Tag Archives: teacher

It’s that time of the year….

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Stress

Churning in my stomach

Sleepless nights

Stress

YEP…it’s testing season. And those are just the emotions I am feeling. I can not begin to imagine what my Freshman are going through. In the next two weeks, my sweet baby Freshman will have to recall EVERYTHING they have learned (or were suppossed to learn) not only for my class, but for 2 other classes.

When did the value of education get reduced to the performance on a test on a single day.

Sad day

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I have no one else to blame but me.

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A friend was recently telling me about the ideas and premise of Tony Robbins, the motivational and life coach. Robbins explains that YOU are in charge of YOUR OWN outcome. If you are sad, you and only you have the ability to make you happy again. It is your choice…your decision… and ultimately the outcome is based on you.

This has had me really thinking lately. I have no one else to blame for my down days except me. I am in control of my actions and reactions. That is why I have started paying attention to little details in my daily life that ultimately make a big difference.

– I have always liked the idea of working out in the morning because a.) you burn more calories throughout the day and b.) life gets too hectic when everyone else in the house is up and going. Therefore, this entire week I have worked out in the morning….no excuses. The alarm goes off, I snooze for 5 more minutes and then I am up and out the door to the gym. I have felt great this week!!! It was my choice!

– Kids will be kids. After working with precious teenagers all week, often times I come home with very little patience. I have tried to maintain composure, not get overly upset at the mistakes my own babies make. I am trying to verbal discuss Monkey’s wrong choices without raising my voice (this is one I still need a bit more practice on). Just Breathe!!

– Just because the hubs doesn’t do every little romantic thing I have conjured up in my mind, doesn’t mean he isn’t showing my his love in his own way. I don’t need a dozen rose petals laid out across the bed, I don’t need a poem detailing his love (ok…maybe bad examples…those are all cheesy in my book!) I am completely thrilled when he rinses off all the dishes in the sink and leaves them to be put in the dishwasher…that is another piece of love…he knows that I am uber anal-retentive with my dishwasher space…JUST LET ME DO IT!!!!

I am in control of my emotions. I am in control of pain and pleasure. I am the sayer of what I want to do. I know that there are consequences and rewards for things I do or choose not to do. I am loving the fact that I am in this state of realization. I know that God is not going to give me anything that I can not handle. His faith in me and mine in Him has more power than anything else.

How do you get through life’s daily trials and tribulations?

Why? Will we ever know…

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I know that the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy is on everyone’s mind. This morning it was on the news and mentioned on several of the radio stations I listen to in the morning. The victims were honored at a memorial last night and many of the children were being buried today.

As a member of the education world and a mom, I feel like I am affected by this times 2. I try not to watch or read too much because the senseless event breaks my heart too much; however, I feel like I need to stay attuned to the details because I too am an employee of a school system who is not immune to such tragedies.

I sit here and wonder what in life is so terrible that a person had to open fire on children and adults…but seriously…children. What purpose is there in killing a group of 6 and 7 year olds. What makes me even angrier is that the man took his own life and we may never know the answers to questions.

Moms hug your children extra tight tonight. Spend a little extra time with them. Teachers and administrators….spend some time making sure your campus is up to date with lock down information, drills and safety precautions.

I pray for the parents, family and friends of all those victims. The courageous heroes that died protecting their students and the innocence taken.

A definite awe factor….

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This is the view that I saw this morning as I made my drive in to work. As I drove, I could not help but realize the role we as humans play on this earth. I know to some it may seem menial but my perception tells me otherwise. I feel that I can make my mark and leave a positive impression on those around me…or at least try.

This image takes me back to a video clip that our ministry team showed at church one Sunday. The Awe Factor of God shows just how magnificent He is in His creation. The magnitude of space is indescribable.

I had a serious discussion with a student just yesterday. He came in to the office, sat down and asked me some deep, spiritual questions and I found myself having a difficult time explaining my thoughts. I know what I feel and what I believe but vocalizing those thoughts was hard. The main question he asked me and it has stuck with me is “if in the end we are all we have left, then why does everything else matter?”  WOW….I honestly could not find a way to answer that. I know how I feel but putting those thoughts into words has been a challenge and a constant thought on my mind since our conversation.

How would you have answered the student’s question?

And the award goes to….

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ME!!!! It’s ME!!!  I won!!!

I found out that I am known as the MEANEST teacher in the high school. I can not tell you how happy that makes me.  OKAY OKAY…let me explain.

The upper classmen have told the freshmen that I am the meanest and hardest teacher…little do they know that I actually love every single one of them. I just have high expectations. Such as

NO you may not use a pencil in my class….use pen. Be confident in what you write. Make it legible and stand by it.

NO you may not say what  and yeah in my class…you may say excuse me  and yes ma’am. get use to being polite. It is what society expects.

NO you may not say ugly words in my class such as suck, hate, shut up…I loathe those words…increase your vocabulary.

NO I do not allow you to sleep in my class…what I am saying is important and rudeness is not tolerated.

YES you may have snacks in my room…I understand that you are growing teenagers and I have no idea if you ate dinner last night or breakfast this morning…just clean up after yourself…and try and make it a healthy snack!

YES I understand that you also have a life and responsibilities outside of Room 102…talk to me, I am human and I understand that you may not have finished your homework last night because you had to babysit…AGAIN.

YES I care about you…I want you to succeed and become a contributing member to society.

Little so they know that I do care and all of my meanness will be understood later in life.

1st week here and gone

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Well, it’s nearly over. I can’t believe how fast the first week of school went. I have the feeling that this is going to be a great year. I forget how awesome freshman are. I haven’t taught them since my first year….7 years ago. The innocence mixed with cockiness (trying to compensate for being low man on totem pole) is interesting to watch.

Is it just me or do 14-15 year olds seem smaller than they were ten years ago???

I promised some interesting stories…sorry to say that nothing has been noteworthy quite yet. I do have a student who I plan on making my top priority. He is a student that puts up a lot of defensive…acts hard (tough) but I think there is more than mets the eye. We will call him “J.”  I hope to see him positively improve over the course of the year.

P.S.  Thank goodness for Advocare’s SPARK…not sure I could have made it through 2pm without one. Teachers….this stuff is your friend. One little packet gives you awesome energy and mental focus without feeling jittery and its sugar free. Contact me and I can share more about it. SPARK comes in 6 delicious flavors!!!

Teachers….start your engines

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And we are off…..
For many of us in the world of education, Monday is the day! I say that with an exclamation point because I am so ready for Monday to come. I can not wait to see the awesome kids that I will be teaching. I can not wait for the sound of chatter and lockers slamming during passing period. I can not wait to have lunch with my fellow co-workers. I am so excited!!

I am that teacher that gets excited about in-service, but I am happy it’s over and we can start doing what we were chosen to do- impact students’ lives, educate our future leaders and spread hope and love to those that so desperately seek (need) it. Remember why we do it. It is ultimately ALL for the students…even the “bad” ones.

I am sure I will have funny stories this year, as I am teaching all freshman…don’t worry, I will share them!
Have a great school year and thank you again for taking the time to read my thoughts!!

Thankful Thursday….not many will admit it but…

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There are not a whole lot of moms out there that will openly admit what I am about to….I am very thankful for the fact that I have a job outside of the house! Let me clarify… I have the utmost respect for the moms that work in the home. That in itself is one tough job.

This is the first summer that I have stayed home in my 6 years of teaching…no summer school, no summer job….nothing. Home with a 3 and 1/2 year old and a teething 1 year old.  My nerves are shot and my house is not clean.  I entertain and love on my kids all day…there is no time for cleaning. When they nap, I workout,shower and grab a little tiny nap myself.

I am on a 3 week count down until I go back to work.  I personally am a better mom because I do get out of the house everyday.  My patience level is better and I am super excited to see mykids when I get home.

My thankful point today….that I am a working mom!!!

What is your thankful point for today?

It’s nearly over

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Summer break is quickly drawing to a close. At the beginning of this break I realized…in the nine years my hubs and I have been together, this is the first summer that I have had completely off. That means…NO summer school, NO work, NO pregnancy, and NO newborns.

I actually have been able to enjoy the summer with no limitations!!!

We have had such an amazing one. Took the kids to the coast (big big beach) for the first time. Monkey loved the waves and Buggy loved eating the sand!!!

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We have made time to have picnics on our boat on the lake (little beach).

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The hubs and I have had plenty of date nights just enjoying ourselves and focusing on us. Late night boat cruises, golf games and an occasional night on the town.

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One of my favorite things we have done this summer is to make it a point to get together every Sunday for swimming and grilling. Friends and family bring sides and suits and just relax. It is so awesome to try everyone’s different concoctions for the week.
Some of them have been:
Peaches and Cheese

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Black bean, avocado, and corn salad

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Quinoa salad

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Whole wheat pasta and veggie salad

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Summer Beer

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Mostly served with pork tenderloin or HEB salmon burgers….YUMMY!!!

It has been an incredible summer. It will be bittersweet when it is over. I miss working…I miss the kiddos and adult interaction…HOWEVER, I will miss my children a lot. I was blessed to get to see Buggy start walking and Monkey develop into the epitome of a 3 year old boy!!!

I have a few weeks left and I plan to fill them to the brim!!!

Love and life!!

Thankful Thursday

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I asked my kiddos in class today what they are thankful for and the answers were interesting. You would think that most 10 year-olds would say money or presents, but most of them said family or the roof over their heads and some even said Mrs. Hill (my heart fluttered.) Got me thinking…what is it that I am thankful for today?

I am most thankful for…well…everything in my life right now. I have such an awesome family that helps me out more than I could ever repay them for. I have a great husband who gets me. and my kids….wow they are just freaking amazing. I watch them sleep or watch them partake in normal activities and I just want to squeeze them.  They are so beautiful and perfect. Makes me think…how do parents just walk away from their children…or hurt them, physically or emotionally. I just can’t even fathom that.

What is it that you are thankful for today?

Dare I say, what’s next?

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As I finished my last test for my Masters degree on Saturday…an 8 hour one at that, I sat at the computer and exhaled very loudly. I was done! I sat back, opened a cold beer to celebrate and thought about all that I had done in the past 3 years. It was at that point that I realized, I AM TIRED! Not just tired from sitting at a computer screen, but physically and mentally tired from my activities for the past 3 years. Some one asked me….how have you balanced everything? The term “everything” is being used to include 2 pregnancies, 2 babies, being a wife of a coach,a full-time teacher with several sponsorships at the high school level, AND graduate school. With that, I bring you this blog explaining how I have attempted to make like work for the past 3 years. Disclaimer – I am not an expert on balancing life…this is just how it worked out for me.

FAITH!!! Without faith in my God and myself, there is no way I could have made it. There were so many times that I would sit at my computer and just cry, knowing that I had a paper or project due and I was completely exhausted from being up with one or both of the kids. I prayed a lot for serenity and patience…and I made it.

FAMILY!!! I am not sure I would have been able to accomplish even a fraction of what I have if it were not for my family…more specifially my mom and my husband. So many times I had classes or duties on Saturdays or in the evenings and not once did my mother hesitate taking my babies. She is a God-send and I am so blessed to have her in my life (ok…mom, I know that you are tearing up now but you have to stop so that you can read the rest!) My husband – he helped all that he could with the kids, but his schedule is so demanding that it was not always possible. The amazing ways he helped me keep my sanity was by taking me out for date nights, or surprising me with spa days, and more importantly…keeping me stocked with my favorite wine so I could unwind at the end of the day. He will never know the extent to which I love and appreciate him.

FRIENDS!!! Without the occasional girls night, or even just a rant fest on the phone, I would have gone insane. I have a great core group of girls. We may not see or talk to each other on a daily basis, but I know that they are there when I need them. All have taken a turn watching my kids or running an errand for me. We all love each other and I am complete because of them!

AND OF COURSE WINE!!! It sounds funny, but so true. There were so many nights were I would be worried or wired from endless hours of homework, job duties or just everyday events, that I NEEDED to enjoy a nice glass of wine to relax. Some of my favorite nights included putting the kids down for bed and sitting on the couch with the hubs and a glass of wine…just talking. So relaxing and romantic!

Now that my chaotic 3 years are coming to a close…culminating on Dec 17th as I cross the stage, I sit here and ponder the question “What do I do now?” I am so used to the hustle and bustle that I am afraid that I will get bored. I have decided that it is time to start back up on NormalGirlArt, write A LOT, read lots of books for fun, and maybe have another kid. 🙂 we shall see.

I definitely felt the love today.

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Last Friday I found out that I passed my principal exam. I opened the email in my classroom and jumped and shouted for joy when I saw the word “PASS”. My 5th graders were super stoked for me. I guess they were more excited than I thought because I came back from lunch today to a surprise “Congrats” party in my honor. They had contacted the hubs to take me to lunch while they decorated my room.

Bought me a cake:

 

 

Gave me a massage

 

And even made shirts in my honor.

 

How sweet are they???!!!???? I definitely felt the love today.

Catch up…again!

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Life has been super busy and a super blessing. I can not apologize for not writing as much, seeing as how I am spending all my extra time with my family. At this point blogging requires me to get up before the rest of the house and let’s face it, that does not happen often. I would like to catch my readers up on what is going on in the life of a normal girl…

Work – Fifth grade is turning out to be not so bad. I have a special place in my heart for this age group. They are so torn…to act like big kids and not wanting to grow up. They try to act tough but are sent to tears so easily. I have fallen in love with one of my kiddos. I ask the hubs on a daily basis if we can adopt him. His home life is not so great, mom is facing prison time and an elderly grandma has custody of him and should not be responsible for him due to her health. I pray about it all the time. I did ask his grandma if the hubs and I can take him to TCU games and Keene games, seeing as he is a BIG sports fan. She was so excited with my offer.

School – Ladies and gentlemen…I have 2 class days left until my graduate school career is over…for now anyway. I finish on October 29th, first of two tests on Nov 12. and Graduation on Dec 17th. I can’t believe that it is nearly done!!! AMEN!

Faith – I have recently volunteered to lead a small group for my church. I am so excited. I got up early this morning to start preparing and I am stoked. I have wanted to do this for a while but my schedule has not allowed it until now. Please keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this new endeavor. I feel that the Lord has led me to this and I want to glorify Him.

Family – The hubs is doing good. This is such a busy time for him and we don’t get to see him as much as we would like during the week. Basketball season is getting closer and we all couldn’t be happier. I am pretty sure Maddox is a gym rat in the making. I took the kids to the gym for a fall league game…and to see daddy. As soon as we left the gym she started crying; when we returned she stopped. Awesome! Jax was the same way. My kids love noise…that is a great thing for a mom and coach’s wife! Maddox just turned 3 months and is so incredibly happy all the time. She is holding her head up on her own…most of the time. She is a talker and loves to smile. Jax is battling the wonderful allergy season but otherwise doing very well. He loves going to school and is learning so much. The stuff that comes out of his mouth is astounding. I love every minute of it.

I am not going to make any promises as to how much I will write. I will say that I would like to write weekly. A “thankful Thursday” piece. We shall see. I wish everyone a wonderful day, week, etc. Until next time….

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Friday at last – namaste

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As I finally have time to sit at my computer, I find myself asking, well….myself, “how are you supposed to become rich and famous a known blog writer if you never make time to blog?” Welcome to my world. I need to find the time….as well as the time to exercise, properly fix my hair, drink more water and well….let’s just add sleep to that list too.

Reflecting back on the past couple of weeks, I have realized that a LOT has been going on. As many of you know I have started teaching 5th grade. It is a big difference from high school and I am still trying to figure out if I like it as much. I adore the kids but the incessant questions that occur on a daily basis, well that kind of wears me down. That is when I have to take a moment to breathe and remember…they are only 10. However, if one more of those sweet little darlings asks me when I am going to have my baby, I will grab them by their ears and fling them gently tell them that it is not polite to ask those sorts of questions. This is where namaste comes in…

My awesome SIL has introduced me to yoga again. I say again because I have done yoga before, but NOTHING to this caliber. I absolutely love it. I find myself thinking about it all the time…or not thinking about anything, which is what you are supposed to do to relax and meditate. Namaste is a greeting or salutation.

With a great weekend ahead…date night, massage and time with the family (hopefully a yoga class thrown in) I wish you all loads of love and laughter

NAMASTE

What helps you unwind and find solace during a hectic day?

 

Crazy with a side of OMG

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Have you had those days when you think “Can I really do it all?” Well, I have recently been having WEEKS like this. I have this issue I like to call  “Justcan’tsayno-itis”. I am pretty sure that it is a real condition, however I have yet to find research discussing it…..OH NO…I said research. –> Cold sweat, achy head, nervous twitch…all brought on by a research proposal paper that I have due and have yet to understand. I am trying very diligently to keep to my mantra of “it’s not about perfect, it’s about not quitting” (see entry from April 4th)

Along with grad school nightmares, it is TAKS testing season at school. At the high school level we are TAKS testing, End-of-course field testing and TELPAS testing..in the month of APRIL. Sorry teachers that you don’t have jobs any longer, the state of Texas decided to use $30 million dollars to create yet another standardized test for the students, instead of keeping teachers to actually teach the kids. There are literally 8 days of testing in the next month. 8 days of grueling, silent standardized tests for our students. Poor guys…I feel so bad for them.

So this is me Crazy with a side of OMG.

I have recently been told this AMAZING information about my issues with saying no by a dear friend of mine. She told me that when I say no to one person, I am really saying yes to something/someone else, ie: No to cheerleading duty this year….yes to quality time at the game with my family. It’s all about perception. This is really helping me with feeling guilty about lighting my work load and enjoy time with the fam!

So what do I do with myself during these crazy times??? I do a lot of praying, organizing and relaxing when I can.

What are some of your coping techniques when things are going crazy?

RANT ALERT – What the heck is wrong with the youth today????

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I am so sick and tired of seeing on the news and reading in the paper about teenage suicide caused by bullying. When did all of this start happening? It makes me so incredible sad and excuse me, but pissed off that teenagers are causing other teenagers to fall into depression and it’s often leading to suicide.

Just yesterday, I read an article about a 13 year old from Joshua that killed himself because he was being bullied nearly everyday. The article stated that the child had been physically accosted, stripped naked, tied up and placed in a toilet head down. Apparently the boy tried to reach out to ADULTS at the school he attended and nothing was ever done about it. I know that in our legal system, all are innocent until proven guilty, but how can you as an adult be okay with this outcome. Knowing that this child came to you for help and support and you turned the other cheek? It makes me sick. I believe there are too many adults out in the world that are too concerned with befriending teenagers instead of being a role model, teacher, parent ,etc….

My question is: when did it become this bad? Bullying/hazing has been around for a long time; however, in today’s world of technology, bullying takes on a whole new shape. There are so many avenues that bullies take to harrass and belittle that are difficult for others to see. Texting and Facebook, along with a plethora of other social sites that this old lady knows nothing about, are breeding grounds for comments.

I want to know what I can do to fix this problem. I teach at a small rural high school with 230ish students. When I first started teaching 5 years ago I thought, this is great! There are no clics at this school. Everyone gets along with everyone. As time passed and society began changing, I am starting to notice that our youth are not that innocent. Don’t get me wrong, we have a zero tolerance for bullying, but kids today are good. They are swift and sneaky. Things are said and done before we adults ever know what’s going on.

I pray that it does not take any more of our sweet children to take their own lives in order for others to realize the lasting effects of their words.

Well…so I thought

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 I am going to start this with a disclaimer….this post was not written with the intention of getting pity comments. This is just a girl being honest with herself!

THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS LAST NIGHT ON THE WAY HOME FROM CLASS: The more I attend my graduate classes for principal certification, the more I realize that I do not fall into the category of an “excellent teacher.” I often times do not have EVERYTHING ready for class at the beginning. There are many times when my objectives are not clearly defined on the board. What I do know is that my kids GET IT. Their test scores reflect it and at the end of the year I can look back and reflect…whew, that was a tough one, BUT we made it.

MY THOUGHTS AS OF THIS MORNING: I am okay with being what the text calls “mediocre.” I stress too much on being a textbook excellent teacher. Working in a small district, I wear many hats. I would literally go insane if I had to be excellent in all that I do. I have come to this conclusion and I am OKAY with it. I would much rather be a mediocre (according to textbook) teacher than a mediocre mom.

To be an excellent teacher, I would have to spend hours at school perfecting my lesson plans, making sure all ducks are in a row, all objectives are clearly stated on the board, creating a plan that encompassed all 50 minutes of each period. I would rather know that what I am teaching is solid, although it may not be posted on the board. I would rather see the understanding in my kids eyes and on their tests, than stress about what my lesson book looks like.

By coming to this conclusion, I have realized I may be a mediocre teacher BUT I am an excellent wife and mother. My husband and my son know that I will be home to take care of them at the end of the day. There is a hot meal on the table, a warm bath drawn at night and mom is not too tired to play,love and enjoy our time together.

It is all about choices. Some may not agree with mine, but I have to realize that that is okay! I love my life and I know looking back years from now, my family will not have suffered.