Sunday, September 22, 2013

Positive Points Monday

Hey friends!

I'm trucking through my last college course for my reading endorsement and I'm so close to being finished.  Don't you love how good it feels to check something off your list?  What an amazing feeling...I can't wait!  :)

Last week was actually somewhat decent...besides a slight mental breakdown on Friday with being overwhelmed.  ;)  So here are my positive points from school last week:

1.  My kids did really well on their weekly assessments!  If you teach 1st grade, you might experience the same thing.  The first week or two is really rough because the kids aren't used to having to study and take tests.  Boy does it show!  The parents freak out because they think their kid is behind.  The students freak out because they just didn't know what to expect.  The teachers freak out because they think their class is really low.  But after everyone settles in after a couple of weeks you start to see a more accurate picture.  Parents calm down.  Kids get the hang of it.

2.  I got all of my lesson plan templates pretty much set up and ready to roll.  Now that I have a good idea of my schedule and all my pull-outs, I was finally able to settle on what each week would look like and how much time I have (or rather DON'T have, but that's another story) to teach everything.

3.  I have to tutor a student in my class for 40 hours as part of my last course for my reading endorsement.  We got 5 more hours knocked out last week at school!  AND, the best part is that he is doing SO well.  It's AMAZING to see how far he has come!  I couldn't be any prouder of his accomplishments.  I have proved to myself that narrowing down the individual struggles of a student and attacking them is far more influential than tossing the kids a couple new strategies here and there without really focusing on the lacking skill.  At the same time, it has made me slightly more frustrated because I wish I could do that with ALL of my students.  Alas, time is not on our side.  ;)

It really helps me to focus on the good things that happen throughout the week at my job.  This year is SO different and SO stressful and I have to keep looking for these things daily, otherwise I think I'd completely lose it.  I've come close a few times, but remembering the good helps offset the bad a little bit.

Let me ask you a question, compared to other years, how does this year compare?  Is it one of your best years?  Just like normal?  Definitely not the best year, but could be worse?  Or the worst of your career?  I'm trying to keep this post positive, but I really want to know if it's just me that's going through one of those slumps in her career or if this is something that's facing all of us.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  :)

Praying you all have a great week!  :)


Monday, September 16, 2013

Positive Points!

I feel like a total slacker.  I know I don't have to explain, but I will.  Last Sunday I had every intention on getting this linky up for Monday.  We decided to do a freezer meal swap at our school.  It was a great idea!  Well, in the midst of making my enchiladas, I passed out.  Literally.  I fell over and hit the floor.  My husband wanted to take me to the ER, but I insisted that I was fine.  He ended up calling the on-call doctor, which happened to be my doctor.  He talked to me and said I sounded ok and wanted to see me the next day.  So off I went to the doctor the next day and something about my blood pressure fluctuating a lot from one extreme to the next, hence my passing out.  He pulled me from work Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday I felt great and was happy to be back at school.  That night I had one of the worst migraines I've ever had and my son had a fever of 103.  This was all in the middle of the night.  I woke up Friday and the migraine wasn't gone (it was better, but not gone) and poor baby still had his fever.  So I ended up staying home Friday, too.  :(  What a week.

Even in the midst of totally unexpected and chaotic circumstances, I still managed to find some good in the two days that I was at work. :)

1.  All of my beginning of the year assessments were FINALLY finished!  I feel like I can really start thinking about TEACHING!  :)  That's one huge task that's finally done!

2.  One of my quiet kids is finally coming out of his shell.  He has really blown me away by how much he can do.  He would barely speak a word to me the first few weeks of school.  That's how shy this kid was!  But he has really started speaking up, making friends, and getting involved.

3.  Have you heard of or tried Whole Brain Teaching?  This is my biggest positive.  It was recommended to me because I just didn't know what to do with my class this year.  They are very antsy and have a hard time listening, paying attention, and staying on task.  I was in tears a couple of times because I just didn't know what to do.  I pulled out every trick in the bag that I knew of and it just wasn't sparking anything with them.  I went to the Whole Brain Teaching website and signed up.  Then I went to YouTube and found several videos.  I immediately ordered the book on Amazon and had it in my hands 2 days later.  Y'all.  This has completely transformed my class in a matter of two days.  I've never seen anything like it and I've never had anything work so well!  I told my student teacher that she must think I'm crazy for trying a completely new system 2 weeks into the new year.  But I told her that's the life of a teacher!  Some groups just need something different.  Good teachers are willing to do something different to meet their needs.  So check it out - especially if you have a squirmy class!

Have a great week, friends!  I'm just trying to stay caught up on life right now, especially in my last 7 weeks of being pregnant and trying to finish my reading endorsement class.  I will check in every Monday, Lord willing, and every other chance I get!  :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Positive Points! A Brand New Linky...

Well, are you settled into the groove yet?  I am not.  Ha!  But I'm muddling through and taking it day by day.

I KNOW I am not the only one being bombarded by a to-do list a million miles long this year.  I KNOW I am not the only one being thrown tons of new things to implement all of a sudden.  I have heard from many people via Facebook, blogs, coworkers, etc...we are ALL facing so many negative things.  I can't even tell you the number of times I've cried and considered a career change.

I had this wild idea (I'm livin' on the edge, ya know?) to start a weekly linky party on Mondays called Positive Points.  I could gripe and complain all day long, but I decided I need to be intentional about looking for the positive things in each day.  Right now the negative are much stronger than the positive, but the positives are there.  Like the saying goes, "Every day may not be good.  But there is good in every day."

The only rule is that your positive points must be from SCHOOL!  My family or my dog or the weather or a vacation are definitely positives, but sometimes we need to find the positives in the negative environment.  Make sense?

Today was a STRESSFUL day.  Actually, it was stressful emotionally.  But for a few minutes, I'm going to forget about all that and remind myself of the positives.  I'd like to share them with you, if that's ok.  :)

1.  My kids are finally getting into a groove.  I'm not gonna lie, I was worried until the end of last week.  But they are settling in, getting to know the routine, and finally settling down.

2.  My hubby and son brought me 2 boxes of Tylenol and a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino mid-morning!  I've been getting bad headaches/migraines every day for the past week or so, and he was trying to help me avoid one at school.  ;)

3.  My student teacher is AMAZING and SUCH a blessing!  She is so willing and ready to jump right in.  At times I feel guilty for turning over so much, but I know that it's also the best way to learn.  I'm so glad she wants to learn!

4.  At the end of the day last week, the tears just came.  I couldn't hold in my frustration and emotions any longer.  I was in a stressful meeting and when I left, I just let it all out.  I was a hot mess!  But thank goodness for amazing coworkers who let me cry it out and just hugged and loved on me in my moment of total breakdown.  I realized how truly blessed I am to have that "family" in my life.  Those hugs and reassurances were just the comfort I needed.  :)

Ok, so want to link up or read other people's positive points?  Let's face it...sometimes we just need to read or hear encouraging words in order to spark our own.

Use this image in your post and link back here.  Write your post and link up!  :)  I can't wait to hear all the good things about your days in the classroom.  :)