's kind of a big deal.

I have waited patiently for this fanfare and now...it's coming. The Husband suspects that once word gets out, I will be headhunted. Perhaps...but I told the reporter (and I meant it) that I wouldn't leave my district if a more affluent one offered me a job that paid more. While my district isn't perfect, they are trying. I have spent my whole career there so far, including my student teaching, and I was a student at my current school. It's where my heart is. I want to work with kids who need me...and quite honestly, I need them too.

Funny that as I was typing this, the reporter called and let me know that my article will be going live in about 15 minutes or so! Eeee!

January 2014 Goals
Recently I was reading through Amanda and Sean's Blog (His and Her Hobbies) and stumbled upon The Babbling Box. {Sidenote: Isn't that the best blog name ever??? Maybe I'm partial to it because I have a tendency to babble on and on....and on! *wink*} Anywho, "The Box" has up a linky for goals for January 2014 and I decided to jump on board.

http://thebabblingbox.blogspot.com/2014/01/012014-goals.html
{Click the picture to head over and link up!}

1. Have 3 in-person Thirty-One parties
2. Make my 4th Startswell goal by Jan 20
3. Go to the gym at least 4 times per week from Jan 6-Jan 31
4. Lose at least 5 pounds
5. Stick to my Daily To Do list so I can work at school, not at home
6. Stay at least one week ahead in planning my rotations for ELA and math



The Caffeinated Teacher

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Currently JaNEWary! :)

Happy New Year! May you be blessed and prosperous in 2014!!

I LOVE the start of a new year. As a teacher, I love that I get TWO fresh starts every year. January 1st like everyone else but also the start of a new school year after a summer of relaxation and getting myself fired up for a new year of kids.

This year, the new year is really special. I have grand plans for 2014. GRAND. I am even going to be in the paper this year. In just a few days in fact. (More on that later.) 

For now, I will leave you with my Currently for this month of JaNEWary as I prepare for my best year yet.



Listening: My two dogs, Morgan and Hershey, have now left the room but as I was making my graphic, they were growling at each other. Poor Morgan still doesn't like Hershey very much and we've had him for 2 years! Hershey LOVES Morgan though and is always licking his face or ears (?!?!) and Morgan hates it...so he growls. And often it is the "music" I listen to when I'm working in my office. Pleasant, huh?

Loving: Absolutely enjoying this break! It's been very low-key which is exactly how I like it! Nothing pressing to do, just enjoying doing whatever I please with my days.

Thinking: Several of my colleagues and I have been joking the past two weeks about how we don't have the Sunday night blues because we know we don't have to work the next day....and I know that this week I definitely WILL have them. Don't get me wrong....I love what I do but I also love the downtime.

Wanting: Even though I was convinced we'd have school on 12/20 (and we had an ice day), I brought my stuff home "just in case"....and it's been sitting here since. It really needs to get done but I don't want to do it. I may resort to paying someone to do it for me haha!

Needing: I do not need one single thing right now...life has been very good lately and it would be selfish of me to ask for more. (Although a hot chocolate would be awesome right now.)

Memory/Tradition: My littles just turned 11 and 12 (not-so-little anymore!) but both of them still very much believe in Santa. I don't plan to change that any time soon. Middle Child, the 12 year old, is  my Aspie and has such a sensitive heart. It's really sweet how much she clings to the Santa notion. I'm not about to tell her otherwise. (In fact, if my students tell me that Santa doesn't exist, I just shrug and say, "well he always brings me a present!" and leave it at that....just in case there are a few kiddos who do still believe.) I have never been one to tell my kids Santa brings them all the good stuff--nope, Santa fills our Stockings. So we always make sure to pick something really extra special for the stockings and its so much fun to watch their faces light up in the morning when they show us what Santa brought. I will be very sad when they both stop believing because its been my tradition for 18 years since I had The Oldest. I hope they carry it on with their kiddos.



The Caffeinated Teacher